October 6, 2007 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Omaha Lancers
Matt Thurber's shorthanded goal midway through the third period, followed by Drew Conboy's insurance tally with about three minutes remaining, propelled the Lancers to a 4-2 season-opening victory over the Tri-City Storm on Friday, October 5th at the Mid-America Center.
It was the third regular season home opener won by the home team (3-2-1), since the Lancers began occupying the Mid-America Center as its home arena six years ago.
Lancer defenseman Keir Ross started the season scoring the first goal for the Lancers, converting assists from Travis Novak and Conboy for a goal past Tri-City goalie Aaron Rock at the 2:35 mark of the opening period.
However, a Lancer penalty allowed Tri-City to answer when Jordan Van Guilder scored on goaltender Drew Palmisano at 6:07 of the first frame.
Barry Almeida answered that for the Lancers, scoring his first goal of the year on a feed from Dakota Eveland and Chris Hepp for a 2-1 Lancer advantage at 6:52 of the first period, which became the first intermission score.
In the second period, Tri-City tied the game at 2-2, when Alex Hudson stuffed the puck in at the side of the crease past Palmisano at 12:23.
However, in the final frame, Matt Thurber gathered in a loose puck at center ice as the Lancers were killing a penalty, then swooped in and beat Rock for a shorthanded goal at 10:55 of the period, and a 3-2 Lancer lead.
Conboy added the insurance goal at 17:51, as Novak threaded a cross-ice feed through the slot to the side of the net, where the second-year forward converted into an open net for the final score of 4-2.
Palmisano claimed his first win of the season in goal for the Lancers, stopping 14-of-16 shots on goal. Rock took the loss for the Storm, making 29-of-33 saves.
Despite four goals, none came on the power play for Omaha, which went 0-for-9, while in contrast, both Tri-City goals came with the Lancers killing penalties. The Storm finished the night 2-for-10.
The physical contest finished with 146 minutes in penalties between the teams, highlighted by a fracas near the end of the first period that left four players (two from each team) removed on game misconducts.
The Lancers now seek a weekend sweep to start the year, but will have to do it on the road, traveling to Sioux Falls to play the Stampede in a 7:05 PM start on Saturday, October 6th.
That game will be the first broadcast on the new home for Lancer hockey, News Talk 1420, KOTK. Coverage will also be available on the B2 Networks and the radio broadcast is audio streamed at www.1420kotk.com.