Pittsburgh traveled to the hostile confines of Jamestown, NY to take on the always tough Southern Tier Xpress on Friday night. The game's opening period was scoreless, with both teams failing to convert on quality chances. Pittsburgh grabbed the lead early in the second period on Nick Lyon's 5th goal of the season, assisted by Kenny White and Cam Williams. Pittsburgh went ahead 2-0 on a Brian Dee goal with assists going to Dom Glavach and James Unger. The Xpress struck back late in the middle frame to make it 2-1 Pittsburgh after two periods of play. Dillon Joyce added an insurance marker six minutes into the final period with an outstanding individual effort to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead. Joel De Simone stopped 26 out of 27 in goal for his 8th straight win in net.
"We didn't have our best game tonight but De Simone made the big save when we needed it," said Coach Dorsey. "Southern Tier plays very hard and it took us a while to get up to their compete level."
Pittsburgh hosted the Xpress on Saturday night at the Alpha Ice Complex in Harmarville looking to sweep the weekend series. Southern Tier jumped out to an early 1-0 lead before Pittsburgh drew even on a Glavach goal with assists going to Justin Shepherd and Thomas Polster. The teams skated to a 1-1 first period despite the shots favoring the Vengeance 15-5. Saturday's second period will go down as one of the most exciting periods of the Vengeance season, as the teams combined to score 7 goals. Dee opened the scoring, putting the Vengeance up 2-1 with assists going to White and Glavach. The Xpress answered with two goals only 11 seconds apart to retake the lead, and Coach Dorsey looked to backup netminder Jacob Zab to kickstart the rest of the Vengeance team. Dee answered the call once again, tying the game on the power play with assists going to Williams and Unger. Vincent Casale put Pittsburgh up 4-3 on a wrist shot from the slot assisted by Cam Smith and Nolan Puhala. Glavach notched his second of the night to give the Vengeance a 5-3 lead with assists going to Dee and Joyce. Pittsburgh extended their lead to three on a late goal by Joyce with assists going to Glavach and Polster.
"Its definitely not the way we want to play but we competed hard," said Coach Dorsey of the second period. Southern Tier struck again early in the third period of play to cut the deficit to 6-4 before Casale would scored his second of the game from White and Smith to give Pittsburgh a 7-4 victory. Zab finished with 15 saves on 16 shots in the net for his first career victory.
"Zab made a lot big saves early that enabled us to right the ship. He was really sharp considering he hadn't seen game action in some time," said Coach Dorsey.
Pittsburgh has the week off for the Thanksgiving break and will return to action versus the same Southern Tier Xpress on December 3 in Jamestown and December 4 at 11:40 am at Alpha Ice.
The Pittsburgh Vengeance organization would like to thank all of the parents, billet hosts, volunteers, and staff for making what we do possible. We wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving Holiday.