SIOUX FALLS, SD. - The Lincoln Stars (10-15-1) put together their most consistent effort of the season, steamrolling the Sioux Falls Stampede (13-14-3) 6-2 at Denny Sanford Premier Center on Monday night.
Jake Beaune got the Stars off to an excellent start, following his snipe from the right circle 1:09 into the game. Beaune picked up his third goal of the season (all against Sioux Falls) while Cole Craft got the lone assist.
The 20-year-old defenseman’s tally was the lone goal of the opening period. Both teams fired nine shots on goal.
Lincoln ran into some penalty trouble in the second period, but Jack O’Leary doubled the Stars’ lead with a shorthanded goal at 7:12. O’Leary stole the puck at the Stars blue line from a Stampede defenseman and beat Sioux Falls netminder Trent Burnham on a breakaway for his fourth goal of the season.
Under five minutes later, the Cornell commit would add another shorthanded marker on a different penalty kill. Jack Horbach started a 2-on-1 rush for Lincoln and fed it to the slot for O’Leary, who re-directed the puck on his backhand underneath the crossbar at 11:57.
Will Dineen responded at 14:28, getting Sioux Falls within two. After 40 minutes, Lincoln led 3-1 and outshot the Stampede 25-20. Yu Sato quickly brought the momentum back to the visitors’ side early in the third period, ripping a wrist shot over the left arm of Burnham at 1:35. Sato’s first USHL goal was unassisted.
Garrett Pinoniemi took advantage of a four-on-four sequence, scoring Sioux Falls’ second goal of the night at 9:28.
Just over a minute later, the Stars punched back with a power-play goal from James Stefan. Stefan’s fifth goal of the season came at 10:35 and was assisted by Dominic James and Dalton Norris. The Laguna Beach, CA native extended his point streak to five games with the goal. Craft would tap home his sixth goal of the year at 14:19, with Beaune and Cross Hanas receiving the helpers.
Ryan Ouellette made 26 saves for his eighth victory of the season while Trent Burnham allowed six goals on 38 shots.
The Stars dominated the special teams battle, killing off all five penalties they took while scoring once and four power-play opportunities.
Lincoln continues the four-game road trip on Friday night in Tri-City to take on the Storm. Watch the game on HockeyTV and listen on Mixlr!