LYNCHBURG, Va. – [Courtesy: Rail Yard Dawgs]
The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs struck first in the game and were square with the Peoria Rivermen deep into the third, but Justin Greenberg scored the eventual game-winner late in the third as the Rivermen defeated the Dawgs, 3-2, Wednesday night at LaHaye Ice Center. The Rivermen took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
With the game tied at 2 and under five minutes to play in the third, the teams were skating four-on-four. Roanoke was caught pinching in the neutral zone and the Rivermen walked in with a 2-on-1 break. Connor Gorman and Greenberg played pitch and catch until Greenberg rammed the puck past a lunging Brad Barone to give Peoria the lead.
The Dawgs would pull Barone for the extra attacker in the waning moments of the game and fire several shots toward Tyler Parks, but the Rivermen defense held and Peoria won the game, 3-2.
Barone made 23 saves on 26 shots faced in the losing effort.
Roanoke got on the board first while working on a power play in the opening period. Maxime Guyon snapped a shot on net that Parks stopped but Colin Murray was able to stuff the rebound home to put the Dawgs on top, 1-0.
Peoria answered late in the first period. Dave Pszenyczny carried the puck in and put a backhander on net that Barone stopped. Mike Gurtler was able to take the rebound and put it in, however, and the game was tied at one.
The Rivermen took the lead early in the second period when Gurtler redirected a pass from Cody Dion into the net. Roanoke answered to tie the game late in the middle frame. Chris Porter sent a shot toward the cage from the left wing that Parks blocked. Steve Mele followed the shot and sneaked a second attempt under the goalie’s pads, evening the score at 2.
In the win, Peoria took a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three series. Game two will be played on Friday in Peoria at Owens Center, the Rivermen’s back-up practice rink. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CDT.