PELHAM, Ala. – Down a game in the President’s Cup Finals to Roanoke, the Birmingham Bulls gave the starting nod in goal to Austin Lotz on Friday.
The move paid off hugely.
He stopped all 33 shots that the Railyard Dawgs threw at him on Friday, as Birmingham tied the best-of-five series 1-1 in a 2-0 win, with goals coming from Matt Wiesner in the first period and Artur Terchiyev in the third.
Birmingham has now posted a shutout in this year’s postseason with both goalies on its postseason roster. Hayden Stewart blanked Fayetteville in the first round.
The series now shifts to Roanoke on Monday and Tuesday. Should a fifth game be needed, it’d be in the Bulls’ home arena in Pelham. Ala. on Thursday.
A night after the game turned in the final period, the Bulls reversed fortune on Friday, extending their 1-0 lead to 2-0 with Terchiyev’s goal that was assisted by Wiesner and Taylor Brierly as it got past Roanoke goalie Austyn Roudebush.
Wiesner gave the Bulls the upper hand just 8:47 into the game, making it 1-0 with assists by Stefan Brucato and Zac Masson. As for Roanoke, it was hardly a night without chances to crack through against Lotz.
Five times through the first 40 minutes, the Railyard Dawgs went on the power play, unable to break through each time. The game itself slowed the pace in the second, with a total of ten penalty minutes, all minor penalties.
Roanoke was a bit shorthanded on Friday, already down a defenseman with Stephen Alvo serving a one-game suspension, the Dawgs lost forward Jason Lavallee’ to a first-period game misconduct. Aggression could again be woven into Monday’s third game, as an on-ice skirmish broke out as Friday’s game ran out, and Bulls fans booed the Railyard Dawgs as they left the ice.
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