Lancers goaltender Cole Bruns has been in the right place at the right time a lot this season as Omaha posted four straight shutouts to open the season.
He was in those same places at the same times again Satruday as the Lancers extended their shutout streak to a league-record five games and 300 minutes in a 7-0 blowout over Des Moines in front of 2,622 at Ralston Arena.
Bruns steered aside all 28 shots he faced and Tyler Vesel and Jake Randolph provided the offense for the Lancers (5-0-0).
Vesel scored two goals, Randolph added another and each were credited with three assists.
Omaha coach Brian Kaufman said there are many factors that have contributed to the streak.
“Right now it’s a combination of hard work and a lot of lucky bounces,” Kaufman said.
“We’ve played great. We’ve competed hard. But we’ve given up some opportunities and Cole’s been great. A lot of things have kind of fallen into place.”
The streak came into serious jeopardy with 11:48 remaining in the second period and the Lancers leading 3-0. Marcel Godbout jumped on a Lancer turnover and blasted a slapshot from point-blank range.
But Bruns was able to smother the puck against his chest to preserve the scoreless string.
The Buccaneers had three more good scoring chances in the final 30 seconds of the second period, including a pair of slapshots by Godbout from close range, but Bruns was able to stop them all.
Kaufman called a timeout following the Des Moines outburst with 10 seconds remaining in the period to calm his team down.
“There are things like that that we need to tighten up on,” Kaufman said. “We just wanted to make sure we were talking to them and addressing those concerns and slow the game down a little bit.”
The Lancers will embark on a four-game road trip that includes three games in three nights beginning Thursday at Waterloo.
Kaufman said he is interested to see how his team reacts to that schedule.
“Big time adversity,” Kaufman said. “We keep talking about how we’re going to face adversity, and we’ve slowly faced it facing some very good hockey teams.
“But we haven’t yet played a three in three on the road. We haven’t had a long road trip. We haven’t been down a goal yet. We haven’t been losing in a game. So to see how our guys respond to that will be really interesting.”
Des Moines (1-4-1) ............................ 0 0 0—0
At Omaha (5-0-0) ............................ 1 3 3—7
First period: 1, O, Alex Rauter (Tyler Hynes) 10:09.
Second period: 2, O, Matt Nelson (Tyler Vesel, Jake Randolph) 3:32. 3, O, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (Tyler Hynes) 4:27. 4, O, Randolph ppg (Steven Johnson, Vesel) 8:49.
Third period: 5, O, Vesel (Randolph) 6:15. 6, O, Vesel (Jimmy Schuldt) 12:15). 7, O, Gage Hough ppg (Vesel, Randolph) 17:24.
Shots on goal:
Des Moines ............................ 8 14 6—28
Omaha ............................ 8 14 16—38
Power-plays: Des Moines 0 for 3, Omaha 2 for 4.
Penalties-minutes: Des Moines 4-8, Omaha 4-8.
Goaltenders: Des Moines, Billy Christopoulos, 24:27 (12 shots, 9 saves), Ryan Ruck (0 shots, 0 saves). Omaha, Cole Bruns 60:00 (28 shots, 28 saves).
Three stars: Bruns, Vesel, Nelson