The intermittent bursts of effort Omaha flashed Friday night weren't enough to hold off Sioux City.
While the Musketeers sent only 15 shots to the Lancer goal, they put enough through for a 3-2 USHL victory in front of 2,723 at Ralston Arena.
The most frustrating part of the loss for Omaha (9-2-1) was how the Musketeers set up their winning goal.
The Lancers were whistled for a non-effort penalty for having too many men on the ice. Sioux City's Brandon Hawkins scored the winner for his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
The Musketeers had three shots bounce off a post in the third period before Hawkins' goal at 14:34. It was the lone power-play goal of the game — Omaha was 0 for 5 — and it came off assists from Cedric Lacroix and Kyle Schmidt.
The victory was Sioux City's second in as many games against the Western Conference-leading Lancers, though Omaha was able to salvage an overtime point in the first meeting.
“I don't believe we had a consistent effort for 60 minutes,” Lancers coach Brian Kaufman said. “It was very intermittent at best. We didn't bear down and execute on our opportunities.”
Hawkins also scored the game-winner against Omaha in the first meeting Oct. 25.
The Lancers did start the game with plenty of energy.
They controlled the puck most of the first five minutes before captain and UNO recruit Jake Randolph scored his sixth goal of the season with a shot at the high slot.
The Musketeers tied it just over five minutes into the second period, as Joe Snively sent a one-timer from just inside the right circle past goalie Cole Bruns.
Sioux City (8-2-1) jumped ahead 2-1 on Trevor Olson's fifth goal of the season at 16:57 of the second, but Omaha tied it before intermission.
With 21 seconds left in the period, center Tyler Vesel redirected a shot from Randolph in front of the goal.
Kaufman said the atmosphere in the locker room was upbeat, much as it had been in Sunday's 6-5 come-from-behind victory over Muskegon when the Lancers scored four goals in the final 20 minutes.
“There wasn't much different except the execution,” Kaufman said. “The energy was good, the locker room was great. It was just frustrating.”
Sioux City (8-2-1) ............................ 0 2 1—3
At Omaha (9-2-1) ............................ 1 1 0—2
First period: 1, O, Jake Randolph (Nash Worden, Jimmy Schuldt), 5:07.
Second period: 2, SC, Joe Snivley (Cedric Lacroix, Terrance Amorosa), 5:17. 3, SC, Trevor Olson (Jared Thomas), 16:57. 4, O, Tyler Vesel (Randolph, Gage Hough), 19:39.
Third period: 5, SC, Brandon Hawkins (Cedric Lacroix, Kyle Schmidt), 14:34 (power play).
Shots on goal:
Sioux City ............................ 6 4 5—15
Omaha ................................ 13 7 5—25
Power plays: Sioux City 1 for 4, Omaha 0 for 5.
Penalties-minutes: Sioux City 7 for 14, Omaha 6 for 12.
Goalies: Sioux City, Kyle Hayton (25 shots, 23 saves, 60:00); Omaha, Cole Bruns (15 shots, 12 saves, 58:48).
Three stars: Randolph, Vesel, Hayton.