The Lincoln Stars showcased their sharp-shooting skills Tuesday at the Ice Box with a 7-1 dominating performance over the visiting Sioux City Musketeers.
Lincoln (15-18-1), tallied three power-play and one short-handed goals in the rout of the Musketeers (15-14-6) to move to just five points behind Sioux City in the USHL Western Conference standings.
“The two points is the most important things for us,” Stars' head coach Cody Chupp said. “Whether we win 2-1 or 7-1, we are excited about that. It was great for a lot of guys tonight to find the back of the net to get off a skid they may have been on.
“It was a product of a team effort, the commitment to doing the things right, and it paid off for us.”
After Cole Koepke put Sioux City on the board just 30 seconds into regulation, the Stars responded with three first-period goals and never looked back.
Casey Dornbach, who tallied his 14th goal of the season, one-timed a pass from Eero Teravainen on a 4-on-3 advantage to knot the score 1-1.
Austen Long scored the eventual game-winning goal with the Stars' second power-play tally at the 16:10 mark in the first. Zach Dubinksy scored his first of the year after teammate Josiah Slavin's shot bounced off him and into the net to give Lincoln the 3-1 lead.
“The things we have been focusing on are very similar to our 5-on-5 game,” Chupp said. “We have to be willing to outwork the opponent. Just because they have four guys (on the ice) doesn't mean it is going to be easy on us. We have to make that commitment; any loose puck, any faceoff, we have to be committed to winning that first battle, that next battle.
“If we do that, and our allowed to set up or options, will have a better chance to find success.”
After a scoreless second period between both teams, Lincoln scored four third-period goals.
Dominick Mersch kept the special-teams unit going, this time down a man with a short-handed goal. Carter Long, Tristan Ashbrook and Ashton Calder all added goals in the third period, with Slavin finishing the night with four assists.
The Stars travel to Michigan to face the Eastern Conference-leading Team USA U17 team on Friday and Saturday.