SIOUX CITY — Resiliency has played a key theme for the Sioux City Musketeers throughout the season.
It proved to ring true again on Tuesday night against the Omaha Lancers at the Tyson Events Center.
The Lancers scored first on the Musketeers (12-14-1, 25 points), but Sioux City bounced back to win 4-2 on Tuesday.
Omaha forward Kyle Bettens opened up the scoring just 18 seconds into the contest, shooting a puck past Sioux City goaltender Alex Tracy.
Tracy was beside himself that he allowed a goal that early in the contest, but he has been working on his mental strength and resiliency throughout the season.
Tracy knew his teammates would have had his back, and he didn’t want to let one mistake turn into a second.
“It’s definitely never good to give up a goal in the first 10 seconds,” Tracy said. “That just shows the character as a team. We fought real back. We got three more in the first, that’s huge. We never looked back from there.”
Tracy was right about his teammates having a bounce back.
Eighteen seconds after Omaha (14-14-0, 28) first lit the lamp, Ethan Edwards tied the game with the Musketeers’ first goal.
Chase Bradley passed the puck cross-rink to Edwards, and even though Edwards had a tough angle, he put the biscuit past Reilly Herbst to tie the game at 1-1.
Gabe Blanchard also had an assist on Bradley’s goal.
“That was a big-time goal,” Musketeers coach Luke Strand said. “We got punched in the nose a little bit. We were able to not take much time with that, and we were able to reset the game. I thought we moved forward with the game.”
Tracy called the goal a "gamechanger," and that allowed him to reset and re-focus for the remaining 59-plus minutes of the game.
"One thing that I've been working on in the past, especially as a goalie, is my mental strength," Tracy said. "It's the toughest aspect of it. So, to erase that first goal and not think about it, it definitely leads into the rest of the game. From ever since the first game in November, I definitely feel like I've improved with my mental toughness.'
The Musketeers weren’t done there, however.
At the 2-minute, 48-second mark of the first period, Ben Steeves scored his fourth goal of the season.
The scoring play started when Steeves had the puck below the goal line, but he worked his way back to the right-wing area, and passed the puck to Brian Carrabes.
Carrabes then made a pass to the middle of the rink, where a shot was made by John Fusco, but Herbst made a save on that shot.
Steeves was hanging out near the net, and found the rebounding puck come to him, and fired it into the net to give the Musketeers the lead.
Fusco and Carrabes had assists on the play.
Carrabes then had a goal of his own, during a power play situation, at the 17:04 mark of the opening period.
Carrabes got the goal thanks to a little help from Joel Maatta. Maatta does a good job of screening the goalie whenever a forward takes a shot, and that happened again here.
Carrabes shot the puck from the right side of the rink, not far from the circle. He saw that Maatta was screening Herbst well enough to place the puck over Herbst’s left shoulder, and found the high side of the net.
“(Maatta) does such a good job of screening the goalie,” Carrabes said. “He’s a big boy, and I don’t think he let the goalie see the puck at all. I give all the credit to Joel Maatta.”
Matteo Costantini and Griffin Ludtke were credited with assists on Carrabes’ goal.
Carrabes, who received the No. 1 star of the game, agreed that the Musketeers had to rely on their resilient mindset in the first period.
“I think we really responded well as a team,” Carrabes said. “We weren’t defeated on the bench. It’s huge, and the name of the game is who responds the best to adversity. We’ve been good about that all year.”
SIoux City’s final goal came from Costantini, and that scoring play came with 56 seconds left in the second period.
That came on a scramble play in front of the net, and Costantini was credited with his fifth goal of the season.
Ludtke and Brenden Olson had assists on the play.
“I thought we had some guys that rose to the occasion,” Strand said.
Omaha's last goal came in the second period, as Noah Carlin scored at the 4:21 mark. Tracy ended up with 14 saves off 16 Omaha shots.
The Musketeers had 31 shots.
Sioux City hosts Sioux Falls at 3:05 p.m. Sunday.
Want to see more photos and a postgame interview with Alex Tracy from Tuesday's Musketeers game? Check out siouxcityjournal.com.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!