MOLINE, Ill. – The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs made their only visit to the Western side of the Southern Professional Hockey League for the season; their previous trip to Illinois was in April 2022 for the SPHL President’s Cup against the Peoria Rivermen. The Quad City Storm visited Roanoke at the end of December when the teams split a two-game set; entering the night, both teams were on the loss-heavy side in their past ten games. The Roanoke squad left their home rink in 70 degrees temperature and were welcomed to Moline and the Vibrant Arena to snow storms and below-freezing temperatures, once again the home fans left the arena cold, hoping for more from their team with the Storm getting a 2-1 loss on Friday evening, February 17, 2023.
The home team had a special night with a primary supporter in Chick-Fil-A and a special guest to perform during the 2nd intermission, Tyler’s Amazing Balancing Act – while both of these were enjoyed by the nearly 2800 in attendance, the fans were not happy with the effort of their team for another game. The fans may need help understanding how rough the latest injuries and call-ups have impacted the Storm team; the chemistry is absent, and the constant on-ice changes do not help. The Quad City goalie Kevin Resop was busy in the first half of the opening frame but could not prevent a goal from Roanoke’s Matt O’Dea after a scramble in front of the net at the 3:33 mark in the first period. The final third of the opening period was spent primarily in the Dawgs’ zone, but the Storm was still looking for a way on the scoreboard. The home team’s frustration became apparent, and the officials quickly broke up any altercation. Finally, with less than a minute left, the Dawg’s Billy Vizzo and Storm’s Patrick Gazich were each sent to the penalty box for roughing.
The second period would become a continuation of the end of the first, with nine penalties called in less than three minutes, starting shortly after the 1-minute mark of period two. Two of those would be costly for Roanoke as forward Nick Ford was given a 10-minute game misconduct during one of the fights. At the four-minute mark of period two, there were a couple of Roanoke players and four Quad City players sitting in their respective boxes – it looked to be a long night for the officials at this stage. Ironically, no penalties were called, and no goals were scored in the middle frame’s remaining 16 minutes of playing time. After two periods, each team had 19 shots on goal, with the visitors struggling on their two power-play attempts, not getting any offensive zone time. The Dawg’s would get another power-play chance 36 seconds into the final period when Storm forward Davis Kirkendall was called for tripping; again the Roanoke powerplay was unable to find the net. The Storm squad was not any better on the powerplay, going 0 for four on the night. The Rail Yard Dawgs were able to find the net with several bodies in front of the net near the halfway mark, with Stephen Alvo taking a shot from the blue line; while the shot appeared to be deflected by O’Dea, the goal was awarded to Alvo. Little over a minute later, Quad City was able to get a tally on the scoresheet when Kirkendall used a partial screen by the Dawg’s defense to find a way past goalie Austyn Roudebush. While on the power play in the final few minutes of the final period, a rebound was put out front of the Roanoke goal that appeared to be gift-wrapped for Storm’s forward Cole Golka, but with Roudebush sitting on his backside, Golka put the puck over the crossbar and into the safety netting. Quad City would pull Resop for the extra attacker in the final minute of the game but could not capitalize with another loss by the home team, as they outshot their opponents 33-27.
Check out this photo gallery from Field Pass Hockey’s Tim Lester, who was there to capture the action.
Tim Lester is Field Pass Hockey’s Peoria Rivermen and Quad City Storm photographer and will be bringing you action from both teams all season long.
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