The Pensacola Ice Flyers (16-15-6) had five players post multi-point nights as they beat the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs (13-20-5) in the Ice Flyers’ first ever appearance at the Berglund Center on Friday night.
Aaron Clarke opened the scoring 8:52 into the first when he fired home a shot from the left wing faceoff circle. Roger Tagoona and Louis Belisle assisted on the goal. Tagoona made it 2-0 just 12 seconds after Clarke’s goal when he misfired on a shot, recollected the puck, and caught Roanoke goalie Ryan de Melo off guard. This time Andrew Schmit and Josh Cousineau had the assists. Cousineau cashed in with an unassisted shorthanded goal with 8:32 left in the first after he broke up a pass, flew up the left wing boards, stickhandled around a couple Dawgs, and finally fired a backhander past de Melo. After the goal, Roanoke coach Sam Ftorek made the decision to switch goalies and put in former Ice Flyers James Kruger.
The Ice Flyers made it 4-0 thanks to a power play goal when Corey Banfield found Riley Spraggs stationed in the slot and Spraggs one-timed it past Kruger. Nathan Bruyere had the other assist on the goal scored 3:30 into the second. Roanoke snapped Matt Zenzola’s shutout bid with 6:13 remaining in the second with a power play goal of their own scored by Nick Schneider. Pensacola reestablished the four-goal lead a mere 25 seconds later when Tagoona scored his second of the game on a wrister from the right wing circle that sailed across the crease and over Kruger’s right shoulder. Schmit and Sean Gammage had the assists. John Gustafsson made it 6-1 when he collected the puck after a Roanoke turn over, skated into the slot, and fired the puck shortside on Kruger with 2:22 left in the second. Belisle was credited with an assist on the goal.
The Ice Flyers made it 7-1 when Brad Bouke hit Gustafsson with a stretch pass and Gustafsson then fed the puck over Belisle for the easy redirect goal 3:27 into the third. The Rail Yard Dawgs made the game a little closer with two goals in less than two minutes when Daniel Vernace scored 5:52 into the third followed by a goal by Jackson Brewer 7:25 into the period.
Zenzola stopped 24 of Roanoke’s 27 shots on goal and his record now stands at 12-7-5.
The Ice Flyers will return to the Berglund Center tomorrow to face the Rail Yard Dawgs again at 6:05 p.m. Central. The Ice Flyers will then head to Huntsville, Ala., to face the Huntsville Havoc at 5 p.m. Central on Sunday.