EVANSVILLE, IN – The Evansville Thunderbolts and the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs will be linked together as long both are in existence and playing within the Southern Professional Hockey League. They are the two teams from this year’s expansion class within the SPHL. They have, however, taken two very different roads to get to opening night this year. The Rail Yard Dawgs used an entire season to prepare and build their organization while the Thunderbolts executed a six-month sprint to opening night. They will meet for the fourth and fifth time in their respective franchises history this weekend in Roanoke.
Roanoke is 3-0-0 against Evansville winning one at the Berglund Center and two in Evansville
Tim Boyle – One goal and two assists in three games against Evansville. On the season he has two goals and five assists.
Steve Mele – Two goals and two assists against Evansville. Both games came in the game Tanner Milliron started in net.
Massimo Lamacchia – Three of his four goals this season have come against Evansville. Two of the three were scored in the most recent encounter on November 11th.
- Evansville has scored more than two goals in a game only twice in November (7 games) and never more than three.
- Tanner Milliron had his best outing since opening night in his last start. He only allowed two goals on 42 shots faced.
- Thunderbolts are undefeated when Justin MacDonald scores a goal.
- Evansville so far this season is undefeated on Thursday night games.
- The Rail Yard Dawgs have only been held to less than four goals once in their last four home games.
- This weekend will make the final two home games of a six-game home stand.
- The Rail Yard Dawgs have yet to beat a team with a winning record.
What to Watch For
There are three different things to watch for in the two-game series on Thursday and Saturday in Roanoke. Michael Doan had a strong outing last Sunday in Evansville and I’d like to see him get another opportunity in one of the two games against the Rail Yard Dawgs. Evansville also had probably the strongest second period of the season last Sunday. The second periods have been tough on the Thunderbolts and I’d like to see that trend continue. The third and most obvious thing to look for is points.
Everyone knows that the elusive win will come at some point. Evansville has come close three times at home, losing twice in a shootout and once in overtime. They are yet to gain a point on the road. That has to change at some point and this is as good of a time as any. If the Thunderbolts build on their positives from Sunday and get a couple more in the back of the net, there’s a great chance one of these two games in Roanoke will be the breakthrough this team needs.