Blake Bennett nailed the hat trick on the empty netter and lead the Lockport Express to a 6-2 victory over the Skylands Kings in NA3HL action Friday evening in New Jersey. The same two teams will faceoff again this evening at 7:30pm, and tomorrow afternoon at 12:00 noon.
Skylands opened the scoring with a goal by Steven Ford at 14:06 of the first period. He was assisted by Clayton Thomas and Craig Garrigan. The Kings would hold that 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Mitchell Thornton scored the equalizer at 12:18 of the second period to put the Express on the scoreboard. Thornton was assisted by Ryan Metzler and Josh Evoy. Blake Bennett gave Lockport its first lead of the night at 18:12. Andrew Logar and Brandon Schweickert provided the assists.
Clayton Thomas tied the game for Skylands at 7:05 of the third period, from Craig Garrigan and Jan Broz. The Express carried the rest of the third period, scoring four goals in the last ten minutes of the frame.
Michael Sokol lead the charge with a goal at 10:31 with the assist coming from Erick Santiago. Bennett netted his second of the contest at 12:13 from Logar and Gibson Stuart. Pavel Kovtunov added his own tally at 16:36, with assists by Josh Evoy and Frankie Bodami. Bennett capped the hat trick and cemented with win with an empty net goal with 2 seconds left. Santiago and Domenic Senese added the assists.
The Express outshot the Kings 44-43. The Express was 2 for 5 on the power play, while the Kings were 1 for 4 with the man advantage. Goaltender, Sam Fitzpatrick picked up the win for Lockport.
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