Saturday, December 18, 2010

B³ Postgame Recap 12/17: Sioux City 5, Lincoln 1

Photo courtesy of Jeff White
It was another sloppy, uninspired effort by the Lincoln Stars at the IceBox Friday night, as the Sioux City Musketeers skated past the black and blue by a score of 5-1. It was a second period meltdown by the Stars which allowed the Muskies to score four goals, compared to zero for Lincoln.  With the loss Friday night, the Stars have now dropped five in a row at home, and are on a three game losing streak overall.  In the past five games at the IceBox, the Stars have been outscored 20-to-7.  With the loss, the Stars dropped to 11-10-1 (23 points) and are in seventh place in the USHL Western Conference.  

In the first period, I thought the Stars came out and played very, very well.  In the first ten minutes of the game, the Stars put a number of shots on goal, and out-skated and out-hit the Muskies.  Credit Muskies goaltender Matt Skoff for keeping his team in the game early on when they were getting out-played.  Despite the good play by the Stars early on, it was the Muskies who got on the board first at the 11:08 mark of the first period.  Max McCormick scored on a rebound in front of the net to give SC the early lead at 1-0.  Exactly three minutes after the goal by McCormick, Stars forward Teemu Tiitinen scored on a breakaway to even the game up at 1-1.  Jake Lynes and Jared Hanson collected the assists on Tiitinen's first period goal.  After the first 20 minutes of the game, the score was 1-1.  The Stars outshot the Muskies 12-10 in the first period.

The second period was all Sioux City as the Muskies outscored the Stars 4-0, and chased Stars goaltender Kevin Murdock from the game.  Noah Nelson, Brett Patterson, Max Gaede (PP), and Matt Paape all scored for SC in the second period to give the Muskies a commanding 5-1 lead.  Although Kevin Murdock was pulled in this game after surrendering the final fifth SC goal, he really didn't get a lot of help from his teammates last night.  I can't count how many times I saw defensemen and forwards just standing around in the defensive zone instead of chasing pucks.  I'm not sure what happened in between the first and second periods, but the Stars looked like a different team in the second.  Sioux City outshot Lincoln 13-10 in the nightmare period for the Stars.

It was a scoreless third period which saw the Muskies outshoot the Stars, 8-7.  Kevin Murdock stopped 18 of 23 shots in the loss.  Stars goaltender Lukas Hafner stopped all eight shots he saw in relief of Kevin Murdock.  There were three fights in this game as Dominik Shine dropped the mitts against Noah Nelson, Richard Coyne traded punches with Jake Suter, and Brent Tate fought Max McCormick.  Neither of the three fights were much to talk about.  I think some of the Stars tried to get the team fired up with the fights, but it just didn't work.

Disappointing game for sure.  Not much more to say than that.  The Stars PP unit continued to struggle, going 0-for-5 against SC.  I'm trying hard not to sound like a negative nancy, but it's difficult after watching the game last night.  Very little positives at all to draw from.  Sioux City weathered the early storm, and took advantage of their opportunities.  Give credit to them for out-skating, and out-playing the Stars for the majority of the game.

The Stars have one last opportunity before the x-mas break to break out of this slump and get a much needed win when they travel to Omaha to battle the Lancers tonight.  Lincoln is 2-0 on the road the past couple of games, so hopefully they can continue that streak Saturday night at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha.  I didn't get a chance to listen to head coach Chad Johnson talk to Mike Melbye after the game last night on the radio, but from what I have heard from those who did listen, it sounds like Chad wasn't happy at all and will sit certain players against Omaha tonight.  With the injuries mounting up, and the potential of healthy players being scratched, the Stars will most likely go with a very short bench tonight against the Lancers.

Would love to hear from the blog readers out there.  Please leave a comment!  It's been too quiet here...time to speak up!

Go Stars.

No comments: