December 20, 2021
Stampede Battle Hard, Fall Short Against Comets
The Stampede faced off against the Utica Jr. Comets for the first time in the 2021-22 season in a home-and-home series this weekend. Despite battling tough in both games and tallying a combined 13 goals on the weekend, the Stampede fell just short, losing both games by a 1-goal deficit.
The action kicked off with a home game at Cornerstone CFCU Arena on Friday night. The visiting Comets jumped out to an early 2-goal lead in the first period. After regrouping during the intermission, the Stampede came storming out in the second period, posting back-to-back goals just 7 seconds apart, scored by Max Ciepiela, assisted by Parker Bonsignore and Caden Cranston, and Parker Bonsignore (unassisted). The Comets would then respond with two of their own goals to retake a 4-2 lead. The back-and-forth scoring would continue the rest of the period with the Comets scoring one more and the Stampede tallying two more, scored by Joe LoBrutto, assisted by Max Ciepiela, and Max Ciepiela, assisted by Parker Bonsignore.
The third period would continue the barrage of scoring by both teams with two more by the Comets, followed by a pair by the Stampede, scored by Jace Cranston, assisted by Parker Bonsignore and Caden Cranston, and Alec Antle, assisted by Caden Cranston. After the Comets scored their 8th goal of the night, Parker Bonsignore would tally the Stampede’s final goal of the game, assisted by Joe LoBrutto. Despite the offensive fire power, the Herd would fall just short by a final score of 7-8. Joe Willis returned to action for the first time since an injury sidelined him in early October and turned away 31 of 39 shots in the outing.
Following a day off, the Stampede traveled to Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, NY for the second game of the series on Sunday evening. In yet another high-scoring affair, the Stampede would take the Comets all the way to a shootout, but would fall just short by a final score of 6-7.
The Comets jumped out to an early two-goal lead in the first period; however, the Stampede would respond with a pair of their own, scored by Caden Cranston, assisted by Parker Bonsignore and Jace Cranston, and Cameron Coogan, assisted by Blake Dewey and Brendan Bastian, to tie the game at 2-2 going into the first intermission. Buffalo struck first in the second period with a goal by Caden Cranston, assisted by Joe LoBrutto. After the Comets returned fire with a pair of their own, the Stampede again tied the game up at 4-4 with a goal by Caden Cranston, assisted by Parker Bonsignore.
The third period would start just like the second as Caden Cranston scored his fourth goal of the game, assisted by Dominic Churakos and Max Ciepiela. After the Comets would score to once again level the tally, Parker Bonsignore would give the Stampede a late lead with a goal assisted by Max Cipiela and Derek Pine. As the final period drew to a close, the Comets would manage to score one last goal to even the score at 6 a piece and send the game into overtime. After a scoreless overtime period, the game would go into a shootout, in which the Comets would come out on top. Joe Willis was back in net for the Stampede, turning away 37 of 43 shots in regulation and overtime.
The Stampede will now enjoy a few weeks off for the holiday break before returning to action on January 7th against the Motor City Hockey Club at the USPHL Winter Showcase in Boston.