SIOUX CITY, IA--The Musketeers took on another Eastern Conference opponent on Friday night but the Phantoms from Youngstown didn't put up much of a fight as the Musketeers defeated them by a final score of 5-2.
The 1st period was a quick one with few stoppages and just one penalty for each team. Both teams have had their struggles on special teams this year and that was the case in the first as neither team was able to score with the man advantage. Randy Hernandez gave the Musketeers the early lead with an excellent tip off a shot from Musketeer Captain Brady Ferner. After being tipped by Hernandez the puck hit the post in the back of the net before bouncing straight out of the net. The bounce fooled the refs, who didn't immediately realize the puck had gone in. After a brief review by the officials, it was ruled a good goal and Sioux City took the 1-0 lead. The rest of the 1st period would be quick and uneventful and the Musketeers would head into the locker room leading by 1.
The 2nd period was quiet one with neither team finding the back of the net. Both teams had two more opportunities on the powerplay in the period, but neither team was able to convert. The period would end with the Musketeers still leading 1-0.
Youngstown was able to finally get on the board two minutes into the 3rd period after the Musketeers failed to clear a rebound in front of the net. Mike Regush was able to get to the puck and slip it by Jurusik to tie the game up at 1. Sioux City was able to regain the lead just over halfway through the period when the puck found the hot stick of Cole Koepke. Martin Pospisil won the draw in the Musketeer offensive zone and was able to get the puck back to Ferner who went D to D to his partner Nate Knoepke, who then fired the puck towards the net. After bouncing off a few players in front, the puck landed right on Koepke's stick and he buried to put Sioux City up 2-1. The goal was Koepke's team-leading 17th goal of the season. Youngstown would was able to fight back and tie the game with just under 5 minutes remaining after a shot from Michael Joyaux tipped off of a Musketeers stick and over the glove of Jurusik.
Sioux City was able to regain the lead just two minutes later after a tremendous effort by the persistent Ryan Leibold. Leibold had two breakaway chances early in the 1st period but was unable to convert. He wouldn't let that deter him though, and was finally able to get his goal after jamming home a rebound to give the Musketeers a 3-2 lead. Sioux City would add two empty net goals from Koepke and Bauer Neudecker to secure a 5-2 victory on Friday night.
The Musketeers will be back in action tomorrow night against the Phantoms for the second game of the weekend series. Don't forget to stick around after the game for the live auction on this year's green jerseys. This is your only opportunity to pick up a game-worn jersey, so don't miss it!