Thanks to a balanced scoring effort that saw 12 different players earn a point in the game, the Omaha Lancers overcame the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Saturday by a final score of 5-3 at Ralston Arena in front of a sellout crowd of 3,657. With the win, the Lancers improved to 25-6-4 overall this season and with 54 points, remain alone atop the Western Conference and overall USHL standings. Saturday’s capacity crowd marked the Lancers’ third consecutive sellout this season at Ralston Arena.
After a lengthy feeling-out period against an unfamiliar foe, the Lancers drew first blood at 9:13 of the opening frame when Jake Randolph roofed a Gage Hough rebound over Cedar Rapids goaltender Danny Tirone to claim a 1-0 lead for Omaha with Tyler Vesel collecting a secondary assist on the play. A ‘Rider response was quick in coming though, as Corey Petrash leveled the score at 13:35 when he squeaked a backhand offering through the short side on Lancers goaltender Cole Bruns to tie the game at one.
In the middle frame, the Lancers again seized control at 3:23 when Nash Worden redirected a Louie Rowe shot that was set up by Austin Pooley to reclaim a Lancer advantage at 2-1 Omaha. Tyler Hynes ballooned the lead to 3-1 with a patient wrist shot that found paydirt at 12:14, assisted by Brian Williams and Jake Henderson, but an Andrew Oglevie power-play goal at 15:42 drew Cedar Rapids within one at 3-2 after two periods of play.
The RoughRiders made things interesting in the third, as Oglevie’s second of the night tied the game at three at 5:19, but Omaha responded after a tense stretch with what proved to be the game-winning goal, a Matt Nelson power-play ripper from the center point at 7:22, assisted by Jimmy Schuldt and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson. A Tyler Vesel empty-netter at 19:04 sealed the deal for Omaha as the Lancers skated away 5-3 winners for the second straight night.