LINCOLN, Neb. - The Lincoln Stars (14-13-4) couldn't sweep the two-game series against the Sioux Falls Stampede (12-15-3), losing 5-3 at the Ice Box on Saturday night.
The Stars built off of their strong effort Friday to start the game, scoring two first-period goals. Christian Sarlo scored his 12th goal of the season 5:41 after the opening puck drop; Travis Treloar and Josh Groll picked up the assists. Matt Miller doubled Lincoln’s lead 17:07 into the opening frame on the power play for his eighth goal of the year. Treloar and Groll were credited with the helpers.
After the first period, the Stars led 2-0 and outshot the Stampede 14-3.
Jake Mucitelli brought the Ice Box crowd to its feet after an unbelievable glove save on Ryan Sullivan 13:12 into the middle period. Sullivan had a wide-open net after a pretty passing play from the Stampede, but Mucitelli threw out the left arm, snagging the shot with the leather mitt.
Despite the Stars goaltender’s tremendous stop, Austin Heidemann finally broke through for Sioux Falls late in the second period, scoring a power-play goal with 3:11 left.
The Stars carried a 2-1 lead into the third period, outshooting the Stampede 26-13 through forty minutes.
Sioux Falls quickly tied the game in the third period thanks to Jared Westcott’s shot from the bottom of the right circle, beating Mucitelli 4:10 into the final frame of regulation.
The penalty troubles for Lincoln continued and Heidemann scored his second goal of the game, giving Sioux Falls their first lead of the game with a goal on the man-advantage 9:51 into the third. Immediately off the ensuing faceoff, Gabe Temple capitalized after a pretty pass from Garrett Pinoniemi eight seconds later, increasing Sioux Falls’ lead to 4-2.
Josh Lopina roared back with a power-play goal of his own (his ninth goal of the season) with 3:03 left in the third period. Sullivan secured the win for the Stampede with an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game.
Lincoln dropped to 14-12-4 on the season with the 5-3 loss while Sioux Falls improved to 12-15-3. The Stars were 2-for-6 on the power-play.
The Stars will travel to Plymouth, MI to face Team USA for a two-game weekend series. Watch the games on HockeyTV or listen on MIXLR: http://mixlr.com/lincoln-stars/