Pittsburgh rallies again to win game two of their best of three series 1st Round 3HL Playoffs against the Toledo Cherokee. Similar to Game 1, the Vengeance fell behind the Cherokee by 2 goals. First period goals from Kyle Downey and Brody Duncan put the Vengeance in a familiar place. With no goals by either team in the second, the Vengeance faced an even tougher challenge than in game one of the series, but this time at the Cherokee’s Ice House.
With only 20 minutes to work with, the Vengeance began to pressure the Cherokee early and they scored on their first shot a little over 5 minutes into the period with a man advantage. Pittsburgh’s Eli Lynn got the Vengeance on the board with assists from Henry and Arifi. Then, in the next minute and a half, team Captain Michael Straub buried a tying goal assisted by Lynn.
With tensions high on both sides, late in the third, Vengeance forward Parker Henry who had the Game winner in overtime of the first series game, snuck one by Toledo’s net minder for the go ahead goal. Assisting on that goal were defensive pairing Michael Straub and Adem Arifi.
A stunned Toledo team fought back for the final two and a half minutes, but the Vengeance smothered them each time they entered the offensive zone. Final results were no shots on net by the Cherokee and a first round win for the Vengeance. The final score, was the same as Friday night’s game 3-2 with Pittsburgh on top and after this one, advancing to Round Two of the 3HL Playoffs.
Shots were fairly balanced throughout the game at 28/29 but Pittsburgh’s Jake Stack (pictured) proved to best Toledo’s net minder through the third period giving his team a chance to mount their comeback again. Stack closed out the First Round Series with a .937 save percentage. Contributions from everyone paid off as the team never lost sight of their team goals. The team proved that hard work doing all the little things right really does pay off. The two wins were definitely a team effort.
Next up for the Vengeance are the Metro Jets. Metro won their best of Three Game series against the Southern Tier XPress two games to none. Like Pittsburgh, Metro won one in regulation and one in OT. Pittsburgh and Metro each ended the season with 66 points and Metro taking first place and the #1 seed based on the Leagues tie breaker. The 2nd round series should be just as exciting as the 1st Round for each team and their fans.