ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Less than a week after Roanoke captured the city’s first championship in the Southern Professional Hockey League, Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea declared Monday, May 8th as Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs Day. It’s the latest honor for a team that hasn’t stopped celebrating.
Fans came out in full force over the weekend at the Berglund Center to celebrate the area’s first hockey championship since 1987. For the players, winning the President’s Cup is still a surreal feeling that they’re soaking in. But now that the championship has become a reality, the Rail Yard Dawgs are hungry for more.
“This is why I do it, when I was a little kid growing up going to Chicago Wolves games, all I wanted was a player to sign my stuff. And to be able to be in a position of being the player to sign this stuff, I can’t imagine something more surreal. This is incredible,” said Rail Yard Dawgs Defenseman Matt O’Dea.
“I mean the future is so bright. For the team, for the organization, for the fan base, for everything. I promise you this. There’s nothing but good things coming for hockey in Roanoke,” said Rail Yard Dawgs Right Winger Matt Jansen.
“Oh we’re going back to back. We’re going back to back. This is one of those feelings that as soon as it hits the tongue, you can’t get rid of it. Can’t get rid of it,” said Rail Yard Dawgs Right Winger Josh Nenadal.
The Dawgs look to be the first team to go back-to-back in the SPHL since Huntsville did it in 2018 and 2019.