Rail Yard Dawgs stave off elimination, beat the Rivermen 4-3

Brant Sherwood scored the game-winning goal for the Dawgs.

ROANOKE, Va. – The Rail Yard Dawgs extended the series on Monday night, beating the Peoria Rivermen 4-3 in Game Three of the President’s Cup Final at the Berglund Center. Nick Ford netted a hat trick with his goals spanned across just 5:45 of the second period, while Brant Sherwood scored the game-winning goal for the Dawgs.

“This team throughout the year has proven to themselves over and over again that if they look after our house first then they can be successful,” said Rail Yard Dawgs head coach Dan Bremner. “They’ve just worked, they worked.”

The Dawgs outshot the Rivermen 17-9 in the first period, but neither team could light the lamp. Roanoke had two power play chances, while Peoria had one, but both teams stalled when it came to finding the opening goal. The game was tied scoreless entering the first intermission.

Peoria had an early power play in the second frame, and Alec Hagaman buried a close range shot from the left goal line to open the scoring at 1:17. Ford’s first blast came from a feed by Jeff Jones at 6:37 to knot the score at 1-1. Ford scored another on a nearly identical pass by Jones, this time with much more space to blast the Dawgs into the lead at 11:03. Just 79 seconds later, Ford poked the puck out of the Roanoke zone to create a breakaway chance, lifting his forehanded shot past Peoria’s Jack Berry to complete his incredible second period hat trick.

“It’s always awesome to contribute,” said Ford. “Jeff Jones made two great passes for my first two. The third one, I just kind of poked it, got lucky on a breakaway and shot so I’m fortunate enough all 3 of those went in. We were 0-5 in the power play but we felt we created a lot of momentum off those.”

Roanoke’s Sammy Bernard stopped 22-of-25 shots, while Berry made 32 saves on 36 shots faced.

The Rail Yard Dawgs will host Game Four of the President’s Cup Final on Tuesday, May 3 at Berglund Center at 7:05 p.m. EST.

About the Authors:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.