Sioux Falls, SD (KWSN) -A big night from Lincoln Star winger Will Suter helped the team from Nebraska even their Western Conference semi-final series against the Sioux Falls Stampede as they stole Game 2 with a 4-0 shutout at the Arena Wednesday night. Suter scored the first two tallies for the Stars, who stole home ice from the Stampede with the series shifting to Lincoln for Games 3 and 4 this weekend.
"It’s a best of three now, no question about it,” said head coach Cary Eades. “I don’t think anybody thought it was going to be a sweep. We knew it was going to be a battle, and we knew it was going to be a war.”
Herd netminder Charlie Lindgren allowed four Omaha goals on 33 shots, while his club had trouble mustering anything together on offense despite throwing 43 pucks on Lincoln goalie Michael Bitzer.
“It’s always frustrating. You’ve got to bend the twine and break it,” said Eades. “We just didn’t come up with that big play tonight.”
The Herd couldn’t get anything on the scoreboard in the first period despite a whopping 18 shots on Bitzer. Lincoln made it 1-0 for their first lead of the series at 11:14 when Will Suter rifled in a shot from the right circle into the top left corner of the net, his second goal in two games against the Herd.
Suter’s second goal of the contest from again the right circle at 6:41 compounded the Stars lead to 2-0 over a Herd squad that could get the puck on the net but not into it. Sioux Falls was held scoreless in the second period despite being granted four power plays, including a 5-on-3 for 38 seconds with 1:43 to go.
“They’re penalty kill just out-played and out-worked us,” said defenseman Matt Van Voorhis. “I give them a lot of credit. They battled hard and worked today, and they were just better than us.”
Lincoln got the ever-important three-goal advantage 4:43 into the final period courtesy of Star defenseman Justin Woods. Zach Aston-Reese put the final nail in the coffin with 6:05 left in the game, all but icing the cake on a 4-0 Lincoln Star victory. The Herd must now travel to Lincoln for Games 3 and 4 this Friday and Saturday, with Game 5 set for next Tuesday if necessary.
“We play on the edge of a cliff every time we’re on the road,” said Van Voorhis. “I think we’re going to take that mentality into Lincoln. We’ve been good at not sitting back.”
Puck drop for Game 3 at the Ice Box between the Stampede and Stars is at 7:05 pm, with Game 4 scheduled for the same time on Saturday. Fans can listen to both games live on KELO News Talk 1320-AM and FM-98.1 starting at 6:35 PM with pre-game coverage.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Stampede