The long drought is over for the Lockport Express as they took down the visiting Jersey Shore Wildcats 4-1 in a game Saturday evening at the Cornerstone Ice Arena. Lockport dominated play from the opening faceoff, outshooting the WIldcats throughout the entirety of the game. “It was a full team effort,” said head coach, Frank Vecchio.
The first period ended knotted at 0-0, with Lockport waiting to break through with some lucky bounces to go their way. Lockport took a pair of penalties in the middle of the period, but were able to keep Jersey Shore away from the net. Even with four minutes in the penalty box, Lockport outshot Jersey Shore 17-8 in that period.
Lockport continued its strong play in the second period with a pair of goals to give the home team a 2-0 lead over the first 40 minutes of the game. Blake Bennett scored his fifth goal of his Express career at 6:54 on the powerplay. Josh Evoy provided the assist. At 13:15, Michael Sokol bumped the lead to two with a breakaway shot that beat Matt Kastein over the shoulder and just under the crossbar. Nick Grupp fed him the perfect pass to pick up the assist.
Early in the third period, Bennett tallied his second of the night. Only 1:16 in, his goal was assisted by Andrew Logar. With a 3-goal lead, Lockport continued to control play at both ends of the ice. Jersey Shore was able to score on the powerplay at 13:24 of the third to close within two. Frederick Schaljo netted the lone Wildcats goal, assisted by Jacob Hanebrink and Reggie Hunter.
The Express responded immediately,scoring only 20 seconds later. A sweet pass from Domenic Senese to Aaron Shahin closed out the scoring for the evening. Lockport outshot Jersey Shore 44-42. Sam Fitzpatrick stopped 41 shots while in net for the Express.
The same two teams will play again Sunday afternoon at the Cornerstone Ice Arena at 2pm. All home games can be heard live on Niagaraswatercooler.com.