Saturday, January 9, 2010

Post-Game Report - Omaha at Lincoln 1/8

Final Score:  Omaha 5, Lincoln 4

The Lincoln Stars struggles at home continued Friday night as the Stars lost a close battle to the Omaha Lancers, 5-4.  On a frigid night in the Capital City, the Stars could not stop the red-hot powerplay unit of the Lancers, as Omaha scored 4 of their 5 goals on the PP.  Omaha went 4-for-6 with the man advantage, while the Stars were 1-for-4 on the powerplay.  The Lancers outshot the Stars in the game, 37-35.  The Stars have lost seven straight games, which is a franchise record.

The Stars got out to a 2-1 advantage in the first period with goals from Ryan Dzingel (PP), and Josh Berge (shorthanded).  Omaha's Troy Power scored the lone first period goal for the Lancers.  In the second period, the Lancers came out very strong and scored two goals (Tom Craig, Ryan Dougherty) to put themselves ahead 3-2 going into the third period.  In the third, Lincoln had goals from Cory Hibbeler and Brodie Reid, but it was not enough.  Lancer forward Dakota Eveland intercepted a bad pass from a Lincoln defender, and slapped the eventual game winner past Stars goaltender Jared Coreau with roughly three minutes remaining in the the period.

I really think the Stars showed a lot of promise last night, despite the loss.  The players battled until the very end to try to tie the game up, but just came up a bit short.  Honestly, I think the Stars outplayed the Lancers 5-on-5 last night, but the penalties hurt them.  You cannot commit lazy penalties against a team like Omaha and expect to not get hurt.  I thought the Stars controlled the play in the first and third penalties when it was 5-on-5, but the Lancers had a very strong second period.  I mentioned this in the weekend preview article, but Omaha has the #1 rated PP unit in the entire USHL, and we all saw why last night.

I thought goaltender Jared Coreau had his best home game so far this season, despite coming up short.  Coreau stopped 32 of 37 shots, and kept the Stars in this game until the very end with very timely saves.  Without his efforts in net, I think the score could have been a lot worse.  Give credit also to the rookie, forward Ryan Dzingel.  Dzingel ended up as the game's first star, and recorded 1 goal and 2 assists in the game.  Dzingel is a former affiliate player for the Stars, but he will be with Lincoln for the remainder of the season...which is great news.  

Nothing to hang your head about over this loss.  The Stars showed they can beat the best teams in the league.  It's a matter of playing smart hockey, staying out of the penalty box, and playing together as a team.  I was very proud of their effort last night, and I hope the fans in attendance last night recognized that effort as well.  We can't give up on these kids.  There's no where to go but up in the standings, and I am confident they will move up if they continue improving on their play from last night.

Go Stars.

Post-Game Notes:  Brent Wagner of the LJS Journal Star posted a recap video interview with David Gerths after the game last night.  You can watch the video here.  As always, good stuff from Brent.  I've missed his videos this season, so I really hope we see more of these.  In the video, you can watch Stars goals from Ryan Dzingel, Josh Berge, and Cory Hibbeler.

Congrats go out to David Gerths for making the 2010 USHL All-Star Team.  This will be the second straight season that Gerths has been named to the all-star team.  As you can tell from Brent's video, David is a very humble kid, and I think he will represent the Stars very well in the game.  Gerths was the only member of the Lincoln Stars selected to the USHL All-Star Game.

The Stars will look to rebound Saturday night against the Cedar Rapid Roughriders at the IceBox.  Last night, the Roughriders were shutout by the Tri-City Storm, 1-0.  It should be a very interesting game tonight.  Both teams are coming off close losses, so each squad will be hungry for a win tonight.  Faceoff is at 7:05pm.

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