Urbandale, Iowa - A nail-biter of a game came down to the final minutes, but the Des Moines Buccaneers prevailed with a 3-2 victory in regulation over the Omaha Lancers Friday night in Urbandale.
Des Moines got the scoring started early as Tanner Latsch pulled a puck off the right-wing boards and his shot left a rebound that Scout Truman dragged off the goal line and sent to the high slot. Defenseman Mitchell Wolfe wasted no time winding up for a snap shot that found the back of the net just 2:23 into the game. Omaha would tie the game with a power play tally from defenseman Nick Perna haflway through the first and the teams would head to intermission deadlocked at one.
Omaha's two leading scorers would combine for a goal just 16 seconds into the third to break the deadlock when Ayrton Martino fed a puck from behind the goal line that Ran Lautenbach one-timed past Derek Mullahy to give the Lancers their first lead of the contest. But while killing a penalty Des Moines' leading scorer Alex Laferriere created a turnover at neutral ice and danced around the last man back, then falling to his knees was able to elevate his backhanded shot enough to score 5:01 into the third period. In the closing minutes Zakary Karpa took an offensive zone faceoff that Paul Davey helped tie up until right winger Matt Choupani could skate in, drag the puck clear and wrist over the left shoulder of Jakub Dobes all in one motion to give the Buccaneers the 3-2 lead with 2:08 left in the game.
Des Moines withstood a strong push by Omaha to even the game late and would hold on for the 3-2 victory. Mullahy made 28 saves in the victory and the Buccaneers improved to 22-13-4 on the campaign. The two points with the victory, coupled with Omaha gaining no points on the night, allowed Des Moines to leapfrog the Lancers and sit all alone at third in the Western Conference.
The Buccaneers are back at it tomorrow night with another home game vs the Waterloo Black Hawks. It's Dollar Dog Night with $1 hot dogs available for purchase through the first intermission and the first 500 fans receive a free deck of Buccaneer trading cards courtesy of Jay's CD & Hobby.