Xpress Continue Late-Season Playoff Push

NIAGARA FALLS — The Southern Tier Xpress continued their last-season push toward the last playoff spot in the North American Tier III Hockey League’s East Division with a 7-2 win over the Niagara Falls PowerHawks on Friday night at the Hyde Park Ice Pavillion.

Goaltender Ryan Pascarella was named First Star after turning aside 38-of-40 shots he faced while six different Xpress players found the back of the net as they remained eight points back of fourth-place Wooster.

Stuart Pearson opened the scoring with his 26th of the season from Michael Lamison to give Southern Tier a 1-0 lead after the first period.

Joey Gerace scored his 13th of the season just 33 seconds into the second period from Chris Dusek to give the Xpress a 2-0 lead. Waltteri Makinen made it 3-0 with his second of the season from Dusek before Nick Wilcox made it 4-0 with his ninth from Nic Allen. Gerace added his second of the game from Michael Lamison less than a minute later.

Brian Grant made it 6-0 with his fourth of the season just 1:39 into the third period from Lamison. Niagara Falls’ Andrew Logar broke up Pascarella’s shutout bid with his 36th of the season from Brandon Schweickert before Tommy Muecke scored his first of the season for the Xpress from Gerace. Logar added his second of the night on the power play from Spencer Hrynczak with less than 12 minutes to go in the game.

Southern Tier and Niagara Falls return to action at 7 p.m. tonight at Northwest Arena.

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