KEARNEY, NE. – After falling to the Sioux Falls Stampede by a score of 5-2 on the road last Wednesday (3/23), the Lancers kick off a two game weekend in Kearney, Nebraska to take on the top team in the United States Hockey League, the Tri-City Storm.
The Lancers are currently the only team in the western conference without a losing record against Tri-City, as they sit at 3-3-1-0 on the year, including being 3-1-0-0 in their last four meetings.
After not being able to clinch a spot in the 2022 Clark Cup Playoffs against the Stampede earlier in the week, the Lancers have their eyes on the prize against the Anderson Cup chasing Storm.
The Lancers had a hot start in the beginning of the first period as they found themselves with four shots on goal in the first few minutes, and found the back of the net first as well.
Just 3:16 into the period, Michael Cameron fetched a puck in the corner and ripped an odd angle shot from the goal line. Tri-City goaltender, Sabastian Wraneschitz made the save, but failed to locate the loose puck before Cam Mitchell smacked it by his blocker to take the early 1-0 lead.
After that goal, the Lancers’ offense went cold for over ten minutes as the Storm racked up offensive opportunities, eventually leading to their first goal of the evening.
Mitchell Miller got a pass from Matt Basgall and found Ilya Nikolaev down low. Lancers’ goaltender, Kevin Pasche was anticipating a one-timer, but found Nikolaev moving even lower in the zone, and beat him to his post to tie the game 1-1.
The Lancers found more momentum toward the end of the period, as the shot count through 20 minutes was 13-9, but failed to score as we were all tied up through the first period of play.
The second period was controlled by the Tri-City Storm all the way through.
The Strom were able to outshoot the Lancers 12-3 in that period alone, leading to them scoring the go-ahead goal.
Nikolaev found Mitchell on the backdoor as he was able to tip the puck on net. The puck tipped off the left side post, bounced off Pasche’s back, and find the back of the net to take the 2-1 lead in which they took into the second intermission. Making the Storm 2/2 on the power-play.
The third period of play was another one controlled by the Storm, but the Lancers had a few chances in the attacking zone late in the period, but Wraneschitz stood tall, leading Tri-City to a 2-1 victory over Omaha.
Kevin Pasche had an incredible night between the pipes, stopping 34/36 shots faced as he played his part in keeping his team in it.
The Lancers’ playoff push continues into tomorrow evening as the Sioux Falls Stampede fell to the Lincoln Stars by a score of 7-2 tonight. But with the Lancers with picking up no points this evening, they still have to clinch their position.
The Lancers will be back in action tomorrow night (3/26) as they take on the Tri-City Storm once again. Puck is set to drop at 7:05PM CST. That game can be caught on HockeyTV and Mixlr.