Late Goal Sinks Stars in Omaha
RALSTON, NEB. --The Lincoln Stars (10-5-1-1) allowed a late goal in regulation, dropping their Saturday night tilt against the Omaha Lancers at Ralston Arena.
The Lancers had the better of the play early on, but both teams came up empty on nine first-period shots.
In the middle frame, the game got nasty as ten minor penalties were called between the two teams. Lincoln was able to kill off a 54-second 5-on-3 sequence and was rewarded with a man-advantage over halfway through the period.
Noah Laba broke the scoreless deadlock with his fourth goal of the season at 13:07. It was Laba's first power-play goal of 2021-22 and it came after a netmouth scramble.
Mason Marcellus fed him the puck from the left circle to the left goal line, allowing Laba to drive the net and attempt to stuff the puck past Kevin Pasche.
Dalton Norris poked the eventual loose puck through the blue paint and Laba tapped it home. Nolan Hayes quickly answered back from Omaha as the Lancers scored 41 seconds later, knotting the game up at one.
After two periods, it was 1-1, with Lincoln controlling the shot totals 24-20.
The Lancers kicked it into another gear in the third period, creating several odd-man rushes throughout the final period.
Kaidan Mbereko continued to make save after save, keeping the game tied. Henry Nelson and Christian Kocsis had the best opportunities for Lincoln, but the Stars failed to jump in front.
With one last rush in the third period, Kennedy O'Connor broke the blue line and set up Michael Cameron for Cameron's seventh goal of the year with under 16 seconds left in regulation.
Omaha held onto the 2-1 lead and took home two points.
Mbereko was stellar for the second night in a row, making 33 saves, including numerous ten-bell stops. Lincoln's power play was 1-for-5 and the penalty kill was 5-for-5.
The Stars were without Aidan Thompson, Carter Schade, Cameron Whitehead and Jo Lemay due to injuries. Gleb Veremyev completed his two-game suspension by sitting out tonight's game.
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