January 9, 2018 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs
ROANOKE, VA - The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs scored three unanswered goals to bring themselves within one but the furious comeback attempt fell short as they were defeated by the Pensacola Ice Flyers, 4-3, Saturday night at Berglund Center. Steve Mele scored two shorthanded goals for the Dawgs in the loss.
Trailing 4-0 in the second period, Roanoke committed a too many men of the ice penalty and headed to the penalty kill. While shorthanded, Mele was able to poke the puck free and burn in on a breakaway. He carried it deep and flicked a wrister past Alex Sakellaropoulos to put the Dawgs on the board.
Later in the period, Roanoke again went to the penalty kill. Again it was able to strike. Matt Beer muscled the puck free at center ice and worked it to Mele down the right wing. From the bottom edge of the faceoff circle he fired a shot that snuck through Sakellaropoulos to make it 4-2.
The Dawgs kept the pressure up in the third. With just under six minutes to go, Beer received a stretch pass at the blue line and walked in with a breakaway. He fired a wrist shot on net that darted past Sakellaropoulos' glove to bring Roanoke within one.
The ice remained tilted toward the Roanoke attacking zone in the third as the Rail Yard Dawgs out-shot the Ice Flyers, 12-3, in the final period but they were unable to break through again. The Dawgs had their chances after pulling Brad Barone for an extra attacker with 90 seconds remaining but eventually fell, 4-3.
Pensacola jumped out to its lead thanks to first period goals from Ken Neil and Josh Cousineau. The Ice Flyers extended their advantage with goals in the second from Stephen Hrehoriak and Garrett Milan.
Barone made 23 saves on 27 shots, Mele scored twice and Beer had a goal and an assist. Sakellaropoulos stopped 28 of the 31 shots he faced to earn the win. Cousineau led Pensacola's offense with a goal and an assist.
Roanoke fell to 8-15-3 in the loss while the Ice Flyers improved to 17-4-3. The Rail Yard Dawgs return to action at home on Friday night against the Fayetteville Marksmen.