Jansen’s OT winner gives Rail Yard Dawgs first President’s Cup championship

After losing the lead with 10 seconds left in regulation, Roanoke’s first-year captain brought home a title in overtime.
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 1:28 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Who else could it have been?

Rail Yard Dawgs captain Mac Jansen scored just two minutes and 41 seconds into overtime on Tuesday to clinch the President’s Cup Finals over Birmingham with a 2-1 win in Game 4.

Brought to the Star City in 2016, the Rail Yard Dawgs are champions of the Southern Professional Hockey League for the first time, avenging last season’s loss to Peoria in the championship series.

Roanoke took the first lead of Game 4 in the second period off a tough-angle shot from Josh Nenadal, an Ohio native who’s been with the team since 2019.

The Dawgs took that 1-0 lead into the final seconds of regulation, with a crowd of 5,394 rising to its feet in anticipation of a title. But with just 10.1 seconds remaining on the clock, Birmingham’s Carson Rose snuck one past Austyn Roudebush to stun the home faithful and put the championship celebration on hold.

A raucous Berglund Center crowd did not have to wait long to erupt in the overtime period, as Jansen buried a feed from Billy Vizzo clean past Bulls goaltender Hayden Stewart to begin the coronation.

Jansen is Roanoke’s all-time leader in games played and took over as captain this season, following the retirement of Travis Armstrong.

Roudebush was named the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs, after posting a 2.18 goals against average and a 0.925 save percentage in nine games, including seven wins.

As the celebration ensued on the ice, Nenadal summed up his emotions in the moment:

“I think I’m still shocked,” he said. “This is just a very grateful moment for where I’m at. I couldn’t be happier being here. This is a hockey city now and it will forever be a hockey city.”