SIOUX CITY | Momentum seemed to be on the side of the Sioux City Musketeers Saturday night.
Lucas Bahn’s goal with three-tenths of a second remaining in the second period ended a shutout bid by Des Moines goaltender Ryan Snowden. Veteran Buccaneers coach Dave Allison argued Bahn’s first goal of the season to no avail and was booted out of the game, called for unsportsmanlike conduct, putting Sioux City on the power play to begin the third period.
“The puck came out of the corner and there was only a few seconds left and I decided to head to the net,” said Bahn, following the Musketeers’ 3-1 United States Hockey League loss during their Pink In The Rink game at the Tyson Events Center.
“Luckily it was able to pop out and I was able to bury it. I thought it was going to help us. We had the power play coming up to start the third. We didn’t get our bounces tonight, but I feel like we’re going to come back strong.”
Chase Ellingson scored two goals for Des Moines (3-3), including an empty-netter with 20.4 seconds remaining in the game. Snowden lost his shutout bid on Bahn’s goal, yet had 31 saves for a club that was coming off a 4-3 overtime win at Sioux Falls Friday night.
Sioux City (2-3) was unable to score on the ensuing man advantage to begin the first two minutes of the final period. Coach Luke Strand’s Musketeers were perfect (4 of 4) on the penalty kill for the first time this season, but was unable to score on five power-play chances in the 10th annual Pink In The Rink game, contested in front of 3,740 fans.
Sioux City suffered its second straight loss. The Musketeers, who have scored just seven goals thus far, are just 2 of 23 in this special teams area in the first three weeks of the season.
One of Sioux City’s 5-on-4 scoring chances came midway through the second period when Des Moines center Mike Hardman was whistled for kneeing. Former Buccaneer Solag Bakich, who came to the Musketeers in late December of last season, laid with his outstretched body on the ice before being examined by a trainer.
Bakich, who was whistled for roughing in the first period, walked back on his own power. His teammates were on the power play for five minutes on the Des Moines kneeing misconduct penalty, but were unable to score as Snowden kept his shutout alive.
Des Moines, one of the USHL’s highest-scoring teams with 19 goals, received goals from Julian Napravnik and Ellingson in the first and second periods, respectively. The two are among eight veterans back from last season’s squad that was swept by the Anderson Cup champion-Musketeers in a first-round Western Conference playoffs series.
Snowden was whistled for a delay of penalty call with 6:32 left in the game, putting the Musketeers on their final power play of the night. Samuel Salonen, a Vantaa, Finland, native who led Sioux City with five goals in the preseason, missed a shot as did teammate Hayden Rowan, second on the squad thus far with three points (1 goal, 2 assist).
“We just need to play a full 60 minutes,” said Bahn. “We need to have a good start, a good second period and a good third period. We have to play every shift. You can’t take shifts off in this league.”
The Musketeers will continue their home stand this Friday against Chicago. Tri-City will invade the Tyson Events Center Saturday night.