ROANOKE, Va. - Mac Jansen had a goal and an assist and Adrian Carbonara finished with a goal and an assist but the Rail Yard Dawgs third period surge could not tie the game as they fell to the Birmingham Bulls, 4-3, in game one of the semifinals, Thursday night at Berglund Center. Roanoke now heads to Alabama needing a win to keep its season alive.
Birmingham struck first on its first shot of the game. Craig Simchuk dug a puck out from the boards and hit Shane Topf for a one-timer that he snuck past Jacob Caffrey to make the score 1-0 Bulls.
Roanoke answered later in the period thanks to crisp passing from its forwards. With a two-on-one developing, Mac Jansen hit Colton Wolter who waited and found the trailing Adrian Carbonara at the right wing circle. Carbonara carried the puck to the net and deked into a toe drag that he lifted past Mavric Parks to tie the game.
The Bulls grabbed the lead back later in the period while working on a power play. Jacob Barber Hit Garrett Schmitz in the slot who blasted a slap shot top shelf on Caffrey and Birmingham led, 2-1.
IN the second, the Dawgs tied the game thanks to a power play goal of their own. Travis Armstrong took a shot from the right wing boards that rang off the post but Colin Murray was able to smack the loose puck past Parks and the game was square at two.
Birmingham took the lead again in the second thanks to an unlucky bounce. Mike Davis carried the puck in on a two-on-one rush and tried to pass to the back door but the puck was blocked by Armstrong. It caromed right back to Davis’ stick though and he rocketed a shot past Caffrey to make it 3-2.
The Dawgs evened things up once again the final seconds of the third. Carbonara carried the puck in and fired a shot that Jordan Carvalho deflected wide. Carvalho sprinted to the puck, dug it out and fed Mac Jansen in front who slid a snap shot five hole on Parks, tying the game at three with only 3.8 seconds on the second period clock.
It took just over a minute for the Bulls to seize the lead in the third. Simchuk carried the puck in a fed it to Mike Crocock who was charging the net. It glanced off of Crocock’s skate and went between Caffrey’s legs to put Birmingham back on top.
Roanoke dominated possession throughout the third and out-shot the Bulls, 15-3, in the final period. They were unable to crack Parks again though and Birmingham held on for the 4-3 win to take a 1-0 series lead.
Jansen finished with a goal and two assists, Carbonara had a goal and an assist and Caffrey made 15 saves in the losing effort.
The Dawgs will now hit the road for Alabama and the Pelham Civic Complex, the site of the remainder of the series. Game two is scheduled for 7:30 PM CDT on Friday night. Roanoke needs to win Friday night to keep its season alive. If the Rail Yard Dawgs are victorious, the decisive game three would take place on Saturday night at 7:00 PM CDT.
Copyright 2019 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.