After three quick goals from the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Friday at the Ice Box, the Lincoln Stars overcame a haunting task with four unanswered goals in a 4-3 victory.
With the victory, Lincoln is now on a five-game point streak and holds a one-point lead over the Waterloo Blackhawks for first place in the USHL's Western Conference.
A strong first shift from the Stars (7-2-2) turned into a nightmare as Cedar Rapids got a pair of early goals from Nikolai Mayorov four minutes into regulation and a Michael Posma tally to dig the Stars into a 3-0 deficit 14:12 into the opening period.
A message was delivered in the Lincoln locker room at the first intermission and the Stars answered by peppering the RoughRiders 19-3 in shots, which resulted in two goals from Zach Urdahl over the next 20 minutes. Lincoln outshot Cedar Rapids 31-12 over the final two periods of play.
“The message was, 'That wasn't us and that certainly wasn't us at home,'” Lincoln head coach Cody Chupp said. “We talk a lot about how we want this to be the toughest place to play in the league and to come out in the first period like we did was interesting. We came out with a great first shift and then we decided Cedar Rapids wasn't very good and we could do whatever we wanted. They made us pay dearly for that.”
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Urdahl turned the tide 12:18 into the second period with his first of two tallies, erupting the Ice Box crowd of 2,119 and adding his second goal nearly four minutes later to cut the deficit to 3-2 after two periods of play. The score marked Urdahl's third goal in his last two games.
“When (Urdahl) skates he is very tough to handle,” Chupp said. “The odd-man rush goal, I believe his second goal, he gets to that puck as the weak-side wing coming over in support, wins the race and not only wins but wins it with time to get his eyes up and start to make a read."
“I think that's the key component to his game. When he's playing with that jam and his feet are moving. He's on pucks quick, he has a good stick to take it away and he is really tough to handle.”
Jake Boltman became just the second Stars defenseman to record a goal this season, this one tying the game 3-3 in the third period before Travis Treloar netted his fifth of the season for the game-winning goal.
After Lincoln was unable to capitalize in a scrum in the crease, the puck found Treloar the Western Michigan commited went top shelf on a downed Derek Mullahy in net for Cedar Rapids.
Lincoln hits the road to Des Moines, Iowa Saturday with a showdown with the Buccaneers at 6 p.m.
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