Des Moines, Iowa - Nick Ellis registered 43 saves and the Des Moines Buccaneers scored five straight goals at one point dropping the Omaha Lancers 6-2 Friday evening in front of 1,868 fans at Buccaneer Arena. The victory was the first of the season for the Buccaneers and Des Moines' first regular season USHL win since March 2, 2012. Meanwhile, the loss dropped Omaha's record to 1-4 on the young season.
Des Moines grabbed the game's opening goal just prior to the midway point of the first period when Tanner Karty cleaned up a rebound in the slot for his third goal of the young season. Max Birkinbine earned the only assist on the even strength goal notched 9:38 into the opening period of play. The conversion marked the third time in five games this season that Des Moines has scored first and the fourth straight game in which the Lancers have surrendered the game's opening tally. Omaha evened the contest a little over six minutes later when Alex Rauter's side angle shot from the left wing produced a rebound at the side of the net, which was promptly popped in by Connor Chatham for his second goal of the season. Rauter garnered the only assist on the five-on-five goal notched 15:01 into the first period.
Des Moines regained the lead just prior to the midway point of the game when, while on the power play, Zach Saar redirected in his second goal of the season. The man-advantage tally came 8:54 into the second period and marked the first power play conversion for Des Moines in 16 attempts this season. The Buccaneers then doubled their lead with just over a minute remaining in the stanza when a three-on-two rush through neutral ice produced Jack Jenkins' first career USHL goal. Michael Marnell grabbed the only assist on the five-on-five goal scored 18:52 into the middle period.
Des Moines then put the game out of reach with three straight goals in the final period. First, Nolan Valleau landed his first career USHL marker 4:59 into the period. Then, Axel Wemmenborn struck for his third goal of the season 13:19 into the frame from Trent Samuels-Thomas. Finally, with Omaha goaltender Alex Lyon back to the bench in favor of the extra attacker, James Roll found the empty Omaha net for his first career USHL goal. The Lancers made one final dent in the score sheet with just 39 seconds left in regulation when Eli Lichtenwald netted his first goal of the season but it was too little too late for the Lancers.
Lyon suffered the loss in cage for Omaha despite 33 saves on 38 Buccaneers shots. The veteran goaltender has now registered at least 30 saves in four of five starts this season. Meanwhile, Ellis earned the victory in goal for Des Moines after 43 saves on 45 Lancers shots.
The Lancers are back in action tomorrow evening the team travels to Waterloo for a 7:05 PM showdown with the Black Hawks.
Des Moines - Tanner Karty (Max Birkinbine) 9:38
Omaha - Connor Chatham (Alex Rauter) 15:01
Des Moines - Zach Saar (power play) (Eric Martinsson) 8:54
Des Moines - Jack Jenkins (Michael Marnell) 18:52
Des Moines - Nolan Valleau (Zach Saar) 4:59
Des Moines - Axel Wemmenborn (Trent Samuels-Thomas) 13:19
Des Moines - James Roll (empty net) (extra attacker) (unassisted) 17:44
Omaha - Eli Lichtenwald (Tyler Hynes) 19:21
Omaha - 16, 17, 12 - Total 45
Des Moines - 8, 12, 19 - Total 39
Omaha - Alex Lyon 33 (38 shots)
Des Moines - Nick Ellis 43 (45 shots)
Des Moines 1/2
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