Saturday, March 6, 2010

B³ Post-Game Recap 3/5: Lincoln 0, Chicago 3

The IceBox in Lincoln, NE was the scene once again Friday night as the Stars hosted the Chicago Steel in what turned out to be yet another disappointing home shutout loss.   The Steel shutout the Stars 3-0, sending Lincoln to their fourth straight home loss.  In the last three home games, the Stars have managed to score only 1 goal.  With the win, the Steel swept the season series against Lincoln, 4-0.  With the loss, the Stars dropped to 13-28-8 (34 points), still "good" enough for last place in the USHL West Division.  The Stars home record is now 6-14-4.

After a scoreless first period, the Steel opened the scoring in the second period when former Omaha Lancers forward Danny Mattson scored his tenth goal of the season, which would turn out to the game winning goal.  Third period Chicago goals from Mark Adams (PP) and Alex Carpenter put the icing on the cake as the Steel breezed to the 3-0 win.  The Stars went a dismal 0-for-6 on the powerplay, while the Steel were 1-for-4 with the man advantage.  Steel goaltender Connor Wilson stopped all 28 shots he faced to record his second shutout of the season.  Wilson finished the season series against Lincoln with a 4-0 record, a 2.45 goals against average, and a .931 save percentage.  Fittingly, Wilson was named the number one star of the game last night.  Stars goaltender Jared Coreau stopped 31 of 34 shots in the loss.

Another tough one to watch last night.  I'm not sure why this team has so much trouble scoring goals, but I thought they really never tested Connor Wilson last night.  In my opinion, Wilson didn't have to work that hard last night to record the shutout.  The Stars powerplay unit had some decent chances, but Lincoln never put enough quality shots on goal to make Wilson look rattled during the game.  The majority of the 28 shots on goal from the Stars came from the perimeter, and very few rebounds and second chances were there for Lincoln forwards.  I didn't see very much crashing the net either by the Stars, but credit the Steel defensemen for keeping the Stars offensive rushes limited a few shots and that's it.  The Steel showed that they wanted it more last night, so hats off to them.  I thought the score could have been a lot worse if it wasn't for a few timely saves by Jared Coreau.  Coreau stopped more than one breakaway and odd-man rush during the game to keep the Stars close.  In the end, you can't win any games if you don't score goals.

With only 18 second remaining in the third period, the game erupted into a line brawl on the ice.  After a hard (but clean) check by Dominik Shine, the Steel took offense and went after Shine to exact revenge.  After that, it was mayhem on the ice for a good 5 minutes.  Receiving fighting majors for the Stars was Dominik Shine, Brodie Reid, and Dax Lauwers.  Stars defenseman Will Rayner dropped the gloves and tried to get a Chicago Steel player to fight, but the Steel player refused so Rayner was only assessed an "unsportsmanlike conduct game misconduct," so it is unknown if Rayner will also be suspended for his actions.  Because the penalties took place with less than 5 minutes remaining in the third period, all four players could be suspended for at least one game.  It is unknown if all four will sit out for the Sioux City game Saturday night, or if the USHL will allow the Stars to stagger the suspensions so that only two players sit out Saturday night, and the other two players sit out the game next Tuesday (against Waterloo).

The Stars return to the IceBox tonight to face the Sioux City Musketeers.  Faceoff is at 7:05pm.

Go Stars.

Notes:  According to Brent Wagner of the Lincoln Journal Star, Lincoln forward Jarrod Mermis has committed to Denver University.  As reported first here on the Black and Blue Blog, the article linked above states that both Mermis and Dax Lauwers (Army) will attend their respective schools starting this Fall.  The Mermis commitment has now been posted on Chris Heisenberg's 2010 NCAA Recruit Page.  Congrats to Jarrod!

I'll post the "Snapshots of the Game" later today.  Thanks to Brandon Anderson for the IceBox shot pictured above.


BellTolls said...

Felt bad for Rayner. He was trying to get guys to go constantly after we went down 2-0, but none of the Steel players would take him up on the offer. Nice leadership move though, he wanted to fight off a faceoff in our zone when we were down 2-0 to get the crowd into it. I think he asked every Steel player on the ice.

But overall, another awful game. This team's passing ability (or lack thereof) continues to amaze me. Everyone remember Chicago's first goal? A 2-on-1, pass, pass, wide open shot. Maybe you'll remember a few minutes later then we had a 2-on-1. Whoever it was just skated in and took a weak shot, completely ignoring the wide open guy on the backdoor. I don't know if this is how our players are coached or what, but I see this all the time and the selfishness is amazing. I'd be surprised if Conner Wilson even had to shower after the game. There's a reason every goalie we play has a great statistical night against us, and it isn't because the goalies all "turn it on" when they play us.

Quite frankly, this team plays a dump-and-chase style that it isn't suited to play because its too small. We dump it in and can't do anything with it, and I don't think I've seen a centering pass to someone's stick in front of the net all year.

Oh well, sorry for being a debbie downer. It's a combination of 3 things. 1) Tri-City is 2 pts away from eliminating the Stars from the playoffs (not that it wasn't inevitable). 2) I STILL haven't seen the Stars win a game at the Ice Box since October. (I've missed the few wins they did have). 3) There were about 20 open seats in a row in front of me in F last night. Not good.

BT out!

Jofa said...

Let's start this on a happy note, congrats to Mermis on his commit to Denver.

I asked this on another thread and didn't get much response. So i'm gonna try it again, is this Jimmy's 1st all Jimmy team ? I know he's been head coach three years , but how many of those were holdovers ? Can anyone tell me a youngster he has developed ?

We had a damm good team last year that I think under achieved. We were severely outcoached in the Fargo series and it was over quick. During the year our PK was very good, but our PP was not because we gave up waaay to many shorties.

This years PP is at the point if we can just kill off our PP i'm happy. I know tonights game is close to a sellout and I hope it continues. It will get more difficult if we can't see these guys start to turn the corner.

Anonymous said...

UGH is about all I can say about last night's (and the previous weekend's) games. Up to this point, this team was still playing with heart and grit and competing every shift - not no more. To me it appears a handful of players have lost interest and the rest of the team is really struggling to get anything going. While it's understandable that the players are ready to pack it in as the reality of the season is certainly front and center and there has been an incredible amount of disappointment and frustration experienced during the course of the season; HOWEVER, I would hope these guys can suck it up and find a way to play for their fans if they can't play for themselves. I think they owe them that much. The Stars fans have been very supportive this season and they atleast deserve 100% effort from the team.

While I don't pretend to be a coach or understand all of the Xs and Os of the game, it seems there are some things that need to fixed going into the next season. While it is understood and accepted that Lincoln has and probably will continue to be one of the most penalized teams in the league, I think it still warrants pointing out that some of the unnecessary and stupid penalities taken have been costly to the team and the game results. An example was during last night's game (and this has happened many times over the course of the season) we had two players take stupid penalties while we were on the powerplay which was negated because of it. Now I know our PP has been anything but great to watch, but I thought last night we saw some improvement in puck movement and creating opportunities only to have it be negated because of a penalty, one of which allowed Chicago to come out and score a PP goal to start the third period. Players need to be held accountable for these types of errors in judgement and I'm not saying sit them the rest of the game but atleast a shift or two to let them know that this was a costly mistake. Another extremely frustrating issue with this team is the lack of puck movement and creating scoring chances and just general awareness. How many times do we cut our own throat with an offsides call? I know this happens at every level and sometimes cannot be helped, but it seems to me it happens too much with the Stars and players just not paying attention. There also appears to be a lack of players with good hockey sense on this team and I can probably count on one hand the players that do have some but it's tough to work with when you have such a limited number. Hopefully in the future the coaches scout players that have skill and smarts - size and toughness are important as well but you are not going to succeed in this league if you don't have players that can move the puck and create offense and that also applies to the defense. I don't understand the breakout and what is being taught but it seems we break out more to the other team's sticks than we do to our own players. There's times I think our players are color blind! You cannot score goals if you cannot break the puck out of your own zone and/or hold the zone when you are in the offensive zone. And finally, can we atleast get someone to get in front of the net to screen the goalie, bang in rebounds or just wreak havoc for the opposing goalie - dirty goals count just as much as the pretty ones!

Well, that's about it for now...let's hope for a better effort tonight (and results) - Go Stars!!

mike0913 said...

The problem with this offense is that they don't have a legitimate 1st line center (or second line)who can distribute the puck. I would say that most of our forwards are 3rd and 4th liners on most teams. Guys like Pedersen can score if he gets help but he doesn't have the skill to generate his own offense. Most good teams have at least one defenseman who is a legitimate offensive threat. We have none. That makes all the difference on the power play. We cannot score because the goalies see every shot and they usually don't have move to make the save. If you watch Omaha, every shot they take is a legitimate scoring chance. This team has good NAHL not USHL talent.

mike0913 said...

the prior Anonymous post is right on in my opinion

BellTolls said...

Excellent posts by both Anonymous and mike. I agree with all of it. I was just thinking this morning how it seems we have a lot of 3rd-4th line forwards on our team, but not a true 1st line USHL group, maybe not even 2nd. Has to change next year.

Anonymous said...

Another player who was really trying to get some fire lit was DelMauro. Did anyone else see him poking other players in the shoulder and ribs during faceoffs trying to get someone to dance? He even turned and faced the Chicago player and started shaking his gloves off but the Chicago player skated off. I think Chicago understood that there lead in the game was precarious and any spark or swing of momentum our direction could change the entire game quickly. They backed off from every challenge and managed to keep the momentum on their side so for that I've got to credit them for sticking with a disciplined plan. But one thing that has become apparent to me this year is that no one wants to tangle with Rayner.

Section L is always rooting for you


Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with the above post. We have quite a few players that would be 1st or 2nd line with another team. Reid,Ammon, Dzingle, Petey just to name a few. They are just not working in a good system. Shoot the puck and crash the net may have worked in the USHL 10 years ago but not now. We need to create plays that get the goalie moving side to side and through screens to score. (just like every team that plays us does)

BellTolls said...

Anonymous, what I meant was we don't have an actual 1st line (RW, C, LW). Reid could probably be a 1st liner with the right partners, as could Dzingel I think. Ammon and Petey are energy guys. They're all good players, but I'm talking about guys like Matt White from Omaha, Reed Seckel and Anders Lee from Green Bay, REALLY big difference makers like Jason Gregoire, etc. The system we have this year appears to be the same system as the last two years (which nearly got us to the Clark Cup Finals), and we had some of the league's top goal scoreres too. I just think there's a reason people were concerned after tryout camp, and it had nothing to do with the system.

Now please let's get a win tonight!

Anonymous said...

In my opinion.
I think that the Stars have the talent, They just don't have the "mesh" or players seem to not be jelling together. I think the problem could be coaching or the players just not playing together as a team.
To me, it appears like they are playing what I call "panic" hockey. Lots of dump and run, passes aren't connecting.
On the good note....As far as D-Men. One on one, can anyone get past Hibbler? He is a good heads up player and deserves alot of credit.

For the love of the game....Starfish

Anonymous said...

I have some bad news for you. Alex Simonson asked him to go and he walked away, scared. He wanted to fight a 5'10" 92 birthyear kid? looked like a fool at the end of the game. nice job next game when he was a minus 5, on the ice for 7 straight goals vs Waterloo.

If thats leadership, shoot me