The Stampede continued their climb in the NA3EHL Western division standings this past weekend taking two of three games vs the Lockport Express at the Morrisville Ice-Plex. In game one the teams fought a tight battle that eventually needed overtime to settle it. With Stampede forward Raymond Falso netting the game winner 1:13 into the 3 on 3 overtime period. Stampede goals in regulation came from Nick Sanborn and Kelsey Head. Lockport goals were scored by Erick Santiago and Justin Durkee. Syracuse netminder Kyle VanWagner picked up his 7th win of the season and remains 4th in goaltenders in the league. "The guy's worked hard in game one and took advantage in overtime with speed and puck posession, Kyle was on his game again in net and bailed us out on some great chances by Lockport." stated Syracuse Coach Jason Lefevre.
In game two on Saturday Lockport seemed to come out a bit flat in the first period but it wasn't long before the woke up and burried the first goal of the game at 9:10 of the 1st on a nice unassisted goal by Brendan McFall. The Express made it 2-0 on one of the strangest bad hops ever seen from a harmless shot from the neutral zone at the 9:39 mark of period one by Gibson Stuart. The Stampede finally got on the board at the 12:15 markof period one with a relatively luck bounce of their own as Dan Buehler ripped a shot at the Lockport net from the blueline and the puck deflected off the goaltenders stick and over his shoulder into the net. But Lockport was not finished yet and at the 15:55 mark Frank Vecchio II netted his first of the game to give the visitors a 3-0 lead after one. In the second period the teams traded goals with Lockport getting another by Andrew Logar and Syracuse added it's second of the game by Raymond Falso. The teams fought hard through the 3rd period with Syracuse having several chances to get back into the contest but Frank Vecchio II sealed their fate at 19:29 with an emply net goal to take game two 5-2. "Plain and simple, we were outworked in this one. We have to find a way to be consistent game after game." stated Stampede coach Mike Beavis. Lockport goaltender Tim Schiess earned the win with 39 saves on 41 shots.
Game three of the weekend was an early start at 11 am and both teams seemed ready to go but it was all Syracuse in this one as Tim Evans earned his first win in net for the Stampede by posting an impressive effort by turning away all 42 shots that Lockport threw at him. The game was Evans first start and he made the most of it posting a 4-0 shutout for the home team. "It's always a great feeling to see a guy get his chance and his teammates rally around him to help. Tim made the best of his shot today and earned the two points for his team. They say he is a gamer and he showed it today!" stated Stampede Coach Jason Lefevre. The Stampede were lead offensively by Christian Paridiso, Raymond Falso, Hunter Soden and Nick Sanborn.
The weekend moved the Stampede up to fourth place in the tough Western division of the NA3EHL and in striking distance of third place Lockport. The Stampede will host the Wilkes Barre Miners for three games this coming weekend beginning Friday at 5pm. The Miners and Stampede have a long standing rivalry and it should be a great series to watch. The Lockport Express will travel to Jersey Shore for a three game set against the 1st place Jersey Shore Wildcats. Both the Stampede and Lockport know that next weekend will be huge for both clubs with third place potentially up for grabs.