The odds were not good for the Lincoln Stars in front of a sellout Ice Box crowd of 4,008 fans Saturday — then magic happened with a 4-3, come-from-behind victory in overtime against Sioux Falls.
Stars defenseman Tony Follmer had not scored in 56 games. His wrist shot from the left circle got past Stampede goalie Grant Adams and he was mobbed by his teammates.
“It goes to show you if you are doing things right and doing things right consistently, you start to create your own puck luck,” Lincoln coach Cody Chupp said. “When you go through adversity, and haven't showed up consistently, you are going to have to prove it. The hockey gods or whatever you want to call it are going to test you. We were tested tonight and our resolve and resiliency — our willingness to stick to it — was tested tonight."
Trailing 3-2 and down a man due to a Brock Bremer tripping penalty, the Stars (8-4-2) rolled the dice by pulling goalie Jacob Mucitelli a second time from the net and putting an extra attacker on the ice.
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With fans heading toward the exits thinking Lincoln would lose its third consecutive game in regulation, Matt Miller made the fans stop in their tracks.
Miller scored his fifth goal of the season, this one tying the game 3-3 with 25.1 seconds remaining and sending the game into overtime.
With the tie game, Bremer's penalty still remained on the scoreboard as Sioux Falls held a 4-on-3 man advantage for nearly a minute.
After giving up three power plays against Omaha on Friday, Lincoln staved off the Sioux Falls power play and changed the momentum as Mucitelli became stronger in the final minutes. The Utica, New York, native finished with 22 saves, five in overtime, allowing Follmer to be a hero.
Mucitelli allowed two first-period goals, and one late in the third period after Lincoln battled back from the two-goal deficit.
The Stars return to action Friday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
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