BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Central Illinois Flying Aces couldn't hold off a third period push from Sioux City Musketeers, falling 4 to 3 in overtime.
Forty-five seconds into the game, Chase Foley (Mendota Heights, Minn.) scored his first of the season to give Central Illinois the early lead. The play started with a one-timer off the boards from Stephen Halliday (Toronto, Ont.). Lynden Breen (Grand Bay-Westfield, NB) grabbed the loose puck near the left corner and found Joe Dunlap (Windham, NH) in the low slot. Dunlap dropped the puck back to Foley who had looped back to the high slot. The Colorado College commit wristed the shot past the goaltender to make it one to nothing.
Late in the first, Mitchell Gibson (Phoenixville, Penn.) made a kick-save to keep the Musketeers off the board. Tyler Gratton (Pottstown, Penn.) picked up the rebound and turned the other way for a three-on-two. Gratton passed to Tate Singleton (West Lebanon, NH) streaking down the right lane. Singleton found Chad Hillebrand (Skokie, Ill.) who passed the puck around the stretched out defender to find Gratton on the backdoor. The Penn State commit buried his fourth with the Aces.
Early in the second, the Aces gave up a two-on-zero, but thanks to a strong backcheck from Singleton, the Musketeers did not record a shot on the opportunity.
Less than five minutes into the second, Central Illinois extended their lead to three on the power play. After strong puck movement throughout the zone, Colby Enns (Minot, ND) fired a shot from the point that went off the boards with a hearty rebound. Gratton poked the puck on net, and Bradley Marek (Big Rapids, Mich.) got it past the netminder for his tenth of the season.
Sioux City had an opportunity to get on the board during a five-on-three power play in the second, but they were not able to get the puck past Gibson.
The Musketeers came out flying during the third period and outshot Central Illinois twenty-three to four. Gibson made several phenomenal saves to keep them off the board, but they finally broke through on the power play with a Marcus Kallionkieli shot off a rebound. Sioux City pulled their goaltender with nearly three minutes to go, but it paid off for them with a Bobby Brink goal through traffic and an Albin Nilsson shot with less than a minute to play to tie the game.
The teams exchanged several chances during three-on-three overtime with Central Illinois outshooting Sioux City eight to seven. However, Sioux City got the only shot that mattered when Bobby Brink scored with nine seconds remaining in overtime to win the game.
Gibson finished the game with forty-four saves.
Next weekend, Central Illinois travels to Fargo to take on the Force in a two-game series on March 22 and 23.
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.