The Niagara Falls PowerHawks kicked off the NA3HL 2017-18 hockey season with a 5-4 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Vengeance at Hyde Park Ice Pavilion Saturday evening. In their first game in Niagara Falls after moving from Lockport in the off-season, The Hawks drew an attendance of over 250.
Early in the first period, both teams seemed tentative, feeling out the competition and easing into the new season. Pittsburgh broke the scoreless tie with a goal by Benjamin Oslick at 6:38, assisted by Nick Erker. Niagara Falls knotted it back at 1-1 with a marker by Spencer Hrynczak, assisted by Andrew Logar and Michael Olszewski.
The PowerHawks controlled the second period, scoring both goals of that frame to take a 3-1 lead into the third period. Justin King gave Niagara Falls their first lead at 3:17 on the powerplay. Olszewski provided the assist. Frankie Bodami scored just ten seconds later to swing the momentum to the home team. He was assisted by Evan Korpolinski.
Niagara Falls continued that momentum into the third period with Nathan Walerowicz extending the lead to 4-1. Jacob Bennett and Stephen Minichiello assisted on the goal. Pittsburgh started mounting a comeback with two goals. Dominick Glavach and Zachary Servidio each scored to draw the Vengeance within one, 4-3. Stephen Minichiello was rewarded for his hard work through the end of the play with an unassisted goal to give the Hawks its two goal lead once again. Pittsburgh closed out the scoring for the game with 26 seconds left on a tally from Glavich.
Niagara Falls outshot Pittsburgh 40-30. Jerah Siegel made 26 saves for the PowerHawks. Jacob Zab turned away 35 attempts for the Vengeance. Niagara Falls was 1-for-4 on the powerplay.
According to head coach, Jason Hill, “We want to go out there and work harder than the other team. We did that tonight. We can get a lot of positive out of working harder.”
The same two teams will face off again Sunday afternoon at 1pm. All home games can be heard live on niagaraswatercooler.com.