GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Gamblers scored the first four goals of the game and withstood a four-goal third period by the Central Illinois Flying Aces to earn a 7-4 victory on Friday night at the Resch Center.
Cameron Burke (University of Notre Dame) and Griffin Lunn (Colgate University) both scored goals to extend their point streaks to seven games and eight games, respectively, but Green Bay responded all three times the Flying Aces pulled within two in the third period to earn the win in the second meeting between the teams in four days.
Trailing 4-0 entering the third, the Flying Aces broke through while on a 5-on-3 penalty kill via Burke. After blocking a shot, Burke beat Green Bay defenseman Jackson Charlesworth to the loose puck inside the Green Bay defensive zone and then tucked a forehand shot past Gamblers goaltender Maksim Zhukov with 6:37 gone in the frame.
Jason Smallidge (Nebraska Omaha) trimmed the deficit to two with his first goal of the season just past the halfway mark of the third period. Smallidge beat a screened Zhukov from the right point to make it a 4-2 game.
From there, the floodgates opened, as the two teams combined for five goals in the final 8:20 of regulation and seven total goals in the third period. Green Bay’s Lean Bergmann tallied just 32 seconds after Smallidge to make it 5-2, but Lunn found the back of the net only 17 seconds after that to turn it into a two-goal game again. With 5:02 left in the game, Trenton Bliss pushed the Gamblers ahead by three once more. Wojciech Stachowiak cut the deficit to two a third time on his fifth goal of the season with 45 seconds to play. Green Bay’s Robert Welsher had the final goal of the night in the final 33 seconds.
Lunn’s eight-game point streak is the second-longest point streak in team history behind Tarek Baker’s nine-game point streak from the 2015-16 season. Burke’s point streak is the longest of his career.
Central Illinois now travels to Iowa for a Saturday night matchup against the Waterloo Black Hawks. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. at Young Arena.
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. At the start of the 2017-18 season, there were 128 active USHL alumni on NHL rosters, with at least one USHL alumnus playing for each of the 31 teams. In total, there have been 253 USHL players who have gone onto NHL careers, including Patrick Sharp, David Backes, Johnny Gaudreau, and Joe Pavelski, among others. 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.