URBANDALE, Iowa – The Central Illinois Flying Aces rallied to defeat the Des Moines Buccaneers, 3 to 2, in a shootout tonight. Tate Singleton (West Lebanon, NH) led the way with a two-point night and the game-winning shootout goal to help break the Aces’ losing skid.
The first period included multiple power play chances for both teams, but each team killed off all of the opportunities and minimized shots. Central Illinois concluded the first with five shots while Des Moines finished with four shots.
After the scoreless first period, the Buccaneers were able to get on the board first at 6:21 in the second. Connor Senken slipped behind the defense, picked up the loose puck in the slot, and scored on his backhand five-hole to take the lead for Des Moines.
At 12:38, Jon Panisa (Irvine, Calif.) pressured the Buccaneers player attempting to exit the zone with the possession who passed it back into the slot. Singleton gathered the loose puck and fired it blocker-side to tie the game.
The Flying Aces broke the tie at 17:40 in the second. Stephen Halliday (Toronto, Ont.) separated the Des Moines defender from the puck while on the forecheck. Singleton picked up the loose puck and made a no-look pass to Jeremy Davidson (Schoolcraft, Mich.) in the slot. Davidson one-timed the puck to score his team-leading thirteenth goal of the season.
Central Illinois survived a key penalty kill during the third period thanks to several phenomenal saves from Mitchell Gibson (Phoenixville, Penn.). The Aces had a chance to ice the game when Singleton escaped on a breakaway in the third, but James Durham made a huge save to keep it a one-goal game.
Des Moines tied the game at 13:41 when a give and go between Mac Welsher and former Flying Ace, Brady Meyer (2017-18), resulted in Meyer on the inside of the Central Illinois defender. Meyer slipped the puck past Gibson to tie the game.
The game remained tied after overtime and required a shootout. Lynden Breen (Grand Bay-Westfield, NB) scored in the first round, but Reed Lebster scored for Des Moines in the second round to tie it up. Neither team could break the tie until the fifth round of the shootout. Singleton scored on his backhand, top-shelf for the Aces, and Gibson sealed the victory with a save to finish the game.
Tomorrow night (Sat., Dec. 15), the Flying Aces will be in Cedar Rapids to face the RoughRiders at 7:05 p.m. The next home game will be Friday, Dec. 28th as the Flying Aces host the Chicago Steel for Wrestling Night presented by Connect Transit with special guest ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan.
Season tickets for the 2018-19 season are on sale now. 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. 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.