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Sunday, October 26, 2014
The Lockport Express celebrates after its third goal of the game this evening. The team went on to beat the Syracuse Stampede 4-3 in overtime. (ENP STAFF PHOTO)


NIAGARA UNIVERSITY — The Lockport Express found a different way to beat the same team Sunday. Having won a 7-4 runaway on Saturday, it took overtime to beat the Syracuse Stampede this evening.

The game started slow with both teams playing a more focused defense than in the previous game. It took Lockport's Junior A team 18:02 to get on the board with a goal by Mark Friol from Christopher Gasiewicz and Ryan Logar.

In the second, Syracuse tied it up at 5:20 with an unassisted goal by Xavier Perron. The Stampede then went up 2-1 with a goal by Joey Dupuis from Erik Smith and Braeden Pearl at 6:48. The Express tied it up at 9:46 with a 5-on-3 power play goal by Michael Crissy from Daniel Golba. At 11:23, Golba scored another power play goal or the Express, putting them up 3-2 with help from Christian Whitcomb.

The Express seemed to go up 4-2 minutes later, but the goal was waved off due to an Express player being in the crease. At 17:00, Syracuse tied it back up, this time 3-3, with a goal by Pearl from Dupuis and Dan Buehler.

The third period was scoreless, thanks to a breakaway save by Express netminder Ian Stahl at 3:44.

Four minutes and 18 seconds into overtime, Nick Siracuse landed the clincher with help from Cole Brooks and Peter Guido. It was the 17-year-old's eighth goal of the season. At 19 points, he leads the team by far.

"That's why Siracuse is our captain," Express Head Coach Frank Vecchio said after the tame. "He's a big winner."

Vecchio commented on the vastly different style of play between Saturday's and this evening's games: "Today I thought was a much faster game. I think Syracuse was a little rested ... they played a lot stronger game."

Tonight's close victory may not be as much fun for offensive minded fans as Saturday's seven goals were, but Vecchio said games like today's serve a purpose. "It's a good test for the guys to really see what kind of heart they have — what kind of gumption we've got."

With the win, the Express are now 7-5 on the 2014-2015 season. Their next game is Saturday in Wikes Barre, Penn., against the Wilkes Barre Miners with a followup game on Sunday against the same team. Lockport has a 2-1 record against the Miners this season.

The team is expected to practice in Cornerstone Arena Monday for the first time since a faulty condenser shuttered the arena just over a week ago. The team will play its first game at Cornerstone on Nov. 14.

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