Saturday, November 13, 2010

B³ Postgame Recap 11/12: Tri-City 0, Lincoln 3


The Lincoln Stars extended their current home winning streak to four games Friday night at the IceBox with a convincing 3-0 shutout win over the Tri-City Storm.  The victory was also the third in a row overall for the Stars.  Lincoln improved to 5-5 (10 points) on the season.

Much like last Friday night against the Fargo Force, the Stars came out in the first period of this game with their hair on fire.  I said last weekend that the first period of the Force-Stars game was one of the best periods I've seen Lincoln play at home, and the Stars duplicated that feat last night against Tri-City.  The Storm walked right into the buzzsaw as the Stars out-shot Tri-City 15-4 in the first period, and outscored them 1-0.  The Stars were by far the most physical team of the night, as the Storm were pushed and knocked around the majority of the game.  Seven minutes into the first period, with Stars forward Jared Hanson in the penalty box for interference, Lincoln would strike first shorthanded.  In his first game back in a Stars uniform since April 3rd, 2010, forward Garrett Peterson received a beauty head-man pass from defenseman Matt Prapavessis and came in alone on Storm goaltender Christopher Holden.  Petey gave a little deke and slipped the puck underneath the pad of Holden to give the Stars the early 1-0 lead.  Petey's first goal of the season would eventually turn out to be the game winning goal.  What a welcome back party by Garrett Peterson!  More on his performance in this game later on.  At the first intermission, the Stars had a 1-0 lead thanks to Petey's shorthanded goal, which was the first shorthanded goal scored by the Stars this season.

In the second period, the Storm finally woke up and played a much better period, although it was the Stars who would tally the lone goal scored in the second.  Nearly 13 minutes into the period, Stars forward John McCarron would score his third goal of the season, with an assist from defenseman Ben Oskroba, to give the Stars a 2-0 lead.  Stars goaltender Kevin Murdock survived the the Storm barrage in the second thanks to a lot of help from his teammates.  TC out-shot the Stars 15-9 in the second stanza, but the Stars did great work keeping the shots to the outside where Murdock had the angles to make the saves.  Also in the second period, Stars forward Andrew Schmit finally found someone willing to drop the mitts with him and trade punches.  Schmit, a 6'3', 228 pound native of Grafton, WI, exchanged blows with TC defenseman Bill Eiserman immediately after the goal by McCarron.  At the time, I think Eiserman was probably trying to get his teammates fired up after the McCarron goal, but it didn't work.  I will post video of the Schmit fight in a different blog article.

With a commanding 2-0 lead going into the third period, the Stars looked to finish out the last 20 minutes of the game to record their fourth straight home victory, which is exactly what they did.  With less than five minutes remaining in the game, forward Jake Lynes would score his fifth goal of the season, on the powerplay, to give Lincoln the 3-0 lead.  Assisting on Lynes' PP goal was John McCarron (his second point of the game).  This goal was very strange, as it appeared to me that Lynes centered the puck from behind the TC net and the puck bounced off the stick or pad of TC goaltender Christopher Holden and found its way to the back of the net.  Even the players on the ice at the time seemed very surprised that the puck went in.  Maybe someone else out there had a better view of this goal, but that's how it appeared to me from my seat in Section J.  Call it a brain fart by Holden, but the puck went in and the Stars had the 3-0 lead.  In the third period, the Storm out-shot the Stars 13-7, and overall in this game, 32-31.  Kevin Murdock stopped all 32 shots on net to record his third straight win of the regular season.

What a great performance by Garrett Peterson last night!  Petey was his usual self: hitting anything that moved, scoring goals, killing penalties, and being a general thorn in the side of the opposing team.  What Petey brings to this team is swagger.  That's not to say that the Stars didn't have swagger with Petey not in the lineup, but he exudes confidence.  There's a good reason why he was wearing an "A" on his jersey night also.  He leads by example, and will put his body in harms way in a moments notice to benefit the team.  So happy to see him back on the ice creating havoc.  

l also want to highlight the Stars' penalty kill unit.  The PK unit has struggled at times this season, but it certainly looks a LOT better as of late, which is encouraging.  Last night, the Storm had 8 powerplay opportunities, and the Stars' PK unit killed them all.  No longer does Lincoln have the worst penalty kill percentage in the league.  Hats off to those kids out there playing good defense, blocking shots, and saving pucks to keep the Stars in these last few games.  Related to special teams, the Stars statistically still have the #1 powerplay unit in the USHL.

Another great effort by the Stars last night!  So happy to see the kids out there playing hard, and getting good results from all of their hard work.  You can see them playing with more confidence each and every game, which is really fun to watch as a fan. 

The Stars will look to make it four wins in a row tonight as they faceoff against the Sioux Falls Stampede in Sioux Falls, SD.  The 'Pede will be looking for a little revenge after the Stars' 3-1 home win over Sioux Falls last Friday night at the IceBox.  We will be blogging/chatting online for that game, so make sure you check back here later tonight to follow along online.  I'll post that chat article later this afternoon.

Go Stars!


BellTolls said...

thanks for the article, Yeti! Certainly helps those of us who aren't able to make it to the games. Let's keep the train rolling on the road tonight!

MacAttack said...

it was a great game all the way around, offense, defense and goaltending were just top notch. you can tell the boys are really starting to "get it". they have come a LONG way since the Fall Classic.

Starfish said...

WOW, what a game!! The players with the assists really showed some heads up playing!
Cant wait til the next match up with the storm. Peterson VS PINKston??