Sunday, December 19, 2010

B³ Postgame Recap 12/18: Lincoln 2, Omaha 4

Photo courtesy of Brandon Anderson
The Lincoln Stars were on the wrong end of some home cookin' officiating Saturday night in Omaha, as the Lancers scored two powerplay goals to propel them to a 4-2 victory.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.  The Stars were shorthanded a total of seven players against Omaha as Josh Berge, Matt Prapavessis, Chris Casto, Eric Scheid, Frank Misuraca, Jake Lynes, and Ryan Dzingel all sat out of this game due to injuries, or being scratched.  With the loss, the Stars are now 11-11-1 (23 points) and are in seventh place in the USHL Western Conference.

Omaha got on the board first when Lancers forward Nick Oddo scored a powerplay goal at the 10:34 mark of the first period to give the Lancers an early 1-0 lead.  Less than three minutes later while the Stars were on the powerplay, an errant pass by Lincoln allowed Stefan Demopoulos of Omaha to steal the puck and score a shorhanded, breakaway goal to give the home team a 2-0 lead.  A total of five minor penalties and one misconduct penalty were called in the first period, and four of those calls (including the misconduct) were called against Lincoln.  Omaha outshot Lincoln 11-5 in the first period, mostly because the Stars played shorthanded for the majority of the first 20 minutes.

In the second, the Stars outplayed the Lancers for most of the period, but they could not get any pucks past Omaha goaltender Todd Mathews.  Mike Chiasson of the Lancers scored a 5-on-3 powerplay goal with only 12 seconds remaining in the period to give Omaha the 3-0 lead.  The perimeter shot from the Omaha defenseman was never by seen Stars goaltender Lukas Hafner who was screened on the play.  A total of four minor penalties were called in the second period, and three were whistled against Lincoln.  Lincoln outshot Omaha 14-10 in the second period.

In the final 20 minutes of the game, the Stars would finally get a puck past Todd Mathews when forward Garrett Peterson scored with less than four minutes remaining to give the Stars some life at 3-1.  Andrew Schmit and John McCarron collected the assists on Petey's goal.  With less than two minutes remaining in the game, the Stars pulled goaltender Lukas Hafner for the extra attacker, but it was Omaha forward Nick Oddo who took advantage of the empty net and scored an empty-netter goal at the 18:48 mark of the third period.  The Stars were not done fighting, as defenseman Kyle Quick would score 22 seconds remaining to finish the scoring at 4-2.  Stars forward Brent Tate collected the lone assist on Quick's first USHL career goal.  Both teams had nine shots on goal in the third period.  A total of 12 penalties were called in the third period, and nine were whistled on the Stars.  Both teams had nine shots on goal in the third period, and Omaha outshot Lincoln overall, 30-28.  The Stars went 0-for-2 on the PP, while the Lancers went  2-for-11.  Overall, the Stars were whistled for a total of 63 penalty minutes, compared to just 13 penalty minutes for Omaha.

The Stars faced a lot of adversity Saturday night, and considering those obstacles (all of the players out of the lineup, the poor officiating), I thought the team played very, very well.  Call me a homer, I don't really care.  I'm objective enough to know when the Stars play bad, and when they play well considering the circumstances.  I'm not afraid to state on this blog if the Stars play like crap, and despite the loss last night, I think the Stars can be proud of their effort.  The Stars blocked shots, and played very well shorthanded last night, while the Lancers at times looked lost on the PP.  

I'm not one to normally rail on a referee for poor officiating, but I thought Christopher Pitoscia did a terrible job Saturday night.  I'm not sure if the guy just loves his whistle that much, or if he just doesn't like the colors of black and blue, but he certainly seemed to have an agenda Saturday night in Omaha.   I'm not saying every call against Lincoln was unwarranted.  Through the first 40 minutes of the game, the Stars were whistled for 24 minutes worth of penalties, compared to only 4 minutes for Omaha.  In total, 11 Omaha powerplay opportunities, to only 2 for Lincoln.  Really?  Are the Lancers suddenly angels?  If you're going to call every ticky-tack penalty, call them both ways.  I don't mind if a ref has a napoleon complex and loves to hear his own whistle, but call it both ways.  Pitoscia definitely had his hand in this game, in my opinion.  

The Stars will now go on x-mas break, and hopefully get healthy in the next week or so.  Lincoln will return to the ice on 12/29/10 in Green Bay, WI against the Gamblers.  

Go Stars.


Yeti said...

Would love to hear from other Stars fans who were in attendance last night at the Civic. What did you think of the game?

Also, I will be posting snapshots from the game very soon.

Trishia S. said...

I thought it was a good game as well considering. It's pretty easy for the other team to score (and win) when they're on the PP pretty much the entire game. I don't know if anyone else noticed this but one of the replays Omaha showcased actually showed them committing an uncalled penalty - tripping - along the boards behind the net..but what do I know, right!? Some good calls, some bad calls, a lot of no calls but, overall, I think the game could have been much worse. Props to the Stars for staying in it and to Petey and Quick for not letting Mathews get the shut-out.

nutz4puckz said...

It sure is hard to win when you spend the better part of the game killing penalties. I'm just puzzled with why the guys look so sluggish at home, but they seem to really rally when on the road. Maybe coach needs to change the routine at home and use the Pelini technique and get them on a bus before home games :-)

That being said, lets hope then can get healthy over the break and come back playing like we saw them in November.

starstruck said...

It seemed as though a decision had been made before the game was even played who would win that night. When the Stars had a player in the penalty box for over half the first ten minutes of the game, it was pretty clear the direction the ref was taking. But our guys fought through it, did a great job killing off those penalties and did not give up their physical style of play. To have only 16 guys suited up and battle through what they did shows a lot of grit and determination. In my opinion, Stars fans can be very proud of this team! Wishing them a good holiday break and looking forward to the second half. Go Stars!!