Sunday, January 10, 2010

Post-Game Report - Cedar Rapids at Lincoln 1/9


Final Score:  Cedar Rapids 3, Lincoln 2

The Lincoln Stars snatched defeat from the jaws of victory Saturday night, as they gave up a one goal lead in the third period and allowed the Roughriders to storm back to secure a 3-2 victory.  The Stars held a 2-1 lead going into the third period, thanks to goals from John McCarron (first period) and Jon Puskar (second period).  In the third period, the Roughriders scored two goals, including the game winning goal by defenseman Andy Simpson (his first goal of the season).  Simpson's goal was a weak wrister from 15 feet out that somehow found its way past Stars goaltender Matt Green with 10 minutes remaining in the the third.  Cedar Rapids shut down the Stars offense the final 10 minutes of the game to seal the win.  With the defeat, the Stars have now lost 8 straight games.

Frustrating game to watch last night as a fan.  Again, the Stars outplayed the Roughriders for the majority of the game, but defensive lapses in their own end lead to a couple of the goals, including the game winner in the third period. This team seems so close to getting over the perverbial hump, but they just can't seem to play an entire 60 minutes.  Lazy penalties, defensive lapses, and turnovers all contributed to the two losses this weekend.  The Stars have the talent to beat these teams, but they lack the killer instinct and discipline needed
to put them away.  As this franchise-record losing streak continues, I wonder what impact it could have on the attendance at the IceBox.  I'd hate to think that some of our fans would stay at home just because the Stars are in the throes of a sub par season, but it could happen.

Forward Ryan Dzingel continued to impress me with his play last night.  He's one of the youngest players on the team, but he looks so cool, calm, and collected out there on the ice.  It seemed he was involved in a ton of offensive chances last night.  Also, I noticed him quite a bit on the penalty kill unit, which shows that the coaches have enough faith in his defensive abilities to play him on the PK.  In my opinion, he was the best Stars player this whole weekend.

The Stars return to the IceBox this Tuesday night (1/12) against the Sioux City Muskateers.  The Muskies are on a three game losing streak, and are in sixth place in the USHL West Division.  Someone has to win this game, right?

Go Stars.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that if it comes down to it and the stars aren't going to make it to the playoff's you will some most of the talent that they do have be traded, and some coaching changes. Just my thought.

Anonymous said...

Yeti, great post regarding the woes of the Stars. It seems sad to me that the Stars "best" player this weekend is a new young kid they just brought in. What does that say about the guys who are here grinding it out? The plus/minus stat tells the real story of who is on the ice when the Stars begin to fold. As Jimmy says,"Stats don't lie!" The Stars played 2 good teams this weekend and just came up short. Let's see how they do this weekend against a mediocre team. If they fold like they have been lately, it will test the "faithful" who continue to support this team.

StarsHcky said...

I thought the Stars deserved to win both games this weekend. Penalties did kill us, but other than that we played some of the best hockey I have seen these guys play. Friday night against Omaha, they showed that they can play w/ the best team in the league, now they just have to take it a little bit farther to say they can beat the best team in the league. I know they can do it, they just need a little boost in confidence. I would say that this weekend was a good step in the right direction.

As far as it being "sad" that Dzingel was the best player out there even tho he is the newest and "what about the other guys", there are a lot of guys that are out there and in on every play such as Reid, Gerths, Berge, Lynch, and others... they just cant seem to finish it. These guys are always in the corners and behind the net trying to get things going or get really close, it just doesnt go in! Like I said, its not for lack of effort and I think after a couple more days of practice and a little confidence these guys could be a hard team to stop. I saw glimpses of it in the Omaha game and I cant wait to see what this team will do!

BellTolls said...

StarsHcky hit the nail on the head about finishing, but that is what concerns me. I still have hope in this team because they try so so hard. They are really giving it their all out there right now on a more consistent basis. That said, we are still losing, and that is what is disappointing and makes me and others wonder if it is a talent issue. If it's not effort, what is the problem? I know that's somewhat a sore subject and people don't like to hear it, but we have to look at the results. This team isn't scoring enough goals to win games. I know we're "competing" with the top teams in the league, but I would hope any Stars team could at least do that in the Ice Box. No matter how bad we are, a maximum effort should keep us in the game.

But skill + effort = victories, not just effort. How many times have the Stars fanned on wide open shots, or sent them wide this weekend? I can think of at least half a dozen in my mind. I'm not writing the team off by any means, but just count me as one who is not as optimistic as others that things will get turned around by hard work and effort. In my opinion, it's outstanding. But that can only go so far. We need some top-end forwards. I just don't see this team scoring consistently until that happens.

Anonymous said...

I think the skill and effort is there. Call it luck or the puck isn't bouncing our way. These other teams are not totally dominating us. We are losing in 1 point games and overtimes.
Great effort and determination Stars. Keep this up and lady luck will look our way.
Starfish

BellTolls said...

Starfish -

I just think we've been hearing how we're unlucky since the beginning of the season, and I find it hard to believe we've been unlucky for 3.5 months now. Good teams create their own luck. Omaha and CR had a couple post shots against us too. We've had some bad bounces, but good teams overcome that.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that the Stars didn't play the best team in the league Friday night. The Lancers played a lot better before the break and seem to be struggling after the break.

Anonymous said...

Yeti,do you know how long the coach's contact is for? Just curious.

Yeti said...

Anonymous,

Coach McGroarty signed a three year extension after his first season with the Stars, so he is under contract through the 2010-11 season.

starstruck said...

Obviously not the outcome we hoped for but, in my opinion, both games were exciting to watch. It is painful to see them play so hard and then, once again, give up the lead. I thought Green played extremely well, as did Coreau the night before. Green had a flurry of saves in the third that was amazing - fans actually stood & cheered his efforts. Somehow the team has to figure out a way to finish a game. Still missing two defensemen with injuries - maybe their return will help?

As far as the comment about Lancers struggling since the break, they are 3 and 2. We would probably aspire to such a "struggle". Winning teams do not win every game and the Stars played well against a very good team. I hear Omaha will be having a "White Out" for their game against the Stars on Saturday. A little bit of overkill there, for the league-leader vs last place - we must really have them on the run :) If nothing else, I can watch b2 without having to look at a lot of orange.

We have not had a win at the Ice Box since Nov 14 - surely it has to happen soon. I am no longer focusing on the playoff spot issue, I just want the boys to get a win at home! The guys really need to get over that hurdle.

Anonymous said...

Yeti - It's time for the organization to buy out his contract and move on.

Anonymous said...

Even if the Lancers are struggling since the Christmas Break (Which they clearly are) Lincoln showed promise, stick with them and the Coach Stars Fans.
But dont Think the Musketeers are going to roll over Thurdsday.......

BellTolls said...

Well I don't think the Musketeers will roll over on Thursday, but they might on Tuesday ;)

Layla said...

geez Jimmy has ONE bad season and Bandwagon fans are ready to jump off and throw him under the bus. Don't even try to tell me that you support the team thru thick and thin. Can't even pick a name to bash coach with, have to hide under "Anonymous" Since you want Jimmy gone so bad, who do you have in mind to replace him?

starstruck said...

*second period. I intended to comment on Green's saves in the second, not third. (Wish there were at least two more in the third!)

Anonymous said...

I thought both games this weekend were extremely entertaining and well played by the Stars. Yes, it would've been nice to have the Wins and I certainly believe the coaches and players deserve better than the results they are getting for their efforts and how they are playing but it's not happening. We were the better team in both games. As disappointed as fans are by not having a winning season, try putting yourselves in the shoes of the players and coaches. Yet, they keep picking themselves up and showing up for the next game and giving it all they have. Fans should be proud and I know I will continue to support this team through thick and thin.

I really like the talent of this team and can not single any one player out as being the "best" on the team. I felt our top players went toe to toe with the top players of both teams this weekend and wouldn't trade them for anyone else. Keep working hard guys - keep your chins up - you're the best!

Anonymous said...

A little off topic here....
The thing that bothered me the most about Saturday nights game was the 2 obviously drunk morons in section B, sitting about 10 ft from the visitors bench. Constantly egging on the Campbell - the back up goalie, with taunts vulgarities. I mean constantly, at least 2 periods straight. Security did approach them once to make them sit down, should of booted them.
Starfish

nopuckluck said...

30 games down, 30 more to go. Today is the start of the new season. Last year in our division Sioux City grabbed the 4th spot with 60 pts to make the playoffs. As of right now the Stars have 21 pts, and the team currenty in 4th place (tri city)has 34 pts. Obviously there is some work to be done, but nonetheless, the STARS are not out of it yet. Our last 5 games we have at 2 Shoot Out losses and 3-1 goal losses, to say that the STARS have been knocking on the doorstep is and understatement.

Defensively from the beginning of the season to where we are at now is a 180. I feel with Green playing the way he has been, gives us a chance to win every game we play. Offensivley we are struggling to score goals (obviously), that's the part of the game that needs to turn around if the STARS are going to make a playoff run.

Last week on the blue line blog, Brent quoted the coach saying that we have a guy that needs to get some stuff worked out with school then he will be here. Does this sound like a prep school player, high school, or college player, we shall see.... I thought the play of Dzingel was excellent this past weekend, he is going to be one heck of a player not just this year but in the future.

With that all being said, I think the tools are in place for this team to make a run. However, a 1 goal loss is still a loss, there are no more moral victories the rest of the year, games are running out. One thing I would like to see from the coaching staff is to keep the lines intact from game to game. Hard for guys to get used to each other when they are always getting switched around. I feel the stars are lacking a true "scorer" ala Kretzer, Hill, Gregoire, Jared Brown, Steve Schultz. Hopefully the mystery player is a scorer.