ROANOKE, Va. – Brad Barone made 41 saves, Steve Mele scored twice and the Rail Yard Dawgs dropped the Birmingham Bulls, 3-1, Friday night at Berglund Center. Roanoke extended its point streak to seven games in the win.
Birmingham came out firing in the first as it peppered Barone with 12 shots in the opening frame. The Dawgs netminder was up to the task though and made every save to keep the score knotted at 0-0 through the first.
It was the Bulls who struck first in the opening minutes of the second period. Joe Tolles got a loose puck in the slot and fired a shot that Barone stopped with his left pad. The rebound was loose however and Mike Davis got his stick inside and backhanded it home to make the score 1-0 Birmingham.
The Dawgs needed only 40 seconds to respond and tie the game. Mele came flying down the right wing and put a snap shot on net from outside the right wing circle. Mavric Parks got a piece of the shot but it trickled through his blocker and over the goal line to put the Dawgs on the board.
Roanoke later took the lead while working on a power play. Travis Armstrong let loose a slap shot from the blue line that Mele deflected home on the back door, pushing the score to 2-1. Mele’s second of the period snapped an 0-for-19 stretch on the power play and gave the Dawgs the lead for good.
Birmingham ramped up the pressure in the third period and outshot the Dawgs, 20-5, in the final 20 minutes. They could not crack Barone though who made every save down the stretch. Roanoke got an insurance marker with just under five minutes to play on the third when Jeff Jones dropped a pass for Mac Jansen who buried a wrist shot top shelf, extending the advantage to 3-1.
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Photo credit: Mark Sawyer, Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs