Schwartz, Goaltending Lead Vengeance to Sweep of Oilers

Forward Nate Schwartz tallied three goals over the weekend and goaltenders Joel DeSimone and Tyler Hawk stood tall in net as the Vengeance beat the Oilers 3-0 and 4-2 this weekend.

Pittsburgh traveled to Wooster for the opening game Friday night. The teams played out the first to a 0-0 draw, with the Oilers holding a 10-9 edge in shots. The Vengeance turned on the pressure in the middle frame, with Schwartz finally beating Wooster keeper Justyn Gillis by redirecting a Thomas Polster shot on the powerplay. Swedish forward Simon Soderberg added to the Pittsburgh lead in the third period, taking advantage of an Oiler turnover deep in their own zone and converting a wraparound for his third goal of the season.

James Unger added an empty net goal in the final minute, but Schwartz's goal stood as the game winner as DeSimone stopped all 26 Oiler attempts on net for his first shutout of the season in Pittsburgh's 3-0 victory.

The teams hit the road for a Saturday night rematch in Harmar, and the Vengeance wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Defenseman Justin Bioni threw his entire body into a onetimer from the blueline, and the seeing eye puck trickled through Oiler goalie Tim Carpenter for Bioni's third of the season just 43 seconds into the game. Hawk built a wall in the first period, stopping several Wooster odd man rushes to hold the lead. Schwartz added his second goal of the weekend and 6th of the season halfway through the frame, capitalizing on a 2-on-1 with Zachary Servidio notching the assist.

The score remained 2-0 until the third period, when Wooster was finally able to put a point on the board after 166 shutout minutes against the Vengeance this season. A nifty move by Matt Kesto and a powerplay redirection by Hunter Hillebrecht drew the game even at 2-2 12 minutes into the final frame. Schwartz quickly answered the bell for the Vengeance, forcing a turnover at the Oiler blueline and scoring while falling down to regain the lead for the Vengeance. Just over two minutes later, the Vengeance added an insurance marker as Jacob Friedman sprung Austin Martz on a powerplay breakaway with a beautiful cross ice stretch pass that Martz quickly deposited into the Oiler goal for the 4-2 lead. Hawk kept the Oiler total to two, and the Vengeance held on for their 5th straight win. Servidio finished the evening with helpers on 3 of the 4 Pittsburgh goals.

Pittsburgh improved their record to 10-5 on the season, good for 2nd place in the NA3HL East. The boys will head to Binghamton next Saturday and Sunday for a series with the Northeast Division leading Jr Senators.