LINCOLN, NE. – After taking down the Des Moines Buccaneers in dominate fashion by a score of 5-1 in Omaha last night (4/7), the Lancers traveled to the Ice Box in Lincoln, Nebraska to take on the Stars for game two in a three-game weekend.
The Lancers are 4-3-0-1 against the Stars on the year, as they are looking to stay ahead in head-to-head play with Lincoln to close out the season. And with these two teams facing off again tomorrow (4/9) back at Liberty First Credit Union Arena, the Stars have a shot at ending the season with the lead over the Lancers if they take both games.
During the first 10 minutes of the opening period, Omaha had six minutes on the man advantage, which resulted in them racking up eight shots on Lincoln goaltender Kaiden Mbereko but could not find the back of the net.
After the slashing minor penalty to Carter Schade expired with 10:58 remaining the period, the Lancers led in the shot count 8-5. But they would not get another shot on goal for the rest of the opening period.
Lincoln however, had all the control for the second half of the first period as they closed out the first third of the game leading in the shot count 16-8, and with the 1-0 lead.
Their scoring play started with a feed from Luke Johnson in the neutral zone that found Schade heading into the attacking end as the Lancers were making a line change.
Pasche made the save on the shot from Schade, but the rebound was batted in by Patrick Raftery, giving him his third goal of the year and making it a 1-0 game in which they took into the first intermission.
The Stars’ offense really took off in the second period as they scored four unanswered goals on 19 second period shots.
It started 1:07 into the period as Johnson scored in the same fashion Raftery did in the second period, slamming home a rebound off a save made by Pasche. That goal really kicked off a lot of offensive momentum that was to come for the Stars.
Just over five minutes later, Aiden Thompson scored his 21st goal of the season on a one-timer off a pass from Mason Marcellus to make it a 3-0 game.
That was followed up another five minutes later when Tanner Ludtke scored on a breakaway. Pasche played the breakaway perfectly, but Ludtke threaded the needle and slipped the puck between the post and Pasche’s right skate to make it a 4-0 game.
That goal gave Ludtke his first United States Hockey League point.
The fifth goal of the night came with under a minute left as Thompson netted his second goal of the evening.
Thompson got a pass near the attacking zone from Jo Lemay, skated the perimeter of the offensive zone and backhanded one over the shoulder of Pasche to make it a 5-0 game at the second intermission.
Tommy Heaney started the third period for the Lancers in relief of Kevin Pasche as the Lancers trailed by five, but it only took Lincoln one shot to extend their lead to six.
Gleb Veremyev tipped a shot from Carter Schade that found the upper, blocker side corner on Heaney to make it a 6-0 game just 52 seconds into the third.
Six minutes later Dalton Norris smacked home a one-timer off a feed from Aiden Thompson that whizzed by the glove of Heaney to make it a 7-0 game with still the majority of the third left to play.
It wasn’t until there was 1:28 left in the game when the Stars’ scoring ended with a goal by Lucas Wahlin on a shot that he netted short side off a pass from Mason Marcellous.
The Lancers offense finally found the back of the net with 52 seconds left in the game was Tomas Trunda blew a shot by the glove of Kaiden Mbereko to make it an 8-1 game that the game concluded as.
The Lancers will be back at it tomorrow at home as they will host the Lincoln Stars to close out the weekend. It will be Trading Card Giveaway Night at Liberty First Credit Union Arena as the first 1,000 fans in the door will receive a trading card pack of the 2021-22 Lancers. Puck drop is set for 6:05PM CST. That game can be caught on HockeyTV and Mixlr.