Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 5, 2014

Lancers trounce outmanned Tigers

By Mike Meiler mike.meiler@niagara-gazette.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — AMHERST — Lewiston-Porter was supposed to win Saturday night’s federation hockey game against the Amherst Tigers. The Lancers’ top players made sure of it.

Justin Nichols had a goal and three assists and Joseph Langer scored twice and added a helper as the Lancers cruised to a 6-2 win over the undermanned Tigers in a Division III contest at the Northtown Center. It was the fourth straight victory for the Lancers (7-2), while Amherst (0-7) played the majority of the game with only 10 skaters.

“It was one of those games you could look at as maybe a trap game, but the kids did a good job of staying disciplined, not getting caught up and not playing selfish hockey,” L-P coach Kevin Kirsch said. “They did what they needed to do to get the ‘W.’ “

Nichols opened the scoring with his first goal of the season in league play just 1:06 into the first period, taking a pass from Langer at middle of the blue line and sending a weak wrist shot through a screen and past Amherst goalie Zack Clor.

Langer added on 1:47 later, bouncing off a would-be Tiger check before taking a pass from Nichols and streaking down the right board. Langer cut to the middle and fired a sharp wrister past Clor. Pavel Kuvnutov picked up the secondary assist.

Amherst got on the board 7:40 in, with the speedy Peter Sinagra taking a pass in stride from Will Grisko and beating L-P goalie Chris Carrigan on a breakaway.

Lew-Port (7-2) added another tally on a late power play, drawn when Joseph DeMunda was crosschecked in the Amherst zone. Michael Mokhiber passed from the right corner to Nichols on the blue line, who then quickly moved the puck diagonally across the zone to Scott Meogrossi for an easy tap in.

Nichols had only one point in league games coming into Saturday before tallying three in the first period.

“He’s been playing very, very well lately,” Kirsch said of his defenseman. “He’s given a consistent effort every game, he just hasn’t been in on the offensive side. It was nice for him to get the opportunity to get some points.”

Both teams played solid defense for the majority of a rough-and-tumble second period. Lew-Port took a bench minor for too many men 8:07 in and looked to be in trouble when Carrigan lost his stick. DeMunda came through with a big shot block at the point leading to a clear, and Kuvtunov raced back to push the lost lumber back to his goaltender.

“We talked about it in the locker room, about not getting selfish,” Kirsch said. “We said no ‘me’ hockey, to keep the team first. The guys did a good job of that.”

Langer broke through at the 13:15 mark. Sean Richardson fed the puck to Mokhiber just inside the blue line, and Mokhiber fed a pass toward the front of the net. Langer cut through the slot and deflected the puck past Clor.

The Lancers opened took a commanding lead just before the intermission when Ian Sitek slammed home a rebound from directly in front of the net. Nichols fed Meogrossi for the initial shot, and both picked up assists.

Mokhiber scored the final Lew-Port goal in the third, burying a pass from DeMunda. Sinagra found Ben Battaglia for Amherst to round out the scoring.

Eight Lancers recorded at least a point, and the win was was Carrigan’s first in federation competition. The win gives the Lancers 14 points, which is good for first place in the division and surpasses last year’s total of 12.

Lew-Port takes on undefeated Hamburg on Thursday in a non-league game.

Follow Niagara Gazette sports reporter Mike Meiler on Twitter @mikemeiler for updates on your local teams.