The Rail Yard Dawgs (20-7-2) rolled past the Birmingham Bulls 5-2 for the team’s fifth consecutive win on Friday night at Berglund Center. Josh Nenadal, Dillon Radin, Brady Heppner, Nick Ford, Mac Jansen scored goals for Roanoke. Roanoke was outplayed by Birmingham in the opening minutes of the first period, but some big time saves by Austyn Roudebush kept the game scoreless. The Dawgs got the game’s first power play chance, and Nenadal squared home a pretty pass from CJ Stubbs to make it 1-0 at 15:56. The Dawgs added another just 31 seconds later, as Radin tipped a long-range C.J. Valerian shot to give Roanoke a 2-0 lead. That advantage held into the locker room for the first intermission.
The second period saw another quick score by Roanoke, as a defensive zone turnover by the Bulls was pounced upon by Heppner at 1:14. Birmingham answered quickly, as Zac Masson got the visitors on the board at 2:50 and 5:33 when Jordan Martin unleashed a screamer to bring the deficit to just one goal. Roanoke’s Spencer Kennedy had a fight in his pro debut with Birmingham captain Mike Davis, but neither team lit the lamp for the remainder of the frame as the Dawgs took a 3-2 lead into the final period.
The Dawgs killed the game off quickly in the third period, as a shorthanded breakaway chance was finished off by Ford just 25 seconds into the frame. A rebound goal by Jansen at 14:03 added a cherry on top, and despite some late penalties for both teams, the Dawgs were content to finish with the three-goal victory.
Roudebush made 25 stops on 27 shots faced for Roanoke, while Birmingham’s Austin Lotz stopped 23-of-28 chances. Roanoke was 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Bulls went 0-for-4. Roanoke will return home on Friday, January 20 at 7:05 p.m. EST to face the Birmingham Bulls at Berglund Center.