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Rail Yard Dawgs defeat Knoxville, 5-1, earn 4th straight win

Rail Yard Dawgs defeat Knoxville, 5-1, earn 4th straight win

ROANOKE, Va. (WSET/Rail Yard Dawgs) – Eric Witzel had two goals and an assist, Brad Barone made 19 saves and the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs thumped the Knoxville Ice Bears, 5-1, Saturday night at Berglund Center. Roanoke’s win was its fourth in a row.

Heading into the second period tied 1-1, the Rail Yard Dawgs offense hit its stride. Working with a man advantage, Daniel Vernace passed the puck to Nick Schneider who was standing at the point. Schneider snapped a shot from the blue line that deflected off the stick of Eric Witzel and between Zoltan Hetenyi’s legs. The deflection gave the Dawgs a 2-1 lead.

They would add to that lead later in the second while on the penalty kill. Joe Sova gained possession in his defensive zone and sent a clearing attempt to the other end. Daniel Vernace raced to it and walked in alone on a breakaway. He faked to the forehand before bringing it to his backhand to beat Hetenyi and give the Dawgs a 3-1 lead heading into the second intermission.

The Dawgs kept pouring it on in the third period. Zach Tatrn fed a pass to Colin Murray who rushed down the ice on an odd-man break. Murray skated down the left wing and sniped a shot over the shoulder of Hetenyi. Later, again on a power play, Matt Beer fed Witzel in front who steered a shot past Hetenyi to extend the lead to 5-1.

Witzel had two goals and an assist, Tatrn dished out a pair of helpers and Vernace finished with a goal and an assist. Barone stopped 19 of 20 shots faced to earn the win in net. The Dawgs win extended their winning streak to four games, a new franchise record.

Roanoke got on the board first with Witzel fed Riley Spraggs for a snap shot from the slot in the opening period. Knoxville tied it later while shorthanded as Mike Chen finished his own rebound to tie the game at one.

The Rail Yard Dawgs improved to 15-19-3 with the win while Knoxville fell to 21-12-4. Roanoke will be back in action on Friday against the Huntsville Havoc. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 PM at Berglund Center.

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