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Buccaneers Go into Playoffs with 4 Game Win Streak After 5-1

April 9, 2017 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Des Moines Buccaneers News Release

The Buccaneers would coast to a 5-1 victory over the defending Clark Cup Champion Tri-City Storm thanks to three Des Moines goals in the second period.

Des Moines took the lead after a dump in shot left a rebound too far for Tri-City goaltender Eric Dop to cover; Matthew Hudie picked up the puck and quickly moved to his right and put it past the goalie 5:39 into the contest. Tri-City would tie the game with Brian Hawkinson's third of the season at the 14:19 mark but Hudie would again get on the scoresheet as he made a backhand pass below the goal line to Julian Napravnik who wasted no time lifting the puck over the right shoulder of Dop to score 18:43 into the first period to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Goaltender Nick MacNab would relieve Jan Ruzicka to start the second period and the Buccaneers would keep their foot on the gas as just 6:37 into the second period Brian Halonen scored his second USHL goal, which would be a tapiin after Chris Berger drew Dop's attention and swept the puck through the crease to an open Halonen on the backdoor. Collin Rutherford would tip in an Eric Otto feed at the 8:36 mark. The Bucs would finish the scoring for the period with Napravnik freezing Dop with the puck on his tape in the slot and then hitting defenseman Michael Rounds pinching in 13:26 into the middle frame.

Neither team would score in the third period and Ruzicka would pick up the win with 9 saves in the first period with MacNab stopping all 16 shots on goal he saw in the last two periods. Dop made 30 saves in the loss for Tri-City. The Buccaneers improved their record to 36-20-1-3 and end the regular season with 76 points to finish fourth in the Western Conference. The 36 wins and 76 points are the most for the Buccaneers since 1998-99 when Des Moines won the Anderson Cup as the top team in the regular season and the Clark Cup for the postseason championship.

Up next for the Buccaneers is their first playoff game since 2007 which will be on the road against the Sioux City Musketeers on Friday, April 14th. Their next home game will be Game #3 of the first round matchup on Friday, April 21st. Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, April 11th; for tickets call 278-2827 or online at www.bucshockey.com.

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