Friday, January 14, 2011

B³ Postgame Recap 1/14: Omaha 2, Lincoln 5

Garrett Peterson's third period goal - Courtesy of Jeff White
Wins against Omaha always feel a little better than wins against other USHL teams, am I wrong?

Friday night at a sold-out IceBox, the Lincoln Stars won their third straight game, and second in a row against Omaha, as the black and blue rolled over the Lancers by a score of 5-2.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.

A total of 4,334 fans witnessed the Stars victory, which was a season high for the IceBox.  With the win, the Stars are now 3-2 against the Omaha Lancers this season.  The home win against the Lancers was the first in almost two years, as it was way back on 2/20/09 when the Stars last beat Omaha at the IceBox.  The Stars improved to 14-13-1 (29 points) on the season, and are in eighth place in the USHL Western Conference.

In the first period, there were surprisingly no goals scored, nor no penalties whistled.  The fans were treated to a back-and-forth, fast-paced first twenty minutes as both teams traded numerous scoring opportunities.  I thought Lincoln and Omaha had some pretty good chances in that first period, but both goaltenders were up to the challenge.  Going into the first intermission, the score was 0-0, and Omaha led in shots on goal,13-9.

The Stars got on the board first in the second period when forward Ryan Dzingel was left all alone in front of Omaha goaltender Todd Mathews and deflected a pass from defenseman Matt Prapavessis past Mathews to give Lincoln a 1-0 lead with a little more than three minutes gone in the second period.  Prapavessis and forward Brent Tate both collected assists on Dzingel's tenth goal of the season.  Less than one minute after Dzingel's goal, forward "Big" John McCarron skated into the offensive zone, slammed on the brakes, and unleashed a wicked slapshot which beat Mathews glove high to give Lincoln a 2-0 lead.  McCarron's ninth goal of the season broke a eight-game streak in which he was held goalless.  Brent Tate and Matt Prapavessis again collected the assists on the Stars' second goal of the game.  The Stars were whistled for three penalties in the second period, and they killed all three Omaha powerplays.  Omaha was whistled for one penalty in the period (their only penalty of the game-shocking!), and the Lancers killed the lone Lincoln powerplay.  At the end of the second period, the Stars led 2-0.  The Lancers outshot the Stars 12-11 in the period.

With a little more than two minutes gone in the third period, the Lancers finally got on the board when Omaha forward Ken Babinski scored an unassisted goal to bring his team within one goal, at 2-1.  However, the Stars responded 31 seconds after the Omaha goal when Ryan Dzingel scored his second goal of the game, his eleventh on the season, to give Lincoln a little more breathing room at 3-1.  Dzingel received a nice cross-ice pass from defenseman Nick Cecere and beat Mathews glove high for the goal.  Stars defenseman Chris Casto also earned an assist on Dzingel's third period tally.  The Lancers would not go away quietly, as Omaha forward Seth Ambroz scored two minutes after the Dzingel goal to bring the Lancers again within one goal, at 3-2.  

At the 14:50 mark of the third period, Stars forward Andrew Schmit batted down a Lancers clearing attempt in their offensive zone, and then passed the puck to a wide-open, streaking Garrett Peterson who one-timed the puck from the high slot past a surprised Todd Mathews to give Lincoln a commanding 4-2 lead.  The IceBox erupted.  Andrew Schmit earned the lone assist on Petey's tenth goal of the season.  Andrew Schmit wasn't done, as the native of Grafton, Wisconsin scored an empty net goal with seven seconds remaining in the game to send the IceBox into hysterics.  Stars defenseman Frank Misuraca and forward John McCarron collected the assists on Schmit's goal.  Final score:  Omaha 2, Lincoln 5.  The Stars went 0-1 on the powerplay, while the Lancers went 0-6 with the man advantage.  Omaha outshot the Stars 38-32 overall.  Stars goaltender Kevin Murdock continued his hot streak, as Doc stopped 36 of 38 shots on net to record his 12th win of the season.  

Wow.  What a game!  The IceBox hasn't been that electric in months...maybe years.  What a great atmosphere to watch a hockey game.  The Lancers are a very good team, and the Stars clearly outplayed them last night, which was really fun to watch as a fan.  The players should be very proud of their effort.  There were no let downs, no bad stretches of lackadaisical play.  What really impressed me last night was the play of the Stars' penalty kill unit.  As I've documented, the Lancers have scored at will on the powerplay against the Stars this season.  Coming into this game, the Lancers had scored 16 total goals against Lincoln in four games, and 8 of those 16 goals came on the powerplay.  The Stars' PK unit did a great job shutting down Seth Ambroz and company last night, as the Lancers finished the game 0-6 on the PP.  That was the key to the game, in my opinion.  Win the special teams war, and you can beat Omaha.  In the games I've seen the Stars play against Omaha this season, Lincoln has been the better team 5-on-5, even in the losses.  

The Stars return to action tonight at the IceBox where they will be looking for their fourth straight win against the visiting Cedar Rapids Roughriders.  Puck drops at 7:05pm.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend the game tonight, so I really hope to hear from a lot of the blog readers afterwards.

Go Stars.

P.S. - Congrats to Stars forward Andrew Schmit on his commitment to play collegiate hockey at the University of Nebraska-Omaha!  


tzweeb said...

it was the loudest i can remember the ice box being for a very long time!! nice to have a full house but fighting your way thru the hallway was not as much fun..
just went thru pointstreak and did omaha really only have 1 penalty?? got to give props to both teams as well as the refs for letting them play HOCKEY!
i had a video of the empty netter as well as the end of game train ride, but they were so blurry i wont even post them.
hope we can put on another good game saturday night!!!
nice work to the team for a full 60 minutes of hard playing hockey!

nutz4puckz said...

Way to go guys!! Keep it going and get another one tonight.

StarzFan said...

Yes Yeti, a win over Omaha is more fun. What a great game! Keep up the confidence and good work guys. Congratulations to Andrew, we'll look forward to seeing him at UNO games.

Go Stars, let's have another win tonight!

Starfish said...

Great job guys!! Keep up the momentum and roll over Cedar Rapids tonight!!!
A couple players that stood out last night for me were-
Frank Misuraca - Great defense! Stood up players and broke up some omaha plays. A brick wall that opposing players can't get through!
Richard Coyne - I think this guy has come a long way this season. You could see his intensity on the opening line and he didn't let down through the night.
Dominik Shine - Can a player try any harder to get a goal???? Things have to pan out for this guy sooner or later!!!

Props to the whole team and coaching. Speaking of coaching, where was Coach McGroarty last night?

MacAttack said...

yes, I noticed Coach McG was not behind the bench as well. maybe he was sick or maybe out scouting.
last night was a great night! I had a group of my friends from work up in the NE sky box and we had a great view of the action. the Stars came out with purpose and intensity from the drop of the puck. lots of big hits and some absolutely great saves by Doc. these first 3 games of the new year seems to have brought on a renewed sense of purpose by the Stars. they are checking hard, skating tough and taking the puck to the net. as Coach J has said, they are doing things simple and not trying to play "cute"