Saturday, October 24, 2009

Postgame Report - Chicago at Lincoln 10/23

Final Score: Chicago 7, Lincoln 5

The Chicago Steel made the most of their chances Friday night at the Ice Box, as the Lincoln Stars lost their first home game of the season, 7-5 to the Steel. Leading the way for the Steel were forwards Sahir Gill (2g, 1a) and Alex Krushelnyski (1g, 2a). The Steel started strong and finished strong, scoring three goals in both the first and third periods. Scoring goals for Lincoln was Dominick Shine (2), Ben Lynch, Tucker Brockett, and Matt Bruneteau. The Stars outshot the Steel, 45-30.

I'm not sure what to think about this game. Coach McGroarty was quoted in the Lincoln Journal Star as saying it was Lincoln's best game so far this season. Uhhh, not from where I was sitting at the Ice Box. I'd also argue that the Stars did not outplay the Steel for most of the game, which is what the author of that LJS article stated. Obviously there are some concerns on defense right now. Losing guys like Mike Sdao, Jake Newton, Ross Henry, and Mike Dalhuisen was huge, and it's starting to show now. I think we forget how spoiled we were last season as fans to watch those four guys shut down the competition. The inexperience on the blueline right now is showing, but I have faith it will get better as the d-men get more experience and become more comfortable on the ice.

I didn't see a sense of urgency last night from the Stars, UNTIL they were behind a few goals. This is something Lincoln struggled with at times last season...that killer instinct. To come out strong, and finish teams in the first two periods. Instead, we've seen Lincoln let teams hang around, and hang around until it was too late. Giving up 18 goals in the last three games is something you usually never see with a McGroarty coached team. Giving up 13 goals in the last two home games is equally baffling. Also, I never thought I'd see teams like the expansion Youngstown Phantoms, and the Chicago Steel actually out-hit and push the Stars around. That's just sad. The bright spot right now is that the team seems to be finding the back of the net on offense. Guys like Dominick Shine and Tucker Brockett continue to be the go-to guys with the puck. I can't say enough good things about those two players. Two of the smallest, and youngest players on the ice...and they play with a TON of heart. Fun to watch. Once vets like David Gerths, Garrett Peterson, and John McCarron start burying the puck, I think you'll see this offense explode. Petey and Gerths are playing great, but the stats don't show it. Both have been snake-bit in terms of points, but they'll turn it around soon.

1ST STAR: Gill, Sahir (CHI)
2ND STAR: Shine, Dominik (LIN)
3RD STAR: Kuchin, Andrei (CHI)

The Stars have little time to rest, as they travel to Des Moines to take on the Buccaneers Saturday night, and then to Cedar Rapids Sunday afternoon to battle the Roughriders.

Go Stars.

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