Kearney, Neb. - The Omaha Lancers erupted for a season-high eight goals from seven different goal scorers Friday evening as part of an 8-3 victory over the Tri-City Storm in front of 1,933 fans at the Viaero Event Center. With the win, the Lancers improved to 2-5 on the season. Omaha's eight goals came after the team had produced just 11 total tallies through its first six games.
Omaha grabbed the game's opening goal just 3:15 into the tilt when a redirected puck in the slot landed on the stick of Connor Chatham who made no mistake in driving in his third goal of the season. Kyle Osterberg, back in the line-up after missing the last five games due to injury, earned the only assist on the even strength strike. The goal marked the first time in six games that the Lancers have scored first and just the second time in seven games this season that Omaha has landed the game's opening tally. The Lancers doubled their advantage just past the midway point of the opening period when a Tyler Moy takeaway produced an Eli Lichtenwald redirection at the front of the goal for Lichtenwald's second goal of the season. Moy garnered the only assist on the five-on-five goal netted 11:25 into the first period. Omaha stretched its lead to a 3-0 advantage just over a minute later when, while on the power play, Osterberg lift a perfect cross-ice pass to Tucker Poolman who snapped home his first career USHL tally. Jake Randolph earned the secondary assist on the man-advantage marker notched 12:47 into the opening period. Tri-City made its first dent on the score sheet just a minute later when Jason Cotton found John Hrabovsky for his first goal of the season.
The Storm then trimmed Omaha's lead down to just a single goal 6:46 into the second period when Michael Vecchione's wrist shot from the slot redirected off a Lancers stick and into the back of the cage. Brian Ward and Trevor Moore assisted on Vecchione's second goal of the season. Omaha bounced right back though and reestablished its two-goal lead less than five minutes later when the Lancers converted their second power play goal of the night and Kenny Gillespie scored 11:34 into the period from Lichtenwald and Moy.
Gillespie landed his second man-advantage marker of the night and third of the season less than two minutes into the third period when good hustle by Niklas Folin and a great cross-ice setup by Lichtenwald produced Omaha's third power play conversion of the night. Tri-City climbed back to within two goals with just under 13 minutes remaining in regulation when Moore netted his third goal of the season but that's as close as the Storm would get in the final frame as the Lancers went on to score three goals in a span of just 68 seconds to seal the victory. First, with Storm goaltender Christian Frey back to the bench in favor of the extra attacker, Alex Rauter found the empty net for his second goal of the season. Then, just 29 seconds later and with the Lancers shorthanded, Moy netted his first career USHL marker with an empty net tally from Vince Pedrie 16:51 into the third period. Finally, Randolph sprung free on a shorthanded breakaway grabbing his first goal of the year from Chatham and Poolman completing Omaha's offensive outburst.
Alex Lyon backstopped the team to its second victory of the season after 18 saves on 21 shots. Meanwhile, Frey suffered the loss despite 36 saves on 42 shots.
Omaha's special teams played a huge role in the victory as the Lancers recorded a season-high three power play goals to go along with a pair of shorthanded markers.
The Lancers are back in action tomorrow evening when they return to the Viaero Event Center to wrap up their weekend series with the Storm.
Omaha - Connor Chatham (Kyle Osterberg) 3:15
Omaha - Eli Lichtenwald (Tyler Moy) 11:25
Omaha - Tucker Poolman (power play) (Kyle Osterberg, Jake Randolph) 12:47
Tri-City - John Hrabovsky (Jason Cotton) 13:47
Tri-City - Michael Vecchione (Brian Ward, Cutler Martin) 6:46
Omaha - Kenny Gillespie (power play) (Eli Lichtenwald, Tyler Moy) 11:34
Omaha - Kenny Gillespie (power play) (Eli Lichtenwald, Niklas Folin) 1:54
Tri-City - Trevor Moore (Michael Vecchione, Cutler Martin) 7:10
Omaha - Alex Rauter (empty net) (unassisted) 16:22
Omaha - Tyler Moy (shorthanded) (empty net) (Vince Pedrie) 16:51
Omaha - Jake Randolph (shorthanded) (Connor Chatham, Tucker Poolman) 17:30
Omaha - 21, 13, 10 - Total 44
Tri-City - 4, 7, 10 - Total 21
Omaha - Alex Lyon (win) 18 (21 shots)
Tri-City - Christian Frey (loss) 36 (42 shots)
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