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O'Leary's OT Heroics Lead Stars to Second Straight Win

By Lincoln Stars Staff, 01/08/21, 10:15PM CST

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CRAFT, NARDECCHIA ALSO SCORE

LINCOLN, Neb. - The Lincoln Stars (5-6-1) pulled off the theatrics again, beating the Des Moines Buccaneers (9-8-2) 3-2 in overtime on Friday night at the Ice Box.
 
Jack O’Leary was the hero 31 seconds into overtime, finishing off a pass from Aidan Thompson for his third goal of the season. Ryan Ouellette would be called on early and often, turning aside all nine shots Des Moines fired his way in the first period. Gleb Veremyev fought Trevor Mitchell at 7:49, igniting the capacity crowd at the Ice Box.
 
The game was 0-0 after one period, despite two Des Moines power plays. The Stars did not get a chance on the man-advantage and were held to one shot on goal.
 
Lincoln would get a power-play chance after Killian Kiecker-Olson was sent off for hooking at 6:20. Thirty-seven seconds later, Mitchell Wolfe joined him for cross-checking. In the midst of a 0-for-19 rut on the power play, Cole Craft struck at 7:53, scoring his third goal of the season. The first-year forward’s tally was assisted by Stanley Cooley.
 
After 40 minutes of play, Lincoln was outshot 15-7, yet held a one-goal lead.
 
Des Moines would punch back with a game-tying goal at 5:53 from Matt Choupani. With the goal, the Northeastern commit now leads the Bucs with ten.
 
Under two minutes later, Zakary Karpa finished off a pass at the right circle for his third goal of the season at 7:51. Karpa was acquired from the Omaha Lancers today and jumped right into the lineup.
 
Lincoln roared back on the ensuing shift, knotting the game up at two after a pretty passing play. Carter Schade fed the puck to Nick Nardecchia from the left point and No. 16 in white made no mistake. The Ferris State commit picked up his first goal of the season with the equalizer at 8:34.
 
Despite a Stars power-play a few minutes later, the game would require extra time.
 
On the first shift of overtime, Thompson picked off a pass in the low slot of Lincoln's defensive zone, springing a 2-on-1 rush. The Denver commit fed the puck across to O’Leary, who blew it past the outstretched glove of Remington Keopple.
 
Lincoln picked up wins in back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Stars were 1-for-3 on the power play and a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. Ouellette turned aside 20 shots for his fifth victory of the year. Keopple stopped 18 of 21 in the overtime loss.
 
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The Stars will head to Des Moines to close out the home-and-home with the Bucs at Wells Fargo Arena at 6 p.m. tomorrow night! Watch the game on HockeyTV or listen on Mixlr!