The Lockport Express began a new season in a new league with a resounding 6-2 victory over visiting Southern Tier Xpress. In a Cornerstone Ice Arena crowd that was nearly equally divided between the two teams, it was Lockport which ended with the biggest cheers of the night.
Southern Tier opened the scoring with the puck bouncing strangely in the air behind goaltender, Sam Fitzpatrick 3:23 into the first period. Joseph Gerace was credited with the tally, assisted by Jacob Marriage and Matthew Crosby.
|Members of the Lockport Police Department, Lockport Fire|
Department, and Niagara County Sheriff's Department
provide the color guard for the opening ceremonies of
the Lockport Express game Friday evening
Southern Tier also opened the gates of what became the underlying theme of the game. Seven seconds after Gerace’s goal, Eriq Schau took a roughing call that gave Lockport the first of thirteen power plays. By the end of the contest, the two teams accumulated 27 penalties for 60 minutes.
Lockport got on the scoreboard with a power play goal by Dominic Senese 44 seconds into the period, assisted by Andrew Logar and Nick Grupp. Senese’s goal was a slapper from the top of the circle that surprised nearly everyone on the ice. Lockport controlled the scoreboard for most of the rest of the game, scoring the next five goals, two more in the second period. Ryan Metzler and Andrew Logar each scored in the second frame.
Lockport continued with their scoring touch into the third period. Andrew Logar notched his second of the night, with Luca Mazzo and Ian Bressett closing out the scoring for the home team. If there was a scouting report on the visiting team’s goaltenders. The last four goals by Lockport shooters went high, over the left shoulder of the goalie. Southern Tier closed out the goals with a quick shot by Matthew Crosby.
“I think we saw the gelling of the team. This is an entirely different team than you saw here last year. We’re young. We’re fast. We have a lot of room to grow, but I think you’re seeing that raw talent come together,” said assistant coach, Greg Penke.
“Fitz really kept us in the game early on, and then our team shook off nerves and played very well,” he continued. “We’ll have to work on our discipline. There were a lot of penalties by both teams, but that could just be jitters from the start of the season.”
Lockport was outshot 44-29, with Sam Fitzpatrick making 42 saves enroute to the victory. The home team was nabbed for 34 minutes in penalties on 14 infractions. Southern Tier accumulated 26 minutes on 13 penalties.
The three stars for the game were Sam Fitzpatrick, Andrew Logar, and Nick Grupp, all of Lockport.
Lockport’s next contest will be Saturday, September 17th, at 7:30PM in the Cornerstone Arena. They will face off against last year’s rival, Roc City Royals. All games can be heard live at niagaraswatercooler.com.