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Saturday, September 12, 2015
The referees and Express goalie Sal Stalteri look on as Pete Robinson sings the National Anthem Friday night before the start of the hockey game at Cornerstone CFCU Arena. (GEORGE ROOT / CONTRIBUTOR)

By +Scott Leffler

The Express and Royals shake hands following the game. (SCOTT
Despite outshooting the Roc City Royals by a nearly 2-1 margin, the Lockport Express dropped its first game of the season before a crowd of nearly 300 at Cornerstone CFCU Arena.

Roc City goaltender Justin Nevinger stopped 52 shots in the contest on his way to the 3-1 victory over the Express. Lockport goalie Sal Stalteri stopped 26 shots of his own.

Roc City struck first nearly mid-way through the second period when Anthony DePetres scored, assisted by Zach Bucholz. The Express tied the game shortly thereafter when Frank Vecchio Jr. got the only home-goal of the night at 13:00 of the second period.

Roc City picked up two more in the second: a power play goal from Sam Cammilleri (assisted by DePetres) at 16:46, and an even strength goal by Patrick Manning, assisted by Cole Whitehead less then a minute later at 17:27.

The Express had more than their share of chances but whether through luck or the Force, the puck would not cross the goal line.

The second period was filled with Express penalties — 35 minutes worth — but even shorthanded, the Express seemed to control the ice, except for the area behind Nevinger.

Prior to the start of the game, the local team held a tribute to first responders in honor of Sept. 11. Lockport police and firefighters were on hand for the solemn event and Mayor Anne McCaffrey held a ceremonial puck drop.

The Express and Roc City play again at 7 p.m. at Cornerstone Arena. The game will be broadcast live on East Niagara Post, as will all home games of the season.

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