A quiet beginning to the Lincoln Stars and Omaha Lancers rivalry turned into a snowball 6-2 loss Friday for the Stars at the Ice Box.
After both teams scored quickly in the first period, first by the Stars' Phillippe Lapointe for his second of the season, the Stars went on a penalty barrage and the Lancers were able to take full advantage.
“We had a decent start, and got a little sloppy in the second half of the first period in our zone, neutral zone, but over the course of two, two and a half periods I thought we were generating chances,” Stars head coach Cody Chupp said. “We were generating chances when we committed to being simple in two zones, our play in the offensive zone was very good.
“We generated opportunities, we generated movement (and) we needed a save, we needed a goal to help turn that tide, and it went the other way.”
After dominating the Lancers in 2016-17 with a 7-1-1 record in the Interstate 80 rivalry, Lincoln's bread-and-butter, rough-and-tough manner backfired, leading to 160 combined penalty minutes with 100 minutes issued to Lincoln.
Ex-Stars' forward Ethan Price capitalized on Omaha's first power play to give Omaha a 2-1 lead in the first. Both Lancers' first-period goals bounced off the dasher in the Stars end and in front of Stars' goalie Tomas Vomacka.
Collin Peters helped put Lincoln back on the board with his second goal of the season, but the Lancers tallied three times in the final frame to frustrate the Stars.
“I don't think the end was indicative of how we played throughout the course of the game, but at the end they did more little things right than we did,” Chupp said.
With 4:57 remaining in regulation, both Stars' defenseman Christian Krygier and Mason Klee had separate bouts with the Lancers. Wyatt Aamodt was injured earlier in the contest, leaving Lincoln with three defenseman for the rest of the contest. With both fights coming with less than five minutes in regulation, both Krygier and Klee will not be eligible in Saturday's contest in Omaha.
The Stars and Lancers series continues Saturday in Omaha at 7 p.m.