SIOUX CITY, IA. – After picking up a victory against the Waterloo Black Hawks on Tuesday (3/1) by a score of 3-1 and taking down the Sioux Falls Stampede last night (3/4), the Lancers were ready to give a six point week a shot against the Sioux City Musketeers, on the road.
Heading into the matchup, both teams are currently tied at 54 points in the western conference standings, meaning the victors of tonight’s matchup (3/5) will sit alone in third place, only trailing the Lincoln Stars and Tri-City Storm.
The last time these two squads saw each other was back on January 14th, which resulted in a dominate 7-3 victory for Sioux City.
With both teams hungry for third place, the stage was set for a solid matchup.
The first period was an action packed one with both teams picking up multiple quality scoring chances, but the goaltending came out on top in every instance.
Shots on goal at the conclusion of the first period was 10-9 in favor of the Musketeers. And with both offenses going strong, but unable to find the back of the net, the teams headed into the first intermission locked in a 0-0 tie.
Sioux City broke the ice just 28 seconds into the second period as a pass from Sam Deckhut in the neutral zone found Ben Steeves heading into the offensive zone.
As the Lancers’ defense closed in on him, he slipped a pass over to Ben Doran on the near side who ended up netting a snapshot over the glove hand of Omaha goaltender, Kevin Pasche to take the 1-0 lead.
The Lancers bounced back just over five and a half minutes later as great stick handling behind the attacking net by Vincent Salice allowed him to slip a pass out front to Connor Welsh.
Welsh ripped a one-timer which was stuffed by Sioux City goalie, Alex Tracy. However, the rebound went straight into the air, where Ryan Gillespie batted the puck out of mid-air to knot the game at one goal apiece.
Just 3:32 later, Ben Doran picked up his second goal of the night for the Musketeers off a shot from Deckhut. Deckhut’s shot appeared to be going straight to the chest of Pasche, but Doran was able to redirect the shot five-hole, to take the 2-1 lead, in which they took into the second intermission.
Shots on goal through 40 minutes was 24-19 in favor of the Musketeers.
The third period brought on the most scoring as Ralf Bergmanis buried a rebound by Pasche in the opening five minutes of the period to take the 3-1 lead.
That was followed up just minutes later as a loose puck down low found the stick of Steeves who completed a pass through Pasche’s crease to Bennett Schimek, who bashed in the fourth goal of the night for Sioux City, extending their lead to 4-1.
The Lancers were able to pull within two goals late in the period as Kennedy O’Connor netted his first goal of the season as he found the five-hole on Tracy to make it a 4-2 game with 4:08 remaining. Jared Wright and Morgan Winters picked up assists on that one.
Following a Musketeers penalty to Kirklan Irey with 2:30 left to play, the Lancers immediately pulled Pasche from the net for 6-on-4 hockey.
After over a minute and a half of offensive pressure, Tabor Heaslip missed the net on a 200-foot shot, but Owen Fowler beat out Ethan Elias for the loose puck and scored on the empty net to seal a 5-2 victory for Sioux City.
The Lancers will remain in fourth place in the western conference, still hanging onto the last playoff spot to earn home ice advantage through at least the first round. And with Waterloo’s loss to Des Moines, they still have a nine point lead on the fifth place Black Hawks.
The Lancers will be back in action on Friday, March 11th as they will begin a three game weekend on the road against the Lincoln Stars. Puck is set to drop at 7:05PM CST. That game can be caught on Mixlr and HockeyTV.