Friday, March 27, 2009

Pregame Report - Cedar Rapids @ Lincoln 3/27

The Lincoln Stars will play their final regular season home game Friday night at the Ice Box, as the Cedar Rapids Roughriders will gallop trot ride into town. This will be the fourth and final time the Stars and Roughriders (R.R.'s) play each other this season, with Cedar Rapids holding a 2-1 advantage in those three games. The Lincoln Stars are in first place in the USHL West Division with 75 points, while the R.R.'s are in third place in the USHL East Division with 73 points. Cedar Rapids has only won one game in their last five, with that one win coming against last place Des Moines.

The last time these two teams played each other back on 3/15/09 in Cedar Rapids, the Stars beat the R.R.'s, 3-2. It was the Stars first win against Cedar Rapids this season, and it started their current four game winning streak. This was the game that got the Stars going in the right direction, basically. Starting with that game, the Stars have outscored their opponents 16-8, and are 4-0. Lincoln netminder Anthony Borelli is 1-0 against the R.R.'s this season, with a .943 save percentage and a 1.99 goals against average in that one game. Goaltender Kevin Murdock is 0-2 against the Green Weenie's this season, with a .907 save percentage and a 2.56 goals against average in those two game. Doc is winless against the R.R.'s this season, but his stats aren't really that bad in those two game. However, Doc is currently playing some of the best hockey he has played this entire season. Only Coach McGroarty knows as to which one will get the nod in this game. If I'm guessing, I'll say Borelli.

Another home game at the Box, another quality opponent to battle the Stars. I've stated this in the past, but Cedar Rapids is an extremely disciplined team. There are some who say the R.R.'s tend to dive (draw penalties) more than other USHL teams in order to generate powerplays. I can't personally say that is true, but I do know that Cedar Rapids is one of the least physical teams in the league. Their own fans have been critical of their "softness." Despite that, the R.R.'s are a very talented team that relies more on their "technical" abilities than their brawn. Basically, Lincoln and Cedar Rapids are about as far apart fundamentally as you can get. Lincoln plays an "in your face," physical, up-tempo game, while the R.R.'s play a much more technical, "European-style" of hockey. This is yet another test to see how well the Stars match up with a quality hockey club from the East. Lincoln will have to really concentrate on keeping a lid on the retaliatory (stupid) penalties, and focus more on blanketing the talented group of Cedar Rapids players like Mike Seidel, Kyle Flanagan, and Matt Donovan.

Note: Tonight's game is "Fan Appreciation Night," so show up early to take advantage of the reduced concession prices from 6pm-7:05pm. Cheap beer and hot dogs! Whoo hoo! Also, stick around after the game and head down to the ice to get your favorite Stars autograph(s). What better way to end a glorious night at the Ice Box than to have Garrett Peterson sign your forehead!


Yeti said...

Stars lose a close one, 2-1 in OT. I have a lot going on today, so I don't know if I'll get around to posting a CR postgame report, and a Sioux City pregame report. We'll see.

Austin D said...

My congrats (or condolences?) on getting Curtis Marouelli for the game last night...I did see the boxscore of the game, and despite my normal opinions of McGroarty, Curtis Marouelli strikes me as one of the new-age Scott Brand "look-at-me-I'm-the-show" referees...Waterloo game Wednesday night was the same thing.

If you're going to call a penalty in overtime it better be a pretty good one and I'm guessing it wasn't and that's what set McGroarty off.

24rufn said...

breakaway on the other side of the rink, coach had a better view than me.

penalty call with an immediate bench minor and coach ejection, giving CR a full two minute 5-3. Once again, too far for me to speculate what caused the bench minor, but to my knowledge only vocal objection by Stars bench. Bench minor questionable at that point, IMO.

Stars kill off 5-3, confusion on what happened after that. 5 on 4 with 5th Stars leaving the bench as CR scored. Some say Stars assistants had 4 out there, some say linesman motioned 1 star to the bench. Once again too far, but weird way to end game.

Good game by Stars, they played well. With GB games in hand it probably won't matter. Go Stars, take it out on SC tonight.

Yeti said...

I've been a proponent of Marouelli in the past. The times I've seen him this season, I thought he did a great job of letting the guys play. I just don't understand how so many of the referee's look past the constant diving of the CR players. It's a joke. It was like watching a soccer match with all the falling and flailing about.