Courtesy: Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs/Brian Gardner
ROANOKE, VA – Daniel Vernace scored the game-winning goal with 28 seconds remaining in regulation and the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs defeated the Knoxville Ice Bears, 3-2, Friday night at the Berglund Center. Roanoke now has points in four straight games, matching a season high.
With the game tied at two and 31 seconds to play, the Dawgs lined up for an offensive zone faceoff. Zach Tatrn won the draw and Vernace swooped in from the left wing to scoop it up. Moving to his forehand, he slung a wrister on net that beat Dylan Wells and gave the Rail Yard Dawgs the lead for good, 3-2.
Knoxville pulled its goaltender after the ensuing faceoff but did not get a shot on net as Roanoke held on for the victory.
The Ice Bears struck first in the game with their first shot on net. Just 39 seconds into the contest, John Rey took a shot from the point that navigated traffic and snuck past Ryan de Melo to put Knoxville on top, 1-0.
Later, Cody Walsh sent a clearing attempt high into the air that Colin Murray caught with his glove as he skated over the blue line. He quickly set it down, held off the defense, deked to his backhand and slid the puck five hole to even the score.
Mike Driscoll put the Dawgs ahead early in the second as he burned in on the attack and squeaked the puck past Wells. A Luke Sandler power play goal late in the period tied the game at two.
Massimo Lamacchia had a pair of assists and Nick Schneider had one as both men extended their point streaks to six games. de Melo made 34 saves on 36 shots to pick up the win for Roanoke.
The Rail Yard Dawgs improved to 9-13-5 with the win while the Ice Bears fell to 17-7-3 and snapped a six-game winning streak. Roanoke will hit the road for Alabama on Saturday to see the Huntsville Havoc. Puck drop at the Von Braun Center is scheduled for 7 PM CST.