ANN ARBOR, MI – Nash Worden and Brian Williams recorded goals for the Omaha Lancers on Thursday night but it wasn’t enough as Team USA-U18 came away with a 7-2 victory backed by four goals in the third period inside the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.
The Lancers began the game on the power-play as Team USA was given a penalty during warmups before the game. However it was the U18’s with the first goal just six seconds after the opening puck drop. After a face-off win by Omaha, Christian Fischer forced a turnover at the blueline and went in scoring on a wrist shot for a 1-0 lead just 0:06 into the game. The goal was unassisted.
At the 12:26 mark of the first period the Lancers fell behind by a pair of goals. Tage Thompson beat goaltender Kris Oldham and scored his 6th goal of the season in USHL play for Team USA and a 2-0 lead. Thompson’s goal was assisted by Michael Floodstrand and Luke Kunin.
A rebound goal put the U18’s up three goals on the Omaha Lancers. Colin White worked the puck down the left wing wall and let a shot go on net that was stopped by the leg pad of Kris Oldham. The rebound was gathered and followed up by Brendan Warren who fired in his 5th goal of the year in just 12 games for a 3-0 lead at 13:22 of the first frame.
In the second period Omaha made it a game. It started with hard work from Nash Worden in front of the net on a rebound. Steven Spinner sent a shot to the net that was stopped by Luke Opilka however he couldn’t cover the rebound. Nash Worden came to the side of the net and jammed in the loose puck to get the Lancers on the board at 13:07 of the second period pulling them within two goals, trailing 3-1. The goal was Worden’s first of the season and 8th point overall.
Just over one minute after Worden got on the board, Brian Williams made it a one goal game from the bottom of the offensive zone circles. Hank Crone assisted the goal as Williams picked up the puck just above the crease and sent it by Opilka for his 6th tally of the year. Williams’ goal came at 14:24 of the second period and Crone was handed his 8th helper of the year.
To start the final period of regulation, Team USA pulled Luke Opilka and replaced him with Michael Lackey. After no scoring along with back-and-forth action in the first 15 minutes of the third period, Auston Matthews put USA back on top by a pair of goals. Matthews took a pass inside the left wing circle and cut back across the top of the crease, back-handing the puck underneath Oldham for his 13th goal of the year in USHL play with only 3:38 left in the game.
After the goal, Omaha pulled the net to get an extra-attacker with a two goal deficit. Brendan Warren scored his second goal of the night into the empty net to put Team USA ahead 5-2 with 3:03 left in the game. The U-18’s tacked on two more late goals as Colin White recorded his 2nd goal of the year at 16:57 and Luke Kunin notched his 10th of the season with only 0:30 remaining in the game as Team USA sealed a 7-2 win over Omaha.
Kris Oldham faced 39 shots in the loss.
The Omaha Lancers stay on the road tomorrow night in Chicago to take on the Steel for a 7:30PM CST opening puck drop! LIVE coverage of the game begins at 7:15PM CST with the Valpak Pregame Show on The Mighty 1290 KOIL, www.mighty1290koil.com, and www.fasthockey.com.
Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.lancers.com. In addition stay connected with the Lancers on Facebook (/omahalancers), Twitter (@omahalancers), and the team’s Youtube channel (/lancershockey)