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Sunday, February 22, 2015
Marc Schlaeger, goaltender for the Jersey Shore Wildcats, was nearly impenetrable this afternoon, stopping 48 of 50 Lockport Express shots. (PHOTOS BY SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)

By +Scott Leffler

Apparently stopping shots just wasn't enough for Jersey Shore Wildcats' goaltender Marc Schlaeger. He wanted to be part of the league-leading team's offense.

Schlaeger assisted on the Wildcats' fifth goal — just after stopping a barrage of shots on a sustained offensive zone presence by the Lockport Express. He also stopped 48 shots en route to a 7-2 victory over the Express at Cornerstone CFCU Arena this afternoon.

In terms of offense, it was all Jersey Shore. They had it early and often, starting with an Alexandre Racicot goal at 4:53 of the first period from Austin Crane. Kevin Gruber made it 2-0 at 18:54 from Justin Apgar.

Cornerstone CFCU Arena General Manager Bob Filighera tries to clean 
blood off the ice at the end of the second period following a fight. 
In the second period, the game got chippy with fourteen penalties, including three fighting penalties for each team ... and Jersey Shore piled on the goals. First from Arthur Raevsky at 4:16, assisted by Konstantin Mamedov, making it 3-0, Jersey Shore. Then Ilya Spektor made it 4-0 at 14:09. Vaclav Liprt assisted on that goal. At 14:26, Schlaeger got his assist on an Adam Skutchan goal, putting New Jersey up 5-0.

In the third period, Lancaster Native Travis Valvo put the away team up 6-0 at 6:19, much to the delight of the numerous friends and family in the stands to watch him. Valvo played for a number of Western New York teams, including the Wheatfield Blades before going to Jersey Shore's Junior A team. Frederic Ampleman assisted on Valvo's goal. Valvo also scored a goal in each of the weekend's previous two games.

Valvo said after the game that he enjoyed playing in front of friends and loved ones this weekend. He said the "hometown" support helped him to play harder.

Spektor put Jersey Shore up 7-0 at 13:50 with a power play goal from Ampleman and Justin Apgar.

Finally, with 5:33 to go in regulation, Anthony Merante scored for the Express, breaking Schlaeger's shutout. Mark Friol and Ryan Logar assisted. And then with 52 seconds to play, Logar tallied a goal of his own from Daniel Golba, leading to the 7-2 final.

Express Head Coach Frank Vecchio called his team's effort "average" and said that while breaking Schlaeger's shutout was nice to a degree, it was also "like kissing your sister" and he took no real pride in it.

The Express has two more regular season games to play — next weekend against the Wilkes-Barre Miners, who they will also likely face in the first round of the playoffs.

Vecchio said Tyler Shotwell will start in goal in both those games, which the team will treat with a playoff mentality.

"We want to go into the playoffs on a roll," he said.

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