The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs had the Fayetteville Marksmen‘s number in the opening weekend of the SPHL season. Roanoke took the home and home games 4-0 on Friday and then 4-3 in overtime in Fayetteville.
Friday’s tilt in the Star City was dominated by the Roanoke. The Marksmen managed just 6 shots in the first period and were plagued by penalties. Anthony Yurkins picked up a 5 minute major for fighting at the 2:02 mark and it was all down hill from there. In all the Marksmen would tally 13 PIM and give up 2 goals short handed. This on just 27 total shots on goal for the night.
Michael Herringer took the loss with a .809 SV% on 21 shots.
Saturday night, the Marksmen offense began getting their feet under them.
Roanoke did start the scoring on the power play with 9:31 left in the 1st period. Though Fayettville would get a power play again with a minute and change left in the period, they were not able to get on the board.
At 140:00 in the 2nd, Brendon Michaelian knocked home his first of the season, and the first Marksmen goal of the year with help from Simon Boyko. Roanoke would answer back and the 2nd would end 2-1 to the bad guys.
John Moncovich would make the Rail Yard Dawgs pay on the power play to start scoring in the 3rd to draw things even. Simon Boyko helped for the second time of the night and Billy Jerry picked up a point on the secondary assist.
Max “Maxwell’s Silver” Johnson knocked on in from way down in the front to put Fayetteville up 3-2. Johnson had help from Ryan Lieth and Simon Boyko got his third point of the night.
But Roanoke was not done. Nick Ford scored at the 14:48 mark to tie thing up on a power play.
2:08 was all it took for the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs to send the Marksmen to the showers. Jacob Kelly put the biscuit in the basket for the second time on the weekend in overtime.
Michael Herringer again took the loss with a but with much more signs of getting warmed up. He blocked 23 of 27. In comparison, the Marksmen kept Roanoke goalie Brody Claeys on his toes with 42 shots, of which he stopped 39.
Also of note, the Marksmen signed Bryan Moore of Charlotte just before their home opener. Moore will be familiar to North Carolina hockey fans having spent time with Fayetteville in 2021-22 and 2022-23. His first stint of 22 games saw him produce 35 points while on loan from the Carolina Thunderbirds. Last season with the Marksmen in 13 games, Moore scored 11 points, so his signing will likely boost Fayetteville’s offensive production.
Fayetteville heads to Macon to face the Mayheim for a two game series, then a home and home against the IceBears of Knoxville. That faceoff against the team from K-town will also be Wrestling Night at the Crown Coliseum. As part of the festivities, the Marksmen will host WWE Legend and Hall of Famer, Mick Foley!
You can keep up with the Marksmen on their Youtube channel and head down to the City of Dogwoods to catch a game!