Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Postgame Report - Lincoln at Omaha 3/17

Final Score: Lincoln 5, Omaha 3

What's the expression....revenge is a dish best served cold?

The Lincoln Stars got a little revenge Tuesday night against the Omaha Lancers, as the Stars got out to a 4-1 lead and then held on for the 5-3 victory. With the win, the Stars won the regular season series against the Lancers, 4-2-1. In what could have been the final time the Stars played the Lancers at the Mid America Center, Lincoln scored two goals in each of the first two periods to escape Counciltucky with the road win. Scoring goals for the Stars was Kirt Hill, Ryan Kretzer (PP), Jake Newton, Eric Alexander, and Michael Sdao (EN).

This was yet another quality road win for the Stars. Lincoln ended its four game road trip with 5 points, which isn't bad at all considering how inconsistent the Stars had been playing before. Two straight road wins against Cedar Rapids and Omaha was just what the team needed to get back on track. It was also a great test in terms of playoff preparation. To go anywhere in the playoffs, you have to be able to perform well and win on the road in some hostile barns. Granted, the MAC is about as hostile as a Nunnery, but it's still a place the Stars have had trouble winning games in the past couple of years.

Despite being outshot 31-14 by the Lancers, the Stars were able to put four goals past Omaha goaltender Kris Lazaruk. Lazaruk was brought in from the WHL by head coach Bliss Littler halfway thru the season, but he has yet to be consistent in net for the Lancers. Last Tuesday night at the Ice Box, Lazaruk had a heck of a game stopping 31 of 32 shots on goal for the win. Before that game, on 2/20, Lazaruk started in net at the Ice Box but gave up four goals in a loss to the Stars. In that game he gave up a ton of rebounds, and never looked comfortable. Fast forward to last night, and Lazaruk was only able to stop 9 of 13 Lincoln shots. Shots on goal isn't the end all statistic, quality is always more important than quantity, but a .692 save percentage isn't going to win you ANY games. Zero. Zip. Nada. Doughnut.

Props to Kevin Murdock for standing on his head and stopping 28 of 31 Omaha shots. Doc gave up two goals in the third period to make the game interesting, but I think that had more to do with the team putting it in cruise control after it got up 4-1 in the game, and possibly playing with a little less aggression. You have to keep your foot on the throat of your opponent when you have them down, and the Stars almost let the Lancers get away in this game. Doc is now in second place in the USHL in goals against, and is tied for first place in save percentage.

If anyone was at the game, I'd appreciate any comments. The shot total is not very surprising to me at all. I wouldn't be shocked if the Stars had more shots on goal, but were missed by the Omaha scorekeeper. I've noticed that quite often whenever the Stars visit the MAC. I've been at games up there and have noticed shots on goal by Lincoln not getting noted by the scorekeeper. It is what it is. Like I said before, quantity is nice...but quality is always more important.

Onward and upward! Two big games this weekend at the comfy confines of the Ice Box. Green Bay, and Fargo come to town. Two very good teams looking to continue their winning ways. Stay tuned.

Note: I'm not even going to waste my time and post the 3 stars from this game. As usual, the dolts in Counciltucky gave them all to Omaha players, despite the loss.


Anonymous said...

Just in case you've never noticed, the 3 stars are called the "LANCER THREE STAR SELECTION" not the PLAYER three star selection. Not that it matters anyway.

24rufn said...

What does that have to do with anything? Either you pick the three best players on the ice or you shouldn't even do it.

If it doesn't matter, why does the USHL track it?

If it is a league statistic, you should do it right. Ridiculous.

Maybe they should actually call it 'Lancers who scored tonight if we get three goals'. Danny Kristo had three assists (granted he was -1) and was beaten out by a player who scored 1 goal and was -2. Maybe they are unable to do it right even if they tried.

Yeti said...

Thank you both for the comments.

Good points, 24rufn. I understand Omaha has every right to give out the awards how they see fit, but if it's going to be tracked by the it right. I know in the grand scheme of things, the 3 star selection is somewhat meaningless. But how hard is it to recognize the players who deserve it? If it's a promotional deal, do something different than what you turn into the league. Pick players from your own team every game, and call it the "Lancers Hometown Hero's of the Game," or something like that.

Not to pick on the Lancers, as I know at least one other team in the USHL (Waterloo) that does the same thing.

icerules said...

Why not have the official 3 Star selection based on how the players from both teams performed(this will be the one that goes on record as the "official 3 Star Selection" that is noting on Point streak) and the Team 3 Star selection( so the players can throw stuff out to the fans)? I know that on the radio Melbye will give his 3 stars which may or may not be the same as what is announced at the rink. As far as I can tell the only reason to give all your players stars is so they can throw something into the crowd- it's all about advertising. Could you imagine the uproar if we gave all our stars to Lincoln players after we lost 7-1 to Omaha???