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Chicago Crush Premier Secures Victory Against Buffalo Stampede in USPHL Detroit Showcase


Chicago Crush and Buffalo Stampede battle for the puck | | Photo by Joshua Boyd / USPHL
Chicago Crush and Buffalo Stampede battle for the puck | Photo by Joshua Boyd / USPHL

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich.- In a riveting showdown at Mount Clemens Ice Arena, the Chicago Crush Premier emerged victorious in a hard-fought battle against the Buffalo Stampede, securing a 2-1 win at the 2023 USPHL Detroit Showcase.

#85 Forward Ryan Hammer | Photo by Joshua Boyd / USPHL
#85 Forward Ryan Hammer | Photo by Joshua Boyd / USPHL

The game unfolded with an early strike from Buffalo's Eric Toth, putting his team on the board at 7:17 in the first period with an assist from Scott Sawatzky. However, the Crush Premier responded with a quick turnaround, showcasing their offensive prowess. Ryan Hammer found the back of the net at 15:54, followed by Sam Barnitz extending the lead at 17:46 with an assist from Conor Heniff.


Peter White added insight into the team's performance, stating, "It was a hard-fought game where the boys had to dig deep and really play well defensively to come out with the win."


The Crush Premier dominated the shot count, firing a total of 37 shots compared to the Stampede's 20, reflecting their relentless offensive pressure. Goaltender Andrew Young of the Crush stood tall, making 19 saves out of 20 shots faced, while Buffalo's Charley Healey faced an onslaught, making 35 saves out of 37.

#97 Forward Sam Barnitz | Photo by Joshua Boyd / USPHL
#97 Forward Sam Barnitz | Photo by Joshua Boyd / USPHL

Barnitz, the Owosso Speedway Player of the Game, reflecting on the victory, remarked, "It was a close game, but we were able to come out on top and hold them to one goal."


The physicality of the game was underscored by the penalty minutes, with both teams engaging in heated moments resulting in major penalties and disqualifications for fighting. Spencer Kauke of the Crush and Evan Smith of the Stampede added an extra layer of intensity to an already closely contested matchup, having both been ejected with major penalties and disqualifications for a fiery bout.

#97 Forward Sam Barnitz | Photo by Joshua Boyd / USPHL
#97 Forward Sam Barnitz | Photo by Joshua Boyd / USPHL

With an overall record of 8-3-1-0, the Crush Premier demonstrated consistency both at home (4-1-1-0) and away (4-2-0-0). As they gear up for future matchups, the team focuses on refining their special teams, targeting an improved power play efficiency (currently at 9.62%) and maintaining their solid penalty-killing rate at 86.21%.


Closing out the game with unwavering determination, the Chicago Crush Premier now sets their sights on the Hershey Cubs in a clash scheduled for tomorrow at 3:00 PM EST. For a front-row seat to the excitement, make sure to tune into FloHockey.tv. The adrenaline-fueled Detroit Showcase journey of the Chicago Crush Premier continues, and you won't want to miss a single moment on the ice.

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