Saturday, March 7, 2009

Postgame Report - Sioux City at Lincoln 3/7

Final Score: Sioux City 3, Lincoln 4 OT

In what was a game the Stars could have easily lost, forward Chris Forfar scored the game winning goal with 24 seconds left in overtime to beat the Sioux City Musketeers, 4-3. Lincoln had goals from Jake Newton (SH), Garrett Vermeersch, Eric Meland, and Chris Forfar (GW). Kevin Murdock stopped 33 of 36 shots on goal for the win. The Stars were out shot by the Musketeers 36-26.

The Stars marched out to a 3-0 lead, only to watch as it blew up in their faces evaporated in the third period. Sioux City scored all of their three goals in the third period to force an overtime period. Despite the win, this game was really hard to watch. Lincoln all but rolled over and died in the third period, allowing the Muskies to storm back and tie the game. Without Kevin Murdock's heroics in the OT period (his save on Stephane De Costa was godly), the Stars could have lost this game just as easily.

Lincoln started the game playing very well, scoring one goal and out shooting Sioux City 11-9 in the first period. After that, it was pretty much all SC. The Muskies out shot Lincoln 26-13 during the last two periods. The power play for Lincoln looked average at best in only three attempts. I mentioned it last night, the passing on the Stars power play is really lacking. There were a ton of shots from the point, but many never found the net. However, the Stars penalty kill did a fantastic job against the top-rated SC power play units. The Muskies were 0-4 with the man advantage.

I am very concerned about the lack of killer instinct the Stars have been showing lately, especially at home. Sioux City is a team the Stars should easily beat when they have a three goal lead. The Stars just can't seem to keep the boot on the neck of their opponents when they are down, so to speak. To be fair though, the Stars played most of the game with only four true defensemen. Lincoln only suited five defensemen, but Mike Dalhuisen was ejected from the game in the first period after he received a "third man in" penalty. After that, the Stars played with only four true defensemen. The coaches put Kory Kaunisto in as a defenseman to help the other four d-men, but you could tell the rest of the d-corps were very winded with all the work they were doing.

For those who weren't at the game, Garrett Peterson played an incredible game. You might notice he was the first star of the game, yet he had no points and was -1 on the night. Despite the lacking numbers, "Petey" was all over the ice...hitting anything wearing a SC jersey (those colors are disgusting, btw. something out of a cheesy mardi gras parade). "Petey" absolutely destroyed a SC player with a clean open ice check, which started the first period line brawl. Donnie Hallmark of the Muskies took offense to the clean hit, and went after Peterson. That ignited the mess. David Gerths dropped the mitts with Austin Mattson, and Hallmark was ejected after mugging Peterson. Dalzy stepped up to aid his teammate, but was kicked out of the game. Peterson showed continuous energy all night, and was deservedly awarded the first star of the game. Without a doubt, he's my favorite player on the team to watch. He has a heart that won't quit, and a work ethic second to none.

1ST STAR: Peterson, Garrett (LIN)
2ND STAR: Da Costa, Stephane (SC)
3RD STAR: Forfar, Chris (LIN)

With the win tonight, and Omaha's loss at home to Sioux Falls, the Stars now have a NINE point advantage (66-57) over the Lancers for first place in the West Division. All of a sudden, the Fargo Force also have 57 points and are tied with the Lancers for second place. The Stars are two points behind Green Bay (68-66) in the race for the Anderson Cup. I am going to post a quick article about the race for the Anderson Cup tomorrow.

The Omaha Lancers and their mannequin of a head coach will travel to the Ice Box on Tuesday, March 10th to battle the Lincoln Stars. I believe the game is a sellout, or very close to a sellout.

Quick Note: After going 24 straight games without a goal, Chris Forfar has scored a goal in each of the last three games. In those three games, Chris has a total of four points, and was +4.

Forward Kirt Hill was scratched for the game due to an injury. He should be healthy enough to return on 3/10 for the game against the Omaha Lancers.

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