September 19, 2022

Stampede finish strong, split opening weekend against Mavericks

GAME RECAPS

Stampede finish strong, split opening weekend against Mavericks

Lockport, New York -- The Buffalo Stampede opened their 2022-23 USPHL season at home this past weekend with a two-game series against the Columbus Mavericks. After battling tough, but falling short in game one, the Stampede bounced back for a resounding 4-0 shutout victory in game two.

The series opened on Friday night with the Stampede's home opener at Cornerstone CFCU Arena. Following the open nigh fanfare, the Stampede jumped out to an early first period lead after rookie forward, Eric Toth scored his first career USPHL goal at the 11:54 mark, assisted by Cameron Coogan and Oliver Cabala. The visiting Mavericks would answer back before the end of the period to tie the game going into the first intermission. The second period would see two more goals from the Mavericks and despite battling until the final buzzer, the Mavericks would score two more third period goals to take the victory by a final score of 5-1. Despite the final score, Logan Hensley had a strong game in net for the Stampede, turning aside 45 of 50 shots on the night.

The two teams returned to action on Saturday afternoon, with the Stampede looking to bounce back and even the score on the weekend. After a nearly scoreless first period, the Stampede's Caden Cavalieri opened the tap with a goal at the 19:07 mark, assisted by Lex Roldan. The second period would see plenty of physical and fierce competition from both sides, but no goals, as the Stampede would head into the third period holding onto a 1-0 lead. As the third period got underway, the Stampede rookie forward, Lex Roldan, would extend the home team's lead to two with a goal at the 5:09 mark, assisted by Caden Cavalieri and Nick Botzenhart. Veteran forward, Cameron Coogan would add an insurance tally at the 15:28 mark, assisted by Lex Roldan. As the final seconds of the game ticked away and the visiting Mavericks tried to mount a comeback, veteran forward and recent roster addition, Will Kididis, once a Maverick himself, would score an empty net goal with 45 seconds remaining to secure a 4-0 victory.

While the Stampede's offense put on a strong performance, it was rookie netminder, Blake Micucci who stole the show, stopping all 47 shots he faced to open his USPHL career with shutout.

Following Saturday's victory, Head Coach Brian Thompson reflected on the weekend outing: "Overall, I was happy with our first weekend. I saw a lot of good things from a lot of guys. It's far from a finished product, but the way guys battled all the way through and how hard they worked for each other is a tremendous foundation for us to build on."

The Stampede are back in action this week as they travel to Cincinnati, OH to take on the Cincinnati Cyclones on Thursday and Friday night. You can catch all of the action live on HockeyTV.

Dickie Dunn

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Buffalo Stampede join the usphl for the 2021-22 season!