KEARNEY, NE—The Musketeers were in Kearney for their final matchup against the Tri-City Storm and managed to hold to a 3-2 victory despite a late push by the Storm.
Sioux City got off to a hot start against the Sioux Falls Stampede on Wednesday, scoring just 45 seconds into the game and they continued that trend with another early goal against the Storm. Randy Hernandez skated the puck into the Tri-City zone and feathered a pass to Ryan Leibold in the slot. Leibold sent a light deflection on net that bounced off the pad of Jake Barczewski, off the skate of a Tri-City defender and into the back of the net. It was Leibold who last touched the puck so he would get his seventh goal of the year to put the Musketeers up 1-0 2:33 into the game.
The Musketeer penalty kill was stellar in Wednesday’s game against the Stampede, and they would need to step up again in the 1st period tonight. Just over nine minutes into the period Aaron Grounds laid a big hit on a Tri-City player and received a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for head contact. The result would be a 5-minute powerplay for the Storm, but the Musketeer penalty kill shut them down. In fact, the Storm did not even register a shot on net with the man advantage, and Cole Koepke nearly gave Sioux City a 2-0 on a short-handed breakaway. The ice was tilted in the Musketeers direction all period and while they had several excellent opportunities, they could not get another goal and would head into the locker room with a 1-0 lead. Shots in the period were 15-8 in favor of Sioux City.
The Musketeers came out hot in the 2nd period and managed to take a 2-0 lead just 49 seconds into the period. Parker Ford gathered the puck and skated it into the Tri-City zone along the right side boards. Ford then dumped the puck off to Bauer Neudecker who was left wide open in the high slot and skated in all alone on Barczewski. Neudecker then made an excellent backhand, forehand, backhand move that beat Barczewski to give Sioux City a 2-0 lead. The Musketeers continued to dominate the period but couldn’t extend the lead, and would head back to the locker room leading by two. Shots in the period were 15-8 in favor of Sioux City.
The play would start to even out in the 3rd period but not before Cole Kopeke could extend the lead for Sioux City. Adam Goodsir was called for a trip just over 7 minutes into the period giving the Musketeers their first powerplay of the game. Dylan Mills would win the ensuing faceoff in the Tri-City zone and pulled the puck back to Cole Koepke. Koepke then wired a shot from the point past Barczewski to give Sioux City a 3-0 lead on the powerplay. The Storm would continue to fight and eventually got one back on a rebound goal by Adam Goodsir at the 14:59 mark. Tri-City would make things interesting when Hugo Blixt scored an unassisted goal less than three minutes later.
The Storm would pull their goalie late as they tried to find the equalizer but Sioux City managed to hold on for a 3-2 victory. Ben Kraws was impressive again in net for the Musketeers stopping 27 of 29 shots. Barczewski stopped 34 of 37 Sioux City shots.
The Musketeers will try to close out their season with a third straight win tomorrow night when they take on the Lancers in Omaha. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. and don’t forget to head to Buffalo Wild Wings to catch the action live.