In their first trip to the Icebox Arena this season, the Omaha Lancers took full advantage of a four point effort from the USHL’s leading goal scorer, Tyler Vesel, to defeat the Lincoln Stars 5-2 on Saturday night. With the win, the Lancers improved to 12-2-1 overall this season and with 25 points, remain alone in first place in the USHL’s Western Conference standings.
With a scoreless first period in the rearview, Lancers defenseman Matt Nelson broke the ice just 59 seconds into the middle frame, as the Edina, Minnesota native pumped home his second goal of the season with Jake Randolph picking up the assist on the power-play and thereby extending his season-long personal-best point streak to nine games, registering 19 total points over that span. Randolph continued his scoring rampage at 7:34 when he knifed home his eighth of the year, a deflected wrister assisted by Vesel and Omaha captain Tucker Poolman, to make it 2-0 Lancers.
Late in the second, Lincoln made a stand, drawing within a goal at 15:40 before failing to convert on a penalty shot at the 16 minute mark thanks to a brilliant glove-hand flourish from Omaha goaltender Cole Bruns. In the third, Vesel took over, notching back-to-back goals at 5:19 and 15:38, the Nebraska-Omaha recruit’s league-leading 13th and 14th tallies of the year.
A Jared Kolquist score made things interesting briefly at 16:38, but Luca Frigo’s seventh marker of the season, an empty-net goal assisted by Poolman at 18:53, sealed Omaha’s 5-3 margin of victory. In his second straight start, Bruns was rock-steady, posting 15 saves on 17 Stars shots faced in the Prairie Grove, Illinois native’s eighth win of the season.