The Pittsburgh Vengeance traveled to Niagara Falls to take on the PowerHawks to open the 2017-2018 campaign. The game started well as Ben Oslick scored on a wrap around with an assist going to Nick Erker to put Pittsburgh up 1-0. The PowerHawks evened it at 1-1 late in the first to send it into intermission. The game would remain 1-1 until the PowerHawks would add two late goals to make it 3-1 after two periods of play. Niagara Falls scored an early goal in the third to make 4-1 before Pittsburgh would counter with a Dom Glavach goal with an assist going to Jacob Friedman to cut the deficit to 4-2. It would remain that way until Zachary Servidio brought Pittsburgh within one at 4-3 with assists going to Chris Sturny and Glavach. The PowerHawks struck back 18 seconds later on a complete defensive breakdown by the Vengeance to make it 5-3. Glavach would score for Pittsburgh with the goalie pulled to make it 5-4 with 26 seconds left with Struny and Friedman getting assists. Pittsburgh applied heavy pressure late but couldn’t put in the equalizer, and the Powerhawks left Hyde Park Arena with a 5-4 victory. Jacob Zab stopped 35 of 40 shots in net for the loss as Pittsburgh fell to 0-1 on the new season.
“We played an awful all around game when it comes to discipline, structure and the compete level it takes to win at this level,” said Coach Dorsey. “We need to be a lot better as a group and learn the definition of accountability.”
Pittsburgh would take on the PowerHawks again on Sunday afternoon looking for a better result than Saturday night’s defeat. Lukas Kirk would score his first career goal to open up the scoring for the Vengeance with an assist going to Marks Meszargs. Kirk would add his second of the game 13 seconds later with assists going to Ben Oslick and Meszargs to put the Vengeance up 2-0 after one period of play. Dom Glavach would score a minute into the second period to put Pittsburgh up 3-0 with assists going to Zachary Servidio and Justin Bioni. Kirk would finish the hat trick and put Pittsburgh up 4-0 with an assists going to Ian Edgar and Oslick. The Powerhawks would cut it to 4-1 before Meszargs would make it 5-1 Pittsburgh on the power play with an assist going to Bioni. Niagara Falls refused to back down, adding two late goals to cut the deficit to 5-3 after two periods of play. Austen Zimmerman scored early in the third to give Pittsburgh a 6-3 lead with assists going to Justin Shepherd and Kirk. Bioni added a power play tally to put Pittsburgh up 7-3 with assists going to Jacob Friedman and Meszargs. Glavach added a short handed unassisted empty net goal to give the Vengeance a 8-3 lead. The Powerhawks would add a late power play goal but that would be it as Pittsburgh would win 8-4 for their first victory of the season. Pittsburgh goalie Caden Shell stopped 27 out of 31 Powerhawk shots for his first career junior victory.
“We played much better today in spurts but we need to have more focus as a group especially in the defensive zone,’ said Coach Dorsey.
The Vengeance will host the Toledo Cherokee in an East Division match up this weekend at Alpha Ice Complex in Harmar, Pa. The home opener is Saturday evening at 6:30, with a Sunday Matinee rematch at 11:40.