The road to the playoffs took a hit Friday evening as the Roc City Royals downed the Lockport Express 4-2 at the Lakeshore Hockey Arena. The Express now trail the Royals by three points with two games remaining for Lockport, and one game on the schedule for Roc City. Even if Lockport wins both games against the East Coast Minutemen this weekend, they will not know their fate until after the Syracuse -- Roc City game on March 11th.
Lockport came out hard in the first period, peppering the Royals goaltender with plenty of shots. Freddy Peters was up to the task, stopping 39 of 41 shots faced on the night. There were not very many rebounds left by Peters throughout the game. Lockport’s Sam Fitzpatrick stopped 19 of 22.
Brandon Corey opened the scoring for the Royals, and closed it. His first of three goals came 6:52 into the first period. He scored his second marker at 15:03 of the same period. Lockport outshot Roc City 17-6 in the opening frame.
Luca Mazzo put Lockport on the board in the second period. Assisted by Domenic Senese and Gibson Stuart, the goal came at 8:20. Newcomer, Chace Woods scored the equalizer at 14:54 with assists coming from Blake Bennett and Andrew Logar. It appeared as though Lockport would head into the second intermission tied 2-2. Roc City’s Zach Buchholz instead buried one in the net with only 24 ticks left on the clock.
The third period was a back and forth battle with both goaltenders making several good saves. The only goal in the period was the empty-net insurance goal by Roc City with 33 seconds left in the game. Brandon Corey completed his hat-trick with that goal.
Lockport returns home for a pair of games against the East Coast Minutemen. They will drop the puck tonight at the Cornerstone Ice Arena at 9pm. Sunday’s game will get underway at 2pm. They are the final games of the regular season for the Express.
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