The Southern Tier Xpress completed a winning weekend with a 5-4 victory over the Louisiana Drillers in their final game of the NA3HL Showcase at the Schwan Super Rink.
The Xpress built a 4-1 lead early in the third period only to see the Drillers rally to tie the game just over three minutes later.
Santeri Rajakallio made sure the Xpress effort didn’t go to waste, scoring the game-winning goal with 1:25 remaining on assists from Cameron Trejchel and Bradley Delenko. The goal was Rajakallio’s ninth of the season.
After a scoreless first period, Southern Tier took a 1-0 lead 4:34 into the second when Trejchel scored his 11th goal of the season short-handed from Joshua Malin and Joey Gerace.
Louisiana tied the game just 40 seconds later on the power play when Niki Raiskio scored his second of the season from Davis Van Gemerden and Brandon Prewett.
The Xpress regained the lead at the 13:15 mark of the second period when Joshua Bostic scored his second of the season from Gerace.
Tristan Mock gave Southern Tier a 3-1 lead just 56 seconds into the third period when he scored from Arttu Rajamaki and Devin Laird before Matthew Crosby made it 4-1 in favor of the Xpress with his sixth of the season short-handed from Trejchel.
The Drillers answered when Prewett scored from Van Gemerden on the power play at 6:08, Raiskio scored on the power play from Mitch Dolese and Timothy Zittel at 7:17 and Van Gemerden scored from Raiskio at 7:58.
The Xpress then pulled starting goaltender Harrison Vangellow, who stopped 16 of 20 shots he faced, and replaced him with Ryan Pascarella, who stopped five shots over the final 12 minutes for the win.
Louisiana goaltender Kevin Lake stopped 58 of the 63 Southern Tier shots he faced.
The Drillers finished 3 for 5 on the power play while the Xpress were 0 for 7 with the man-advantage.
The teams combined for 24 penalties totaling 64 minutes.
Original article by The Post-Journal.