The Rail Yard Dawgs did not get the win they desperately needed, but a 2-1 overtime loss to Huntsville on Friday night gave Roanoke one point in the standings. Considering it’s just the third game in the season’s first 10 that netted any points, the game wasn’t a complete loss.
Roanoke had two offensive chances in the first minute of the sudden-death overtime, but it was Huntsville’s Tanner Karty who got the game-winner 1:04 into the extra session, giving the Dawgs a heart-wrenching loss.
Goalie Jake Theut made his second start for the Dawgs, his first since being re-signed by the team after Stephen Klein was waived. Theut made 42 saves. The only score he surrendered in regulation came on a point-blank rebound by Gregg Burmaster after Thuet stopped a shot by Sy Nutkevitch.
“Theut played great,” said Roanoke coach Dan Bremner.
That was the lone point of praise Bremner had following the loss.
“We need to play a perfect game when we’re on a skid like this,” Bremner said. “We have individual mistakes that are absolutely killing us. Absolute daggers. What’s a step in the right direction is we probably played 45 minutes of good hockey tonight. It’s just unfortunate that 10 games in that’s where we are.”
Theut was more positive for the defensive effort that fronted him.
“Our D was phenomenal tonight. They cleared the lanes for me. I was able to see the pucks,” Theut said. “We talked a lot back there. There was good communication all around.”
The Havoc outshot Roanoke 44-26. The Dawgs forwards played back in the defensive zone and blocked numerous shots before they could get to Theut.
Roanoke’s goal was the first of the year by defenseman Joe Sova, coming at 3:21 of the second period. Jeff Jones gathered the puck near center ice and raced toward the left circle. With Sova following, Jones left the puck and veered toward the net. When Sova got a stick on it, Jones and a Huntsville defenseman were crossing the site line of goalie Max Milosek, creating a screen. Sova wristed the puck into the top left corner for the game’s first goal.
Huntsville’s only goal in regulation was scored on the Havoc's only power play of the game. The Dawgs, who averaged more than nine penalties in the last three home games, had only one minor called in the game.
For its part, Huntsville also stayed out of the box, giving the Dawgs only three power plays. Since Roanoke failed to capitalize, the Dawgs broke a franchise record streak of scoring power-play goals in eight straight games.
The Dawgs remain in last place with four points in 10 games. They play the second half of the home-and-home series in Huntsville on Saturday at 8 p.m. EST.