Rail Yard Dawgs prepare for first puck drop of the semi-finals

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) Thursday night the No. 4 seed Rail Yard Dawgs will take on the top remaining seed Birmingham Bulls. The two teams are fighting for the best 2 out 3 in this series and winner takes their skates to the finals.

The Dawgs are coming off of a 2-0 sweep against the No. 1 seed Peoria Rivermen last week, but it was a dog fight to the end.

"Especially in the second game there in the third period, we kinda shelled it in and we were under attack from Peoria," head coach, Dan Bremner said. "Caffrey stood out and bailed us out a few times, but our defense was there too. We cleared rebounds. We had defense selling out and putting their face in front of pucks in order to keep it out of our net."

"I mean with the pressure, I've gone out into games and I've let in 12 goals before and I've gone out into games and had a shutout before," Jacob Caffrey, Dawgs' goalie, said. "I kinda just not to go too high and try not to think too low. I'll probably come out and be somewhere in the middle, hopefully not a dead average of six, but you know that's kinda how I think about it going in. Not a whole lot of pressure just a lot of things I've done before."

WDBJ7's Katey Roshetko talked to the team's director of broadcasting and media relations about how the program has grown in the last three years.

"It's huge," Brian Gardner, voice of the Rail Yard Dawgs and director of broadcasting and media relations said. "This is the third season that we've been in Roanoke and it's grown every year. First year, we missed the play-offs. Second year, we made it in but got bounced in the first round. Now we're a series win away from the championship game so it's a lot of fun right now."

He said the team went into last week's series against Peoria with a chip on their shoulder.

"There was a lot of emotion when they won, both the first game here at home and then when they finished it out on the road," Gardner said. "It's been a lot of fun to be a part of and I think the fan base has really been energized as a part of it."

And even though they've only been in Roanoke for three years, Gardner said the team has progressed significantly.

"Under our coach, Dan Bremner, things are going really well on the ice. And like I said, everyone is just really excited. The energy in this building was just incredible during that first game and we feel it's going to be even better tonight."

Puck drops at 7:05 p.m. Thursday night.