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By Nick Blaesser, 02/06/22, 8:15PM CST


Omaha Hops Lincoln and Sioux City To Take Back Second Place In The Western Conference

OMAHA, NE. - After a 5-1 loss to the Lincoln Stars on the road last night (2/5), the Lancers were looking to bounce back and regain their footing in the western conference standings. 

Last night's loss caused Omaha to fall from third, back into fourth place in the west as Lincoln tied them in points and winning percentage, but took the lead in head-to-head play. Giving the Stars the advantage in the standings. 

The Lancers knew that coming up with two points in any fashion, would allow them to bounce both Lincoln and Sioux City to take back second place in the western conference standings. 

Omaha opened up the scoring 10:42 into the first period, as Chris Hedden found Riley Rosenthal in the attacking zone. Rosenthal skated into the left side face-off dot and found the back of the net on the low blocker side of Lincoln's goaltender, Cameron Whitehead.

That goal was Rosenthal's first of the season, and extends Hedden's point streak to four games. It also ended up being the lone goal of the first period, as the Lancers brought the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Omaha wasted no time to extend on their lead in the second period as just under a minute and a half in, Garrett Wright picked up a loose puck in the Lancer's defensive zone and immediately found Michael Cameron. 

Cameron was able to take the puck end-to-end when he found Cade Ahrenholz ready at the backdoor. He snuck as pass by a Stars' defenseman and Ahrenholz chipped a shot by the left leg pad of Whitehead to take the 2-0 lead early in the period. 

Just five minutes later, Lincoln cut the lead in half while on the power-play.

In the closing seconds of a Kennedy O'Connor boarding penalty, Antonio Fernandez had the puck down low in the attacking zone and completed a pass back to Carter Schade at the blue line.

Schade moved the puck towards the right side face-off circle to Mason Marcellus. Marcellus launched a wrist-shot through traffic to make the score 2-1, 6:30 into the second. 

The G. Wright-Cameron-Ahrenholz line struck again just over two and a half minutes later. 

Ahrenholz won a loose puck battle along the boards in the attacking zone, and was able to move the puck down to Cameron. G. Wright was the late man into the zone as he came charging into the slot. Cameron hit him with a pass and he managed to beat Whitehead five-hole to take the 3-1 lead. 

Strong defense from the Lancers for the remainder of the second period allowed them to take their two goal lead into the final period of play. 

The third period of play was when Lincoln's offense really got back to work. 

The Stars picked up another power-play goal 6:56 into the period as another shot through traffic, this time from Fernandez, beat Lancer goaltender Tommy Heaney blocker side to cut the Lancer's lead to 3-2. 

In the closing minutes of regulation, a quick whistle by the official overturned a Lincoln goal, keeping the Lancers in front by one.

But just a moment later, the Stars' top line of offense got the puck moving again in the attacking zone. 

Lincoln point leader, Aiden Thompson found captain, Dalton Norris who blasted a one-timer past Heaney's glove to knot the game up, 3-3 and forced overtime. 

The five-minute 3-on-3 overtime period consisted of three shots a side, but no scoring. Taking the Lancers to their second shootout in four games. 

The Lancers opted to shoot second, and the first three rounds consisted of the following:

Lincoln: Mason Marcellus - No Goal // Antonio Fernandez - No Goal // Aidan Thompson - No Goal

Omaha: Chris Hedden - No Goal // Riley Rosenthal - No Goal // Luke Strickland - No Goal

The fourth round of the shootout started with an attempt from Lucas Wahlin of the Stars. As he moved in on Heaney, he lost control of the puck, resulting in no goal. 

The fourth shooter for the Lancers was Tomas Trunda. Trunda moved in and netted a routine wrist shot over the glove hand of Whitehead to cap off the 4-3 shootout win for Omaha. 

Tonight's win allowed the Lancers to move back into second place in the western conference over the Lincoln Stars and Sioux City Musketeers with a 20-11-3-2 record.

The Lancers will be back in action Saturday, February 12th as they head back to Lincoln to take on the Stars once again. Puck is set to drop at 6:05PM. That game can be caught on HockeyTV and Mixlr.