OMAHA, NE. - The fourth place Lancers faced off against the fifth place Waterloo Black Hawks at Liberty First Credit Union Arena for the first time since October 15, 2021.
The Lancers, who were coming into the matchup with only picking up one point out of the previous eight available, were allowing the large gap in points they had over the Black Hawks in the western conference standings close to just five points. Meaning this was a very important game for the two squads.
The first period was dead silent on the scoreboard as both goaltenders stood tall through the opening 20 minutes.
Omaha goaltender, Kevin Pasche was a perfect 5/5 in shots faced and saves made, as Waterloo goalie, Emmett Croteau was 9/9.
It was not until 7:54 into the second period when the scoring got going.
Tanner Rowe picked up a loose puck in the Lancers' defensive zone and chipped it up to Matt Romer. Romer was able to find Cade Ahrenholz at the opposite blue line, as he was able to head in all alone and beat Croteau over the glove hand, making it a 1-0 game.
The Lancers took over ten minutes to extend on their lead as Frank D'Ancona picked up a high-sticking penalty at the 15:55 mark of the second period.
Jared Wright pressured a Black Hawk defenseman at the blue line and pick-pocketed him, leading to a breakaway.
The chasing defenseman tripped Wright, making him fall on his knees, and triggering a delayed penalty. However, Wright got back to his feet and netted a shot glove side on Croteau, giving Wright a shorthanded goal, and his 11th goal of the year.
The Lancers took their 2-0 lead into the second intermission.
Late in the third period is when Waterloo finally cut the lead in half. With just over four minutes to go, a shot from Black Hawks defenseman Patrick Geary got knocked down in front of Pasche, allowing a tap in goal on the back door for James Hong. Making the Lancers lead fall to 2-1.
Just over 90 seconds later, the Lancers found themselves on the power-play.
Romer, fresh off a draw, moved the puck around the attacking net and found Chris Hedden at the blue line. Hedden took a few steps in and blasted a slap shot through traffic. And with Croteau's bad vision on the shot, it found the back of the net to cap off a 3-1 win for the Lancers.
The Lancers still remain if fourth place in the western conference standings with a record of 23-14-4-2, as third and second place in the conference are in reach for the weekend.
This victory also gave Rob Rassey his first win as the Omaha Lancers' Head Coach.
The Lancers will be back in action this Friday, March 4th for a 7:05PM CST puck drop at Liberty First Credit Union Arena for another meeting with the Sioux Falls Stampede. That game can be caught on Mixlr and Hockey.