LINCOLN, NE. – The Omaha Lancers made the 43-mile trip down I-80, to take on the Lincoln Stars for the second time this season. The two squads have not seen each other in a little over a month, dating back to Head Coach Gary Graham’s first game with the Lancers on November 27th, which resulted in a 2-1 Omaha victory.
The Lancers were looking to keep the momentum they picked up after taking down the Sioux City Musketeers the night before (12/31) in front of a nearly sold-out Tyson Events Center.
As for the Lincoln Stars, they had a different turn out on New Year’s Eve, resulting in a 7-1 loss to the first place, Tri-City Storm.
The first period brought a lot of excitement to the arena, as both teams wasted no time trying to pick up quality scoring chances.
The Lancers were handed a power-play just three minutes into the matchup. It triggered some great puck movement in the offensive zone, but even better defense by the Stars to keep the Lancers out of the slot area.
It took 6:41 for the Lancers to strike in this one. A great play setup by Owen Fowler and Jared Wright left Morgan Winters open in the attacking zone as he blasted a shot by Stars goaltender, Cameron Whitehead. Making it a 1-0 lead for the Lancers, which is the lead they took into the first intermission.
Kevin Pasche stood strong in net for Omaha as he stopped all 14 shots he faced in the opening period.
The second period triggered a big offensive burst from the Stars. Outshooting the Lancers 16-4 in the period allowed them to tie the game up at one goal apiece at the halfway point of the period.
While having great puck control in the offensive zone, Noah Laba found Gleb Veremyev, who fed second place point-getter, Dalton Norris at the point. Norris then walked into the high slot and got a wrist shot by the glove of Omaha goaltender, Kevin Pasche. Making it a 1-1 game, which is the score that carried into the second intermission.
The third period brought equal amounts of intensity from both squads. Contributing to double-digit shots on goal for both sides, and some miraculous goaltending from Pasche and Whitehead. Which ended up sending the game into overtime locked at a 1-1 tie.
The overtime period started with momentum from Omaha, but following a puck out of play, switched up.
The Stars found control in the offensive zone and held it for two minutes of play.
It wasn’t until Joe Lemay got a pass from Laba to net the game-winner, which snuck its way through Pasche.
Kevin Pasche ended tonight’s matchup with 39 saves on 41 shots, and one goal against. Giving him a 0.951 save percentage on the night.
The Lancers will be back in action on January 7th at Liberty First Credit Union Arena in Omaha for a game against the Fargo Force. Puck is set to drop at 7:05 PM, and that game can be caught on HockeyTV and Mixlr.