The Armory hosted The Rapids at Blue Cross Arena Monday night and prevailed by the same margin as last Thursday, winning 13-9 following an action-packed fourth quarter.
The Armory’s offense was led by Lukas Stanat (2+1) and Luke Pilcher (3+1) while Jahmeir Warfield (3+0) notched a hat trick on transition goals. With Casey McDermott still sidelined with an injury, Mark Belles (1+0) was back following an absence on Thursday. Goaltender William Dempsey posted another standout performance in the cage, proving time and time again he is the most seasoned netminder in the UCBLL.
The Armory came out firing in the first quarter with their first goal of the game from Stanat, who snagged a rebound at the top of the offensive zone and ripped it into the bottom corner to go up 1-0.
The next marker came four minutes later with Warfield scoring his first fast-break goal of the night. The Rapids scored a transition goal of their own minutes later from Keion Whitcomb. Pilcher and Stanat combined to push the lead back to a pair then Pilcher scored his second of the night to extend the lead to three.
Despite the Rapids trailing down 4-1, Christian Watts found the net on a power-play with 35 seconds left on the clock before Connor Boss put one in with 10 seconds left to bring the score to 4-3 heading into the second quarter.
No momentum appeared for either team at the start of the second as they both went back and forth with opportunities, but timely saves from Dempsey and Connor Waller kept the score a one-goal affair.
Belles finally broke through on the power-play with an assist from Pilcher, followed by a goal from Kody Gould to extend the lead back to three. Kellen Pulera snagged a power-play goal for the Rapids with just under five minutes to go, but Alec Constable responded on the following possession to re-establish the three-cushion heading into the half.
Another slow start ensued in the third quarter as the score stood at 7-4 before Warfield notched his second fast-break goal of the contest. Pulera and Watts responded with two goals to bring the Rapids to their closest margin of the second half. Stanat scored his second with 25 seconds left in the frame to push the score to 9-6 in favor of the Armory headed into the fourth quarter.
The Armory carried their momentum from the Stanat goal into the fourth as Rioux Johnson showed off his stick skills and visionary passing, when he scored an unassisted tally by sending the ball in the top right corner.
The marker was followed by Logan Lemelbaum (1+1) and Nathan Schultzkie (0+1) combining for a fast-break transition goal of their own. Xavier Taylor scored back-to-back goals to bring life to the Rapids, bringing them to 11-8 with 3:20 to go.
However, the Armory proved to want it more as Pilcher completed his hat trick with a perfectly executed dunk from behind the goal.
Austin Blumbergs got another for the Rapids to make it a three-goal deficit, but it proved to be too little too late, as Warfield sealed his hat trick to close out the 13-9 score by Mitch White.