September 24, 2022
Stampede Sweep the Cyclones
The Buffalo Stampede loaded up the bus for their first road trip of the season this week as they traveled to the Heritage Bank Center along the banks of the Ohio River to take on the Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones in a two-game series. Riding high off of their opening weekend victory, the Stampede carried a head of steam into the series that they were able to translate into a pair of victories.
The series opened with a primetime face-off on Thursday night, as the Stampede played visitor for the Cyclones’ home opener. Despite the hostile environment, the Stampede wasted no time putting points on the scoreboard as Nick Botzenhart scored his first goal of the season just 2:19 into the fist period, assisted by Brendan Bastian. The Cyclones would answer the call at the 15:37 mark to take the game into the first intermission knotted at one.
After a back-and-forth second period, the Stampede regained the lead at the 14:10 mark with an unassisted goal by Connor Payne. The Cyclones would again even the score half-way through the third period with a goal at the 10:26 mark. Despite plenty of scoring chances from both teams, the game would remain tied as the final seconds of regulation ticked off the clock, sending the game into overtime.
As the five minute, 3-on-3 overtime period got underway, both teams again levied numerous scoring chances, attempting to take home the victory and pair of points. As the overtime period drew to a close, Stampede veteran defenseman, Brendan Bastian gathered a loose puck at the point and sent a snapshot through traffic to the back of the net. Lex Roldan picked up the assist on the game-winning goal as the Stampede would secure the victory in game one of the series. Fresh off his 47-save shutout performance the previous weekend, net minder Blake Micucci turned in another strong showing, stopping 35 of 37 shots on the night.
With no love lost, both teams were back in action on Friday night for the second game of the series. Looking to capitalize on the fast paced play that earned them the win the night before, the Stampede again jumped out to an early lead as Lex Roldan scored his second goal of the season just 16 seconds into the game, assisted by Eric Toth. Just seven minutes later, the Stampede would score their second and final goal of the game as Caden Cavalieri buried a beautiful pass from teammate, Connor Payne at the 7:25 mark.
Not wanting to go away without a fight, the Cyclones drew within one as they scored at the 13:38 mark in the first period. Although there was no shortage of action throughout the second and third periods, there would be no more scoring as the Stampede would hold on to their 2-1 lead to secure their second victory and the weekend sweep. Luke Thurmond got his first start of the season in net for the Stampede and turned away 34 of the 35 shots he faced to pick up his first USPHL victory.
The Stampede will enjoy a weekend off to rest and prepare for their first showcase tournament of the season as they travel to Bridgewater Sports Arena for four games in three days during the Jersey Hitmen showcase on October 7th-9th.