ROANOKE, Va. – Brad Barone made 33 saves and Colin Murray scored in the final minute but the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs fell short against the Peoria Rivermen, 2-1, Friday night at Berglund Center.
Peoria’s offense would get the first goal of the game when Lee Christiensen fed Joe Kalisz in front of the net. Kalisz put a move on and deked to his backhand to roof the puck over the shoulder of Barone, giving the Rivermen a 1-0 lead.
Peoria extended that lead early in the third period. Connor Gorman stuck his stick in a passing lane and forced a turnover. Alec Hagaman sprinted to the loose puck and walked in on a breakaway. He deked around Barone and slid it past the Roanoke goalie to give Peoria a 2-0 lead.
Late in the period, still trailing 2-0, the Dawgs opted to pull Barone for the extra attacker. Zach Tatrn fed Maxime Guyon, who fired a shot towards the front of the net. The puck redirected off of the skate of Colin Murray and past Tyler Parks to put the Dawgs on the board. After winning the ensuing draw, Roanoke again pulled Barone and pressured in the Peoria end but was unable to net the equalizer as the Rivermen held on for the 2-1 win.
Barone stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced and Parks made 24 saves on 25 shots to earn the win in net.
The Rail Yard Dawgs fell to 25-24-3 with the loss while the Rivermen improved to 36-12-5. Peoria clinched the regular season points title and the top seed in the SPHL postseason in the win. Roanoke will be back in action Saturday evening at home again against the Rivermen. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Berglund Center.