Ralston, Neb. - The Omaha Lancers produced their highest scoring period of the season Wednesday evening with five goals in the second period en route to a 5-3 victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede in front of x,xxx fans at Ralston Arena. With the win, Omaha improved to 23-17 on the year and is now just one standings point behind the Lincoln Stars for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The victory was the sixth for the Lancers over the last seven games.
Sioux Falls grabbed the game's opening goal and the only conversion of the first period a little over six minutes into the tilt when Dennis Kravchenko punched in a loose puck within the Omaha goal crease for his 15th goal of the season. Matt Van Voorhis and C.J. Franklin assisted on the even strength strike netted 6:01 into the opening frame. The goal marked the 19th time in 40 games this year that the Lancers have surrendered the game's opening tally as Omaha improved to 7-12 when allowing the game's first goal.
Omaha wasted little time evening the contest in the second period as less than a minute into the middle period good work below the goal line by Matt Gaudreau and Gage Hough produced a pass into the slot which was promptly punched in by Trent Samuels-Thomas for his second goal of the season. Gaudreau and Hough assisted on the even strength equalizing marker scored 52 seconds into the period. The Lancers grabbed their first lead of the night a little over three minutes later when a beautiful behind-the-back pass by Jake Randolph found Robbie Baillargeon for his 13th goal of the season. Connor Chatham earned the secondary assist on the five-on-five marker scored 3:54 into the middle period. Omaha then doubled its lead a little less than six minutes later when a perfect cross-ice pass by Ryan Tait found Tyler Hynes on the right wing back door for Hynes' third goal of the year. Tucker Poolman garnered the secondary helper on the goal 9:29 into the period. The Lancers offensive onslaught continued with less than five minutes remaining in the frame when Dominic Racobaldo blasted home the eventual game-winning and his third marker of the season 15:36 into the stanza. Tyler Moy and Tait assisted on the even strength goal scored 15:36 into the second period, which marked the second game-winning goal of the year for Racobaldo. Omaha's highest scoring period of the year came to an end in the frame's final minute when Chatham poked a loose puck within the goal crease over the line for his team-leading 14th goal of the year. Poolman and Randolph assisted on the five-on-five which capped the most productive offensive period of the year for Omaha.
Sioux Falls trimmed the deficit in half in the final period with goals from Ian Mansfield and C.J. Franklin but that's as close as the Stampede would get as Omaha improved to 2-1 against its Western Conference rival.
Alex Lyon earned the victory in goal for the Lancers after 32 saves on 35 shots. With the win, Lyon improved to 17-12 on the year and is now 2-1 against Sioux Falls this year. Meanwhile, Charlie Lindgren suffered the loss for the Stampede after 20 saves on 25 shots in two periods of crease duty. David Jacobson, who relieved Lindgren in advance of the final period, earned a no-decision despite four saves on four shots.
The Lancers are back in action this Friday evening when the team heads up to the Scheels Arena in Fargo to open a weekend series with the Force.
Sioux Falls - Dennis Kravchenko (Matt Van Voorhis, C.J. Franklin) 6:01
Omaha - Trent Samuels-Thomas (Gage Hough, Matt Gaudreau) :52
Omaha - Robbie Baillargeon (Jake Randolph, Connor Chatham) 3:54
Omaha - Tyler Hynes (Ryan Tait, Tucker Poolman) 9:29
Omaha - Dominic Racobaldo (Tyler Moy, Ryan Tait) 15:36
Omaha - Connor Chatham (Tucker Poolman, Jake Randolph) 19:37
Sioux Falls - Ian Mansfield (Jake Ahlgren) 8:16
Sioux Falls - C.J. Franklin (Dennis Kravchenko) 10:55
Sioux Falls - 13, 11, 11 - Total 35
Omaha - 12, 13, 4 - Total 29
Sioux Falls - Charlie Lindgren (loss) 20 (25 shots), David Jacobson 4 (4 shots)
Omaha - Alex Lyon (win) 32 (35 shots)
Sioux Falls 0/2