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Published: Thursday, 17 Nov 2011
By: Dan Fremuth

Lancers Prepare for Weekend Home Stand vs. Des Moines, Sioux City

-  Weekly News and Notes
Omaha, Neb. - The Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League (USHL) return home this weekend to the Omaha Civic Auditorium for a pair of showdowns against a couple of long-time Western Conference rivals.

 Omaha (8-5-1, 17 pts.) is coming off its busiest stretch of the season, which saw the team play six games in a span of just 10 days.  The Lancers went 4-2 during their busy stretch, including a 1-2 mark in three games over three nights last weekend.  After a 5-3 setback at home to the Des Moines Buccaneers last Friday followed by a 2-1 loss at the Lincoln Stars on Saturday, Omaha responded with a come-from-behind 6-4 victory at the Sioux City Musketeers on Sunday.  The six goals scored last Sunday marked a season-high for the Lancers who have now won eight of their last 12 games overall.

 The Lancers return to action this Friday evening at the Civic Auditorium in a rematch with the Buccaneers.  Des Moines (5-5-1, 11 pts.) swept its two games last weekend and has now claimed victories in three of its last four games overall.  After their victory in Omaha last Friday, the Buccaneers completed their perfect weekend Saturday with a 4-1 win at the Fargo Force.  In two games last weekend, Des Moines scored nine total goals from seven different goal scorers.  The Buccaneers have now had 15 different skaters score at least one goal this season.  After Friday's showdown in Omaha, Des Moines returns home to Buccaneer Arena on Saturday for a clash with the Sioux Falls Stampede.

 Omaha's weekend then concludes Saturday when the Lancers face off against Sioux City for the second time in six days and third time during the course of the 2011-2012 regular season.  Sioux City (5-9-0, 10 pts.) is coming off its busiest week of the season as the Musketeers took to the ice four times over a six-day period last week.  Sioux City went 2-2 last week, including a 6-4 setback to the Lancers to close out the weekend.  The Musketeers are now 0-2 against Omaha this season and are 4-6 in 10 games against fellow Western Conference clubs.  Saturday's clash in Omaha is Sioux City's only game of the week and kicks off a stretch of six straight road games for the Musketeers.

 Omaha Notes:

Omaha Lancers - 8-5-1, 17 pts. (2nd Western Conference)

- F Casey Bailey was named CCM Offensive Player of the Week for Week Seven of USHL action after notching six goals and seven points in three games.  Bailey notched hat tricks in Friday's game vs. Des Moines and Sunday's game at Sioux City.  The Penn State recruit leads all Lancers with eight goals and is tied for second among all Omaha skaters with 12 points this season.

- Bailey's hat tricks were the second and third Omaha hat tricks this season after F Max Vallis scored three times in a 4-2 victory over Chicago on Sunday, November 6.  The Lancers have now registered hat tricks in three of their last four games after going 105 games without a hat trick.

- F Jimmy Murray leads all Lancers and is currently tied for sixth among all USHL skaters with 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) this season.  The native of Darien, Illinois leads all USHLers with 12 assists through the first seven weeks of the season.  Murray recorded a team-high four points (four assists) in last Sunday's victory at Sioux City and has now registered points in nine of his last 12 games.

- F Tanner Lane, the newest member of the Omaha Lancers, tallied three points (goal, two assists) in three games last weekend in his first games since joining the Lancers.  Lane is tied for second on the team with 12 points.

- Head Coach Bliss Littler will rejoin the team this weekend after missing the last six games as an Assistant Coach for the U.S. Junior Select Team at the World Jr. A Challenge in Canada.

 Opponents Notes:

Friday, Nov. 18 vs. Des Moines Buccaneers - 5-5-1, 11 pts. (T-4th Western Conference)

- F Trent Samuels-Thomas continues to lead all Buccaneers in scoring with nine points (four goals, five assists) through the first 11 games of the season.

- After surrendering three power play goals to Team USA on October 22nd, Des Moines has allowed just one man-advantage marker against over the five games.  As such, the Buccaneers have successfully killed 18 of their last 19 man-down situations.

- Des Moines earned its first two road wins of the season last weekend while outscoring its opposition 9-4.  In their previous four road tilts, the Buccaneers were 0-4 and had been outscored 21-8.

- The Buccaneers welcome back this weekend F Kevin Irwin, F Ray Pigozzi, D Ethan Prow and Head Coach Regg Simon who rejoin the team after skating with the U.S. Junior Select Team at the World Jr. A Challenge.

 Opponents Notes:

Saturday, Nov. 19 vs. Sioux City Musketeers - 5-9-0, 10 pts. (T-6th Western Conference)

- Sioux City is 0-2 vs. Omaha this season after a 2-1 setback at the Civic Auditorium on October 9th followed by a 6-4 loss at the Tyson Events Center last weekend. 

- F David Goodwin currently leads all Musketeers and is tied for fifth among all USHL skaters in scoring with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists).  Goodwin has tallied five points (three goals, two assists) in four games with Sioux City since being acquired in a trade with the Green Bay Gamblers early last week.

- Sioux City is 2-3 on the road this season and has been outscored 17-14 in five prior road tilts

- The Musketeers boast the league's top rated penalty kill on the road clicking at 96.0% away from the Tyson Events Center.  Sioux City has effectively killed 24 of 25 man-down situations on the road.  The Musketeers penalty kill ranks sixth overall in the USHL at 86.7%.


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