Saturday, March 14, 2009

Postgame Report - Lincoln at Indiana 3/13


Final Score: Lincoln 0, Indiana 1

Friday the 13th certainly wasn't nice to the Stars, as Lincoln was shutout for the first time all season by the hometown Indiana Ice, 1-0. It was the second straight loss for the Stars who currently are still in first place in the USHL West Division with 66 points. Indiana forward Stanislav Galiev scored the only goal of the game on the powerplay in the second period. Ice netminder Brett Bennett stopped all 26 shots he faced to record his third shutout of the season.

Intersting statistic I heard Melbye mention on the radio after this game: Lincoln has been outshot in four straight games. In those four games, the Stars have only scored a total of eight goals. It's obvious the Stars are in a bit of a slump, but the offense really needs to start picking it up. The Stars have done very well all season in the shots on goal category...very rarely do they get outshot in a game. There's room for improvement on both sides, offense and defense, but it's imperative it start very, very soon. Teams who end the the regular season on a down note, very rarely do anything in the playoffs. Conversely, teams who are playing well and are hot to end the regular season, often keep that hot streak going into the playoffs.

Credit Kevin Murdock for playing a very good game tonight. He just didn't get any help out there. Michael Sdao, Eric Meland, and Eric Alexander were three of the four scratches tonight, so you know Coach McGroarty was sending a message to those guys. It's impossible to point fingers at this point in the season, but sitting guys who normally play is a good wake up for those who sit, and those who are playing. Nobody is safe from the dreaded "healthy scratch." Positives tonight were the Stars holding a very good Indiana team to one goal on their home ice. However, the Stars powerplay is still as anemic as before. The Stars have only scored one goal in their last eighteen powerplays.

1ST STAR: Bennett, Brett (IND)
2ND STAR: Murdock, Kevin (LIN)
3RD STAR: Galiev, Stanislav (IND)

Not to sound like a broken record, but things don't get any easier Saturday night in Chicago. The Steel were blasted by the Omaha Lancers 6-3 on their home ice Friday night, and will look to get revenge as the struggling Stars pay a visit. I'm sure Chicago will also remember the last time the Stars came to town back on 2/28, when Lincoln beat the Steel 5-2. It's hard not to be gloom and doom, but things have to turn around fast.

I noticed that Coach McGroarty missed the postgame interview with Mike Melbye again. He missed the postgame interview after the home Omaha loss as well. I don't know what to think about that. He has his plate full right now, and I'm sure he wants to devote as much time as he can to righting the ship.

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