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Rail Yard Dawgs push win streak to 7, defeat Knoxville 5-2

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ROANOKE, VA – Matt Zenzola stopped 38 shots, Colin Murray scored twice and the Rail Yard Dawgs breezed past the Knoxville Ice Bears, 5-2, Sunday afternoon at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. Roanoke extended its franchise-record winning streak to seven games with the win.

The Dawgs got their offense rolling late in the first. Working in the attacking zone, Steve Mele wheeled the puck to Joe Sova who fed Murray for a one-timer. Murray blasted a shot past Zoltan Hetenyi to put the Rail Yard Dawgs on top, 1-0.

Just over three minutes later, Zach Tatrn worked the puck free to spring Darius Cole in on an odd-man rush. He toe dragged around the defender and snapped a shot past Hetenyi to make it 2-0.

Daniel Vernace added to the lead in the second by firing a wrister through Hetenyi’s legs.

Meanwhile, Zenzola was standing on his head in the Roanoke net. He made several highlight-reel saves to keep the Ice Bears off the board as the Dawgs led, 3-0, through two.

The Dawgs tacked another one on in the third period as Tatrn fed Riley Spraggs and Murray for a 2-on-1 break. Spraggs feathered a pass to Murray’s tape on the back post and Murray rammed it into the net to make it 4-0.

Knoxville was able to get itself on the board thanks to a couple of rebound goals in the third. Marcus Ortiz and Tyler Howe each cashed in to bring the Ice Bears within two.

Roanoke got an insurance goal late in the third after Knoxville pulled its goaltender for an extra attacker. Vernace fed Mele streaking toward the empty net for a tap-in goal.

Murray scored twice, Vernace and Mele each had a goal and an assist and Zenzola set a season-high with 38 saves.

The Rail Yard Dawgs win extended their winning streak to seven games and pushed their record to 18-19-3. 18 wins is a new franchise record, surpassing the 17 that the Dawgs had in their inaugural season.

Roanoke will return to action on the road on Friday in Southaven against the Mississippi RiverKings. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 PM CST at Landers Center.

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