The Sioux City Musketeers (21-27-1) ended their four game losing streak in convincing fashion by notching a season high seven goals in a 7-2 rout over the Waterloo Black Hawks (24-17-6) before 2,184 fans at Young Arena.
The Musketeers received goals from six different players including a pair from winger Tim O'Brien who returned to the lineup after missing six games with a lower body injury.
Brad Robbins, Maxim Gaudreault, Cody Marooney, Michael Holland and Andy Ryan also tallied for Sioux City while goaltender Matt Skoff (18-20-1) made 25 saves to end a personal three game losing streak.
Kyle Criscuolo, David Goodwin, Robbins and O'Brien each had multi-point games as 12 different Sioux City skaters registered at least a point.
Sioux City's win coupled with the Tri-City Storm's 4-0 shutout loss to the Omaha Lancers enabled the Musketeers to leap frog the Storm and move back into the 6th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Sioux City closed out its season series against the Black Hawks, going 2-2-0 in four games against their longtime rivals.
Before the game, Head Coach and GM Brett Larson predicted his team was close to breaking out, particularly on the offensive side of the puck despite being held to just six goals in its prior four games.
His players brought his comments to fruition as the Musketeers had their biggest offensive explosion of the season while playing a terrific road game in a tough building.
The Musketeers, who had a great special teams performance, got things started with a good first period and used their penalty kill to score the first goal of the game for the first time in six games.
With forward Josh Erickson whistled for a double minor, the 9th ranked Musketeer penalty kill did a great job to limit the high powered Hawks on the man-advantange.
The big kill culminated in Tim O'Brien's first shorthanded goal of his USHL career after he followed up a Brad Robbins rush and backhanded the rebound past Waterloo netminder Stephon Williams for his 5th goal of the season at 16:43.
Sioux City outshot Waterloo 9-7 in the first period and took that 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The team's would then play a wild second period that featured five goals, seven combined power plays and a fight.
Sioux City would push their lead to 3-0 as Robbins and O'Brien scored back to back goals in a span of 36 seconds mid-way through the period.
Robbins was beautifully set up by David Henry on a Musketeer power play and then shortly thereafter Criscuolo's slick saucer pass on right wing sent O'Brien in alone and he desposited his second of the night past Williams on the backhand at 7:10.
Waterloo wouldn't go quietly as quick strikes from defenseman Eddie Wittchow and forward Scott MacDoald within just 8 seconds of each other cut the Sioux City lead to 3-2.
But after Skoff made a pair of huge saves late in the middle period with the Hawks making their push, Gaudreault gave the Musketeers some renewed confidence when his rising shot from left wing with just 55 seconds left in the period beat Williams to give the Musketeers a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes.
The goal set the tone for the third period as Sioux City outscored Waterloo 3-0 in the final frame.
The Musketeers receieved the goals from some unlikely players as Marooney, Holland and Ryan all talllied for Sioux City before the period was halfway old.
The trio entered the game with five combined goals.
It was that kind of night as each player contributed and the Musketeers got their weekend road trip started in a big way.
Sioux City will look to make it a perfect road trip tomorrow night when they visit the defending Clark Cup Champion Fighting Saints at the Mystique Ice Center at 7:05 PM.
SC: 1 - 3 - 3 - 7
WAT: 0 - 2 - 0 - 2
SC: O'Brien 5 (shorthanded) (Robbins) 16:43
SC: Robbins 22 (power play) (Henry) 6:34
SC: O'Brien 6 (Criscuolo) 7:10
WAT: Wittchow (power play) (Barron, MacDonald) 12:43
WAT: MacDonald 10 (Naclerio, Papa) 12:51
SC: Gaudreault 12 (O'Brien) 19:05
SC: Marooney 3 (Nelson, Criscuolo) 2:20
SC: Holland 2 (Goodwin, Johansson) 5:50
SC: Ryan 3 (Goodwin, Sirotkin) 9:33
SC: 9 - 14 - 7 - 30
WAT: 7 - 12 - 8 - 27
SC: Skoff (win) 25 Saves (27 Shots)
WAT: Williams (loss) 23 Saves (30 Shots)
SC: 1 for 7
WAT: 1 for 7