BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Central Illinois Flying Aces rallied to defeat the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 3 to 2.
Less than a minute into the game, Lynden Breen (Grand Bay-Westfield, NB) passed through the crease to Stephen Halliday (Toronto, Ont.) on the backdoor. Halliday’s shot went off the post, but Joe Dunlap (Windham, NH) picked up the loose puck and fired it home from below the goal line for his ninth of the season.
The Flying Aces picked up their second of the night late in the first period on the power play. Chase Foley (Mendota Heights, Minn.) picked up speed exiting the defensive zone and passed ahead to Breen. The University of Maine commit drove down the right boards and past several Cedar Rapids defenders. Breen slid a backhand pass over to Tate Singleton (West Lebanon, NH) on the backdoor for a perfect tip to give Central Illinois a two-goal lead.
Early in the second period, Cedar Rapids scored shortly after the conclusion of a power play opportunity. Nate Hanley scored after he received a pass from across the slot. The RoughRiders concluded the period with a goal late after Mitchell Gibson (Phoenixville, Penn.) made the original stop on a breakaway, but Andrei Bakanov was able to get the loose puck past the netminder to tie the game.
Midway through the third period, Michael Ferrandino (Lisle, Ill.) gathered the puck behind his own net and made a stretch pass to Chad Hillebrand (Skokie, Ill.) at the far blue line. Hillebrand brought the puck in and wristed a shot top-shelf in the far corner from the left dot to retake the lead for the Flying Aces. Tyler Gratton (Pottstown, Penn.) also assisted on the goal.
The Flying Aces penalty kill was perfect on the night stopping all four Cedar Rapids opportunities.
Gibson stopped 25 of 27 shots faced in the victory.
The Flying Aces finish the weekend with a two-game stint in Green Bay on March 2nd and 3rd. Central Illinois travels to Madison on Friday, March 8th before returning home on March 9th against Muskegon for 3-0-9 Blackout Night.
For tickets or more information, call the Flying Aces at 309-434-2980 or visit www.flyingaceshockey.com.
ABOUT THE FLYING ACES
Known as the Bloomington Thunder from 2014-17, the newly-rebranded Central Illinois Flying Aces are a member of the top junior hockey league in the United States, the United States Hockey League (USHL). The only Tier I junior hockey league in the country, the USHL has become renowned for developing the next stars of both Division I college hockey and the NHL. The players in the USHL range in age from 16-20 years old, 95 percent of whom will go on to play college hockey at the Division I level. For more information, visit flyingaceshockey.com or ushl.com or download the USHL Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.