Sunday, April 26, 2009

Game 3 Postgame Report - Lincoln at Fargo


Final Score: Lincoln 0, Fargo 2

The Lincoln Stars 2008-09 season came to an end Saturday night in Fargo, as the Force shutout the Stars 2-0, and swept the Stars 3-0 in their second round UHL playoff series. The Force have now won six playoff games in a row, sweeping both Omaha and Lincoln teams in the process. The Force move on to the USHL Clark Cup Finals, where they will play the winner of the Green Bay-Indiana series. Goaltender Mike Lee earned his sixth straight playoff win, while posting a 1.81 goals against average, and a .948 save percentage in those six games. Anthony Borelli started between the pipes for the Stars, stopping 26 of 28 shots on goal in the loss.

Well, three straight losses for the Stars is not the way any of us wanted to end the season. Let us first give credit to a VERY good Fargo team. They outplayed the Stars in just about every facet of the game in this series. Without question, the MVP of this series would be goaltender Mike Lee. Without Lee in net, this series would have been completely different. That's not to disrespect the other players on the Fargo team, but Lee is playing at an unbelievable level right now, and is a huge reason why Fargo has a chance at winning the Clark Cup. There's a reason Lee will be a NHL draft pick this Spring.

After watching the last three games, I think it's easy to over analyze things, point fingers and play the blame game. No one is happy about being swept. Seems as if a lot of fans want to focus on the negative right now, and point fingers specifically at Coach McGroarty. Where were the critics when the team was winning? Where were the people currently slamming Coach McGroarty when the Stars were dominating teams in the regular season? Where were the critics when McGroarty was making timely trades or waiver pickups to build this team? Comparing this team to last season's squad, the Stars improved in almost every category. Instead of focusing on the negative, and playing the blame game, I'd rather remember the good times from this past season, and wish every player going on to college good luck, and thank them for providing all of us months of entertainment and fantastic hockey.

Yes, the Stars PP unit was anemic. Special teams on both ends were lacking. But when you really look at it, the Stars were beat by a very good team playing their best hockey of the season. Just that simple. Fargo used their team speed to generate more quality shots on net than the Stars. They capitalized when the Stars couldn't. You can't say that the Lincoln players didn't want it, or didn't try their hardest. They just ran into a hot team, with an even hotter goaltender.

1ST STAR: Lee, Mike (FGO)
2ND STAR: Condon, Nate (FGO)
3RD STAR: Franks, Chris (FGO)

It was really tough to listen to Coach McGroarty fall apart on the radio after the game. You could tell that the players mean the world to him, and ending the season this way was heartbreaking. The man is genuinely sincere. This season's ending stings a little bit more than last season's, but there is always next season to look forward to. That's what's great about the game of hockey. There's always next season.

I will post an "End of the Season Recap" hopefully sometime soon. Stay tuned for that.

Go Stars.

4 comments:

Travis said...

Well said Yeti. It was a great season. We just ran into a buzz saw. We will be back.

Justin said...

Yeti, I hope you run this blog through the off season to update us on any Off-season news. Already looking forward to the Fall Classic!

Anonymous said...

So when and where is the Stars Invite Tryout for next season? Can't wait til' next season.
Looking forward to seeing who the new Stars may be.
Let's get em next year guys!!

Yeti said...

Justin,

I will definitely be posting numerous updates throughout the off-season. The 2009 USHL Futures Draft is on May 12th, while the USHL Entry Draft is on May 13th. Both are less than a month away.

After that, the tryout camp which will be held sometime in June (that's a guess). Roster moves and trades/waiver pickups after that.

Plenty of stuff to keep me occupied during the Summer. I hope you all keep stopping by. Thanks for reading.