The Syracuse Stampede rebounded from Friday’s 5-3 loss to the Lockport Express with a big win Saturday, 7-2, and a hard-fought victory Sunday afternoon, 4-3. For the Express, it was leaving points on the table in their playoff hunt. The gap between Lockport and Roc City did close to 7 points by virtue of Lockport’s Friday night victory and a pair of losses by the Royals to the Northeast Generals on Saturday and Sunday.
In Saturday’s action, Syracuse jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Nate Walker opened the scoring just two minutes into the game. Captain Hunter Soden added to the tally with his own markers at 7:56 of the first, and Oscar Lande made it 3-0 before the first intermission.
Syracuse extended its lead to four goals early in the second period when Matt Allen scored his 20th of the season at 1:05. Luca Mazzo was able to knock the goose egg off the Lockport side of the scoreboard at 4:21. Blake Bennett and Andrew Logar were given credit for the assists. Syracuse answered the Lockport score with one of their own only 29 ticks later. The goal by Nick Mandia chased Express goalie, Sam Fitzpatrick from the net in favor of Adam Partridge.
The Stampede continued their mastery on the ice in the third period. Tristan Ayoubi drove the score to a 6-1 advantage at 5:11 of the final frame. Oscar Lande’s second of the night cemented the score for Syracuse at 9:25. Aaron Shahin sent one to the back of the net with only 4.4 seconds left in the game to close out the scoring for the night. Bennett and Nick Grupp assisted.
Lockport was outshot 57-47 in Saturday’s contest. Fitzpatrick made 24 saves on 29 shots, and Partridge had 26 stops in 28 attempts. Martin Sten, for Syracuse, stopped 45 of 47 shots.
Sunday’s game looked much better from Lockport’s perspective. After a breakdown that resulted in a two on one for Syracuse, Nate Walker put the visitors up 1-0. Even with the quick goal, Lockport was much more aggressive than they had been the previous evening. Nick Mandia gave the Stampede a 2-0 lead at 16:56 of the first. Luca Mazzo put Lockport on the board late in the first period, with assists coming from Blake Bennett and Andrew Logar.
Blake Bennett scored the lone goal in the second period to knot the game at 2-2. He was assisted by Brandon Schweickert and Andrew Logar. During the second period, Lockport goalie, Adam Partridge made an incredible save that had players from both teams congratulating him. Both coaches on the Syracuse bench clapped for the save as well as everyone in green and orange.
Oscar Lande gave Syracuse back its lead six minutes into the third period. However, Lockport was able to tie the game with 85 seconds left in regulation when Luca Mazzo scored with the extra attacker on the ice. Mazzo was assisted by Domenic Senese. AN ill-timed penalty put the Express on the penalty kill with 40 seconds left in the period. Syracuse’s Josh Wallace scored 15 seconds into the power play to get the game-winning goal.
Lockport outshot Syracuse 60-37 in Sunday’s game. Adam Partridge made 34 stops, while Steven Kozikoski made 57 saves in the win. Both teams scored once on the power play for the afternoon.
Lockport will next play a home and home series against the Pittsburgh Vengeance. The first game in the series will be Friday evening in Lockport at the Cornerstone Ice Arena. Game time is scheduled for 8:00pm. The second game will be in Pittsburgh at the Alpha Ice Complex on Saturday evening at 6:30pm.
All home games can be heard LIVE on Niagara’s Watercooler.
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and Niagara Watercooler's live broadcasts.