Final Score: Green Bay 5, Lincoln 2
The Lincoln Stars lost their third straight home game Friday night at the Ice Box, where the visiting Green Bay Gamblers skated past the falling Stars by a score of 5-2. The Gamblers used two first period goals to stake them to an early lead, and they never looked back. The Stars got on the board in the first period when Brodie Reid made a very nice leading pass to a streaking Matt Bruneteau, who beat GB goaltender Steve Summerhays high glove side for the goal. The Stars were outshot in the first period by a margin of 16-7. The Stars played a little better in the second period, as they outshot the Gambers 14-9, but they could not put any pucks past Summerhays in that second stanza. GB forward Reed Seckel scored a shorthanded goal in the second period to extend the GB lead to 3-1 going into the third period. In the third, it was all Green Bay as the Gamblers scored two goals, including one empty net goal, to seal the victory. Josh Berge scored his first goal as a member of the Lincoln Stars late in the third period on a goal mouth scramble, but it was not enough. With the loss, the Stars dropped to 9-14-1 (.396 winning %), and are in last place in the USHL West Division. The only other team in the USHL with a worse winning percentage than the Stars right now is Team USA (.354 winning %).
Tough, tough game to watch. Green Bay is simply a much better team than the Stars are. The Stars looked outmatched the entire game. Give credit to a good GB team. They have guys who can play the body, skate, and bury goals. They do it all very well. I thought the score could have been a lot worse if Green Bay would have connected with a few of their missed scoring opportunities. The Stars looked flat and confused. I watched Lincoln players who were more concerned with chirping at opposing players, and trying to start fights behind the play than skating hard back to their defensive zone to help out. I just don't know why this team looks so bad at times at home. Very strange. The Stars will need to figure out why they can't put it all together at home if they want to make the playoffs. The goaltending will need to improve (ie save percentages over .900) also if this team wants to do anything in the post-season.
A frightening stat that was posted by an anonymous reader in an earlier article: "the Stars are on pace to score 142 goals this season, only 2 more than Tri City's awful team last year. We have scored 57 goals in 24 games. Omaha had 57 after game 13."
The Stars go back on the road Saturday night to faceoff against the Sioux Falls Stampede. The 'Pede are another very good hockey team, so hopefully the Stars can use that road magic and get two points before the x-mas break.
I don't know yet if I will be doing the live chat during the game tonight. Check back around 6 or 7pm to see if I have it up.