Josiah Slavin's return to the ice could not have come at a better time for the Lincoln Stars in a 2-1 overtime win over Sioux City on Friday at the Ice Box.
It was Lincoln's (7-10-3-1) first overtime victory at the Ice Box this season.
Slavin, who had missed the Stars' previous three games due to injury, followed a shot in overtime as the Stars' 4-on-3 power play expired and was able to lift the puck over a sprawled Ben Kraws in net for the Stars captain's seventh goal of the season.
“Being away from the team and battling with them is tough," Slavin said. “It is something eventually every player has to go through and it just felt great to be back out there with the guys.”
Lincoln gained the man advantage 54 seconds into overtime after Sioux City was called for too many men on the ice, a penalty that helped the Stars to a shot advantage of 4-0 in the extra frame.
The Musketeers helped force overtime, beating Tyler Johnson early in the third period, Marcus Kallionkieli getting the goal 2:57 into the frame. Johnson had another stellar game in net for the Stars, picking up his second consecutive win after making 31 saves.
Newly acquired Egor Postnov helped Lincoln hold a 1-0 lead through the first two periods, scoring his first of the season with 24 seconds remaining in a fast-paced first period that saw only four penalties called.
It was a big moment for the Moskva, Russia, forward, Stars coach Cody Chupp said.
“I think for any forward, to get the monkey off your back (scoring a goal) is a good thing,” Chupp said. “Tonight was kind of one of those games that was difficult for him when we started to get into special teams and into certain situations.
“I thought he did a good job, and probably when I watch the tape deserves a little more ice (time) than he got. He's doing things right and that is the biggest thing.”
Lincoln returns to the Ice Box at 7 p.m. Saturday against the Des Moines Buccaneers.