Dawgs Hang On, Beat Mayhem, 6-5
ROANOKE, Va. - Jesse Schwartz scored twice and Vojtech Zemlicka had three assists as the Rail Yard Dawgs hung on to win a wild game over the Macon Mayhem, 6-5, Saturday night at Berglund Center.
The Dawgs offense got out of the gate fast with four goals on just seven shots in the first. Jordan Carvalho fished the puck out of the right wing corner and threw it toward the crease where it banked off Ian Sylves' stick and into the net to start the scoring. Zach Nieminen later sniped a wrister on the power play to make it 2-0. The Mayhem answered with a deflection goal by Alexander Taulien but Roanoke added two more in the period as Schwartz buried a shot off the rush and Mac Jansen hammered home a loose puck in the final minute. Through 20 minutes the Dawgs led, 4-1.
Macon brought itself within two in the second when Derek Sutliffe finished in tight off some tic-tac-toe passing. The Rail Yard Dawgs answered with under two minutes to go in the period as Zemlicka poked a puck loose and Eric Witzel tracked it down for a breakaway. Witzel carried the puck in tight, deked to his backhand and roofed it for the goal to make the score 5-2.
The Mayhem began to chip away at the lead in the third, first when Seth Ronsberg fired home a wrist shot from a sharp angle. Michael Bunn later snuck a shot short side through Tanner Creel that trickled in and Macon was within one with just over three minutes remaining. It opted to pull the goaltender for an extra attacker but Schwartz quickly gained the zone and buried a shot into the empty net to put Roanoke on top, 6-4.
That would prove to be an important goal as the Mayhem kept coming in the final minute. Jimmy Soper took a shot that Creel stopped but the puck sat between his legs loose. Before he could cover it, Caleb Cameron poked it into the net and Macon was back within one with just 42 seconds remaining. But the Rail Yard Dawgs were able to control possession for the majority of those seconds as the final horn sounded as the Dawgs held on for the 6-5 victory.
Creel stopped 32 of 37 shots in the win, Sylves was chased after allowing four goals on seven shots and Henry Dill made 12 saves on 13 shots in relief. Jansen, Witzel and Carvalho each had a goal and an assist, Schwartz's empty-netter was the eventual game-winner and Zemlicka recorded three assists.
The Rail Yard Dawgs improved to 14-12-0 with the win while Macon dropped its fifth straight and fell to 17-7-3. Roanoke finished the season series with the Mayhem 4-4-0. The Dawgs will return to action on Friday night at home against the Fayetteville Marksmen. Puck drop for Mighty Dawgs Night is scheduled for 7:05 PM at Berglund Center.
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Southern Professional Hockey League Stories from January 5, 2019
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