Dawgs win in OT thriller
Steve Mele sets franchise record with 5 assists
ROANOKE, Va. – Colin Murray scored twice including the game-winner in overtime, Steve Mele dished out five assists and the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs bested the Macon Mayhem in overtime, 6-5, Thursday night at the Berglund Center. Roanoke’s win was its first win at home of the season.
With the Dawgs trailing 5-4 in the third period, Mele led a rush up ice. He gained the zone and left a pass for the trailing Travis Armstrong. Armstrong blistered a shot on net that sailed by Troy Passingham, tying the game at five and eventually forcing overtime.
Roanoke controlled the play in the extra period and didn’t take long to strike. Mele extracted the puck from the left wing boards and kicked it to Murray streaking toward the slot. Murray carried it in and fired a shot low that found its way through Passingham’s five hole for the game winner.
Mele’s helper on the game-winning goal pushed his assist total to five, good for a franchise record.
Six goals were scored in the first period, beginning with a Dmytro Babenko rebound tally. Macon struck back quickly to take the lead on a Caleb Cameron power play marker that was followed by a Stathis Soumelidis one-timer from the slot.
Roanoke would regain the lead by executing on a pair of power plays. First, Mele found David Gandara on an odd-man rush and Gandara’s one-timer tied the game at two. Later in the period it was Mele dishing to Phil Bronner for a backhander in tight that made it 3-2. The Dawgs lead evaporated just 11 seconds after this however as Jake Trask found Cameron near the crease to tie the game 3-3 heading into the first intermission.
Macon got the first goal of the second period when Ryan de Melo’s clearing attempt bounced free and sat alone in front of the open net. Cameron scampered to the loose puck and tucked it in for his third goal of the game that gave the Mayhem a 4-3 lead.
Murray’s first goal tied the game at four later in the period. Macon regained the advantage in the final minutes of the second on a Soumelidis tally.
Cameron had a hat trick, Soumelidis scored twice and Trask had two helpers to pace the Mayhem offense. Mele led the way with five assists for the Dawgs and Murray netted his first two goals of the season. De Melo was pulled after the fifth goal against and Brad Barone stopped all 10 shots he faced in relief to earn his first win as a Rail Yard Dawg.
"It's a breath of fresh air I mean really there's just a weight lifted you know," said Dawgs head coach Sam Ftorek.
"Obviously you want to win a lot of games but definitely at home and there's a big fan base, it was just a great thing. It was a matter of breaking through and then finally getting that win. It just shows where we are from the beginning of the season til now and not only that but where we were last year to this year is leaps and bounds ahead."
Roanoke improved to 2-4-1 with the win while the Mayhem dropped to 4-3-2. The Rail Yard Dawgs return to action on Saturday night against the Knoxville Ice Bears. Puck drop at the Berglund Center is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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