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Rail Yard Dawgs Game Notes: #8 Rail Yard Dawgs at #1 Rivermen - Challenge Round Game Two

April 13, 2018 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs News Release


(26-26-4), 8th SPHL, 56 Pts


(38-13-5), 1st SPHL, 81 Pts

CHALLENGE ROUND - GAME 2 (Rivermen lead series, 1-0)

Friday, April 13, 2018 - 7:15 PM CDT

Owens Center - Peoria, IL

Broadcast: SPHL Live | Mixlr

LAST TIME OUT: Colin Murray's first period power play goal gave the Dawgs an early lead and the game was tied at two deep into the third but a late goal from Justin Greenberg vaulted the Peoria Rivermen to a win in Game One of the Challenge Round, Wednesday night at the LaHaye Ice Center.

WORK TO DO: Roanoke faces potential elimination on Friday night as it trails the best-of-three series, 1-0. The Dawgs need to win back-to-back games in Peoria to advance. Roanoke went 1-2-0 on the road in Peoria this season and 13-2-3 away from home overall. The Rivermen lost two or more games in a row six times this season, most recently doing so when they fell to the Mississippi RiverKings on March 10 then the Pensacola Ice Flyers on March 16.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: The top seeded Rivermen selected the Rail Yard Dawgs as their first opponent in the SPHL's inaugural Challenge Round selection on Sunday. Peoria had its choice of any of the bottom four seeds in the postseason and chose the eighth seed Dawgs.

TEMPORARY HOMES: All three of the possible games in the Challenge Round series between the Dawgs and Rivermen will be played at venues other than the usual home arenas for the respective teams. Roanoke did not have access to Berglund Center thanks to a previously scheduled event; pushing the opening game to Lynchburg and Liberty University's LaHaye Ice Center. Peoria is dealing with a similar situation that has pushed games two and three of the series to Owens Center, the Rivermen's backup practice rink.

MELE HONORED: The SPHL announced Friday morning that Steve Mele had been named to the 2017-18 All-SPHL Second Team. Mele set career highs in goals (22), assists (37) and points (59). He finished seventh in the league in points and was second in power play assists with 16. This is Mele's first career postseason honor and Roanoke's second- Nick Schneider was named to the All-SPHL Second Team in 2016-17.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Mike Gurtler scored Peoria's first two goals in the Rivermen's 3-2 win in Lynchburg on Wednesday night. Gurtler returned to pro hockey this season after a year of retirement and put up 21 goals and 17 assists in 55 games.

FAMILIAR FOES: Friday's game is the sixth consecutive game that the Rail Yard Dawgs and Rivermen will have played against one another. Roanoke and Peoria finished the regular season with a stretch of four in a row, during which the Dawgs went 1-3-0.

UP NEXT: If the Rail Yard Dawgs win Friday night's game, the decisive game three will be played on Saturday night. Puck drop will be at 7:15 PM CDT at Owens Center.

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