SIOUX CITY, IA. – After falling by a score of 4-1 at back at home last night (4/22), the Lancers are looking to even up the weekend series with a victory over the Sioux City Musketeers and get some momentum heading into the first round of the playoffs that kicks off Monday night (4/25).
Once again, not much to play for as both squads in this one have their playoff spots clinched and cannot advance or drop in the western conference standings, as the Lancers healthy scratched five of their top forwards, Evan Werner, Morgan Winters, Jared Wright, Cam Mitchell and Michael Cameron. As well as top defenseman, Kennedy O’Connor to not risk injury.
The first period had a hot start for the Musketeers as just one minute in, they had the 1-0 lead.
Dylan James carried the puck in front of the net, dodged a poke-check from Lancers’ goaltender, Tommy Heaney and got the puck in on the far side. Giving James his 28th goal of the year and handing Owen McLaughlin his 44th assist on the season.
It was not until the closing minutes of the period when Sioux City struck again.
A backdoor pass from Ben Steeves lined up an easy goal by Ben Doran as he netted a shot over the glove hand of Heaney, giving him his 13th goal on the year and sent the Musketeers to the locker room with a 2-0 lead.
The second period was dominated by the Musketeers, outshooting the Lancers 16-7 on the period as well as outscoring them 3-0, extending their lead to 5-0 through 40 minutes.
It took over half of the second period for Sioux City to add to their lead as Bennett Schimek netted a lucky hop over the shoulder of Heaney off a rebound to make it a 3-0 game.
That was followed up five minutes later with a one timer goal by Garrett Brown off a pass from Nick Pierre as they scored top shelf through traffic while on the power-play, giving them the 4-0 lead late in the second period.
But the Musketeers were not done yet.
Nick Pierre batted a rebound out of the air with 57 seconds left in the period off a shot from Grant Slukynsky to make it a 5-0 lead for Sioux City heading into the locker room.
The third period was silent until the final four minutes as Ben Steeves netted his 39th goal of the season off a pass from Sam Deckhut, making it a 6-0 lead for Sioux City with just over three minutes left in the third period.
The Lancers finally scored within the last 90 seconds of the game as Luke Strickland beat Musketeers goalie Alex Tracy over the glove off a pass from Tomas Trunda.
Following that, after play started slowing down in the closing seconds, Michael Mesic found Riley Rosenthal in the high slot. Rosenthal went top shelf as Tracy made the blocker save on the shot, but it ricocheted over his head and into the net, closing the game as a 6-2 win for Sioux City.
With the Fargo Force picking up a 4-2 win in Sioux Falls tonight (4/23) the Lancers will host the Force in Omaha for the first round of the 2022 Clark Cup Playoffs. Dates are set for this upcoming Monday (4/25), Tuesday (4/26) and Wednesday (4/27) if needed. All puck drops are at 7:05PM CST.
The Lancers close out the regular season with a record of 30-26-4-2 as they claim fourth place in the western conference heading into the playoffs.