Pittsburgh traveled to Blaine, Minnesota to compete in the NA3HL showcase for the weekend of December 16th thru 18th. Pittsburgh faced the Granite City Lumberjacks in the first game on Friday afternoon. Granite jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the first before Austin Martz would tie it on a power play goal at 1-1 with assists going to Gavin Cummings and Brian Dee. It would remain tied heading into the second period before Granite City would score twice to take a 3-1 lead heading to the third period. Cam Smith would score late to cut the lead to 3-2 with assists going Anthony Szurlej and Dee. The Vengeance would get a couple good looks with the goalie pulled but Granite City would hold on for a 3-2 victory. Joel De Simone would stop 45 of 48 in the net for the tough luck loss.
“De Simone was great and we really didn’t muster any offense except late in the game,” said Coach Dorsey. “That’s a very good hockey team and you need to show up from the drop of the puck,” added Dorsey.
Game two on Saturday would be versus the La Crosse Freeze with both teams looking for their first victory of the showcase. Chris Harvey would bang home a rebound early to put Pittsburgh up 1-0 with assists going to Patrick Swain and Thomas Polster. Nolan Puhala would put Pittsburgh up 2-0 after one period of play with assists going to Vincent Casale and Cam Smith. La Crosse would strike early to cut the lead to 2-1 before Smith would score on a one time shot on great pass from Casale. The Vengeance would take a 3-1 lead into the third as Cam Williams would score on the power player from Austin Martz and James Unger to ice the game and give the Vengeance a 4-1 victory. Joel De Simone would stop 29 out of 30 in the net for the victory.
“The Smitty and Harvey lines gave us a ton of good minutes and De Simone was big early in the second when we struggled,” said Coach Dorsey.
The final game of the showcase would be a battle of 1-1 teams as Pittsburgh would take on the Euless Stars. Pittsburgh would play their best game yet with a resounding 8-1 victory over Euless to head into the Holiday break. “We played one of our best games of the year and never stopped skating,” said Coach Dorsey “We need to play like this all the time as a group to be successful,” added Dorsey.
Pittsburgh enjoyed a two week holiday break and are returning to the ice this weekend, traveling to Wooster for a Friday night tilt before heading back to the Alpha Ice Complex to host the Binghamton Jr Senators Saturday night at 6:30 and Sunday afternoon with an 11:40 am puck drop.