Elmira hit the road on Friday night as they traveled up to Lockport to battle the Buffalo Stampede in the first half of a home-and-home series and captured a 5-2 victory. Last night marked the start of a new chapter for the organization as it was not only the home opener, but the first game at the team’s new home, Murray Athletic Center.
Luke Remenyi was tasked with seeing 52 shots on Friday and denied 47, as the Stampede switched gears and went to Joseph Willis for the weekend finale. Svens Sokolovskis was sharp in goal for the Junior Enforcers turning away 28 of 30 on Friday, and Joe Holguin took the reigns between the pipes for Elmira yesterday.
The Junior Enforcers quickly got their legs out underneath them in the first period with just 4:34 having gone by. Jordan Grella pushed a loose puck out to Ethan Softley who ripped a clean slap shot top shelf glove side on Willis to make it a 1-0 Elmira advantage. The Stampede continued to push anything and everything on goal throughout the frame and were finally rewarded with just over two minutes to go until the break, when Max Ciepela wedged one just inside the left side post to even it up 1-1.
With the 15-minute intermission in the books, Glen Patterson and Nick Pagliacci’s squad came out with a vengeance in Period #2 quickly turning the tables, sending a six spot to the board. Only 2:19 passed by before Jordan Grella forced a turnover in the defensive end and took it to the house to give Elmira a 2-1 lead. The big story of the period occurred upon the Wyatt Swonger roughing minor 9:49 in. Andrew O’Connor lit up Buffalo for two shorthanded goals 1:32 apart for the third and fourth Junior Enforcers goals of the game.
Jared Hayden stretched it to a 5-1 score in favor of green and black going in for a beauty, crossing through the right-wing circle and poking one by Willis on a second chance 12:13 in. Jordan Grella netted his second goal of the game :54 later taking a feed from Logan Hawley to the net, and Ty Ulanowicz capped off the period with a lamp lighter of his own to make it 7-1 after forty minutes of play.
Despite changing goalies with Matt McDermott taking over for the Stampede for the final period and the visiting group outshooting Elmira by a land slide, Buffalo was only able to slide one more in via Jace Cranston to leave the score 7-2 Elmira as tensions brewed over the final minutes.
The team is back in action on Thursday, October 7th as they square off with the Jersey Whalers at 12:50pm in the first of the four scheduled games at the 2021 Jersey Hitmen Classic Showcase. Elmira next plays at home on Saturday, October 23rd vs Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights at 1pm on Costume Night/Halloween At The Rink. Grab your tickets now by visiting jrenforcers.com/tickets/.