DES MOINES, IA. – After taking down the Fargo Force back in Omaha last night (1/7) the Lancers start a three game road trip tonight as they take on the 7th place Des Moines Buccaneers at Buccaneer Arena.
Back before the holiday break, these two squads exchanged 5-1 victories. Each team winning in their home game in the home-and-home series.
The first period of play started off even with both teams forcing an equal amount of pressure in their respected offensive zones.
It wasn’t until the Lancers found themselves on the power-play just over the halfway point of the period when a fanned shot by Hunter McDonald triggered a breakaway for Cade Destefani, which resulted in the first goal of the game.
Just five minutes later, with 1:48 left in the period, the Lancers turned the puck over in the neutral zone. Davis Burnside found the puck on his stick in which he fed Jackson Dorrington heading into the attacking zone. Dorrington found himself in all alone on Omaha goaltender, Tommy Heaney, in which he scored the second goal of the night. Giving Des Moines a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Both squads found nothing in the second period, but Des Moines had the overall control as they put up ten shots on goal compared to the Lancers’ three shots.
A strong performance from Heaney back in net for Omaha kept them within reach throughout the whole second period.
The third period is when Omaha turned it up.
Just 14 seconds into the period, Vincent Salice found Luke Strickland who smacked one home to make it a 2-1 game, which caused an offensive spark.
Two minutes later, Kennedy O’Connor found Matt Romer with a pass through traffic, who then beat Buccaneer goaltender, Remington Keopple blocker side to knot it up a two goals a side with 90 percent of the third period still to play.
It took 11 minutes for Omaha to strike again, but when they did, it was Strickland once again.
Salice found Ethan Elias in the corner, who fed Strickland at the point. A shot from 55 feet tipped off a Des Moines defenseman and beat Keopple blocker side once again to give Omaha a 3-2 lead. Giving Strickland his second goal of the night, Salice his second assist, and Elias his fourth assist on the weekend.
Four minutes following Strickland’s second goal, Chris Hedden decided to score his first goal as a Lancer. With the play being constructed by Riley Rosenthal and Garrett Wright, Hedden launched a shot from the left side faceoff dot that beat Keopple up high, making it a 4-2 game with 2:29 left to play.
The Buccaneers pulled Keopple for the extra attacker, making it six-on-five hockey.
Buccaneers point leader Scout Truman hit Mitchell Wolfe with a pass at the point, who found Killian Kiecker-Olson on the backdoor, as he blew a shot by Heaney’s glove. Pulling Des Moines within one goal and making it a 4-3 game.
After the play resumed following Kiecker-Olson’s goal, the Buccaneers yanked the goalie again.
After 90 seconds of nail-biting hockey, Jared Wright came out with the puck after a battle along the boards and netted an 190 foot shot into the empty net to seal the 5-3 victory for the Lancers.
With the Sioux City Musketeers falling to the Fargo Force tonight, the Lancers sit alone in second place in the Western Conference at a record of 16-7-3-1.
The Lancers will be back in action on Friday, January 14th as we take on the Musketeers of Sioux City at Tyson Events Center for a 7:05PM puck drop. That game can be caught on HockeyTV and MixLR.