Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Game 3 Postgame Report - Lincoln at Sioux Falls

Final Score: Lincoln 4, Sioux Falls 3 OT

Eric Alexander scored the game winning, overtime goal, as the Lincoln Stars held off the Stampede in Sioux Falls Tuesday night, 4-3. With four minutes remaining in the third period, the Stars held a commanding 3-1 lead over the Stampede. However, Sioux Falls stormed back as 'Pede forward Terry Broadhurst scored two goals late in the third period; his second goal came with only 21 seconds remaining on the clock to tie the game at 3-3, and force an overtime period. After the Stars had killed a penalty early in the first OT period, Eric Alexander out muscled a Sioux Falls defender behind the 'pede net, wheeled around and buried a top shelf wrister past 'Pede goaltender Clay Witt at the 4:33 mark of OT. With the win, the Stars now lead the playoff series against Sioux Falls, 2 games to 1. Game 4 is in Sioux Falls on Friday night, and if the Starts can win that game, they will advance to the second round of the USHL playoffs against the Fargo Force.

Scoring goals for Lincoln in Game 3 was Ross Henry, Chris Forfar (SH), Ryan Kretzer, and Eric Alexander (OT-GWG). Kory Kaunisto had 2 assists and was +2 on the night. Goaltender Anthony Borelli stopped 27 of 30 shots on net to record his first ever USHL playoff win. The Stars went 0-2 on the powerplay, while the 'Pede went 1-5 on the powerplay. The Stars outshot the Stampede 38-30 in the game.

Wow, this could have EASILY been a disastrous game. Up 3-1 late in the third period, the Stars seemed to be in control and ready to cruise to an easy road victory. You have to give credit to Sioux Falls for fighting like hell to tie the game up and force overtime. I think a lot of folks are surprised at how tough the 'Pede are playing in this series, considering how inept they looked at times in the regular season. Giving up those late two goals, and then giving up an OT game winning goal would have been catastrophic for the Stars, and would have likely haunted them in the next game. That's the kind of loss that a lot of teams don't recover from. Luckily for the Stars and their fans, Eric Alexander made a great individual effort to clinch Game 3, and put all of the momentum back on Lincoln's side.

I really hope the guys can get it done in Sioux Falls in Game 4. As much as I'd like to see them clinch the series on home ice at the Ice Box, I'd much rather get this playoff series over with as soon as possible. Fargo is rested and ready for whomever makes it out of this series. Use the momentum that's on your side, and get it done on the road this Friday night. Keep throwing a ton of shots on Clay Witt, crash the net, and good things will happen. I can't wait for Game 4! Go Stars.

Your thoughts on Game 3? Will the Stars clinch the series in Game 4?

Edit: Just ran across some very interesting postgame comments made by Max Grover of the 'Pede, and head coach Kevin Hartzell.

A little bulletin board material for the Stars already. Seems as if SF's defenseman Max Grover is predicting a win for Game 4.

"It hurts a little more because we worked so hard to come back," said defenseman Max Grover, who scored the Stampede's first goal early in the third period when they were trailing 2-0. "But all year long we've been at our best when we're faced with a little desperation. Right now it's win or die, and that's what playoff hockey is all about. We're a tough team to beat, and I know we're going to win this next game. Lincoln better be ready."

You have to wonder if getting KO'd by Jimmy Siers made Grover a little kooky in the head. I guess when you're the team captain, you have to do something to get your team fired up. I'm not sure if doing it publicly is that smart though.

Also, it looks like Coach Daddy Hartzell is going to start his son in Game 4. That should send the 'Pede fans in full revolt. Hey, I'm not complaining.

"Clay played really well and I'm really proud of him," Kevin Hartzell said. "He feels bad right now, but he shouldn't. He's got a tremendously bright future, and he got a big win for us (in Game 2). We'll turn it back over to Eric, and now he's going to have to do the same thing."

Link Here


Anonymous said...

Was surprised to see coach chose Borelli to start. Who you think will start friday? I just hope they win Friday and get it over with so I can watch the UFC fight without missing hockey.

Anonymous said...

I was also surprised Borelli started, but it worked out OK. Now the kid has a game under his belt and should be ready if called upon again. But the way Murdock has played of late and the importance of game 3 on the road it took some guts to start the kid.

Nice win for the Stars. Giving up to goals in the last 3 minutes to send it to OT could have had the Stars thinking it just wasn't their night. But to come back and win it in OT on the road is big.

If the Herd get any kind of solid goaltending they can play with anyone.....

Mr Ricochet

Anonymous said...

Grover and Alexander played high school hockey and graduated together in Michigan.

Anonymous said...

I would say Grover is thinking pretty straight actually.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say that anyone in the SF organization is thinking clearly right now. First, the President complaining about Lincoln and the playoff series, then Grover predicting a win, and finally Papa Hartzell starting whiny Hartzell after his meltdown in Lincoln. Makes me wonder what they put in the water in Sioux Falls...

Anonymous said...

I would say if Sioux Falls can pull of a 4-1 win at the Ice Box (where fans too drunk to see straight pour beer on their heads and boo refs before the game even starts), they can do it at the Arena any day.

nopuckluck said...

Giving the opposition bulletin board material before the game is the most idiotic thing a player can do in sports. As if winning the playoff series isn't enough motivation for the STARS now Grover says this. Maybe the kid should try winning a fight he gets into with the STARS, then maybe try to talk a little.

As far as the STARS fans being to drunk to see, that's another ignorant statement. Don't know if you've caught this but the STARS have led the league in attendance say 9 out of 11 years of existence, I don't think that's a fluke. It's called atmosphere, something you wouldn't know about up in Sioux Falls.

Stars fan and proud of it said...

Yeah well Anonymous/SF fan/I don't know why a SF fan is trolling on a Lincoln Stars blog, maybe if you knew what J.M. McNulty has done as a ref you would boo him too.

Anonymous said...

There's no question that the Ice Box puts on the best hockey game in the league; the atmosphere is awesome.

But from my experience you spend more time putting down the opposing team than lifting up the Stars. And alcohol doesn't create atmosphere. It's pretty bad if everyone needs a pink wristband to have a good time. In any case, I think I learned about 20 new curse words from my trip to Lincoln, some of which directed at Stars players after their 4-1 loss.

But again, I admire your commitment to your team, and I look forward to a great game tomorrow by two excellent teams.

Yeti said...

Anonymous...I'm not sure how it's fair to lump us all in the "drunk idiot" section. Yes, we do have fans at the Ice Box who probably don't enjoy the game all that much, and would rather drink and get rowdy. But you know what? That "type" of fan is at EVERY rink in the USHL. So please don't generalize our fan base like that. It's just not fair.

I appreciate the comments, but don't take the things said here personal. This is just a friendly blog. No reason to throw insults around either.

Anonymous said...

I do think the Stars fans need to realize how quickly they get negative if they are losing. Read your own blog and if the Stars are winning everything is great, if they are losing it can be pretty brutal, even towards their own players. The coach is there to coach the players, not fans. Fans are there to cheer their team on win or lose.

Yeti said...

Anonymous...What is the deal? Do you have some kind of agenda you're trying to push? You mentioned how Stars fans get negative when they are losing. Uhhhh, hello? Doesn't every team in the USHL have fans that overreact when their team isn't playing well? If you go to ANY USHL message board (yes, including the 'Pede board), you'll read posts by fans exclaiming how "so and so player sucks and should be benched," or "the coach doesn't know what he's doing." Again, there are fans like that in every USHL city. Sorry to break it to you, but it isn't specific to Lincoln. Is it that kind of behavior ok? Should it be condoned? Hell no. But it happens. Don't let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. That applies to every fan base in the USHL.

Anonymous said...

it's not just ripping into other players, but even away fans. no one should go to the Ice Box to support their team and have popcorn and beer thrown at them. I had Lincoln fans appologizing to me for other Stars fans after an away game earlier in the season as well as during the playoff series.

although I must admit, I have more fun going to Lincoln than anywhere else. Keep the atmosphere strong

Anonymous said...

I hear you're not "condoning" it, but you're justifying it with other teams fan's behavior when in fact, it's just plan wrong.

When down, bring them up. They already know what they did wrong, but they need your support, not your stupidity.

Yeti said...

You're preaching to the crowd, Anonymous. What you are saying isn't new to me.

BTW, I never "justified" any kind of negative fan behavior. What's wrong is wrong. Reading comprehension is your friend.

"Stupidity" doesn't have a face. It's everywhere. In every USHL rink.

Anonymous said...

I can't say that I've ever almost been beat up by a drunk guy in Sioux Falls...or Sioux City...or Fargo...or even Omaha.


Yeti said...

Maybe you haven't tried hard enough.


nopuckluck said...

GO STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We drink beer, you ring cowbells.

Someone tell me the fascination on bringing a cowbell to a hockey game?