Friday, January 28, 2011

B³ Postgame Recap 1/28: Indiana 3, Lincoln 1

The Lincoln Stars fell behind early Friday night and could not recover, as the Indiana Ice skated to a 3-1 victory in front of 3,752 dejected fans at the IceBox.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore. With the loss, the Stars dropped to 16-15-2 (34 points), and are all alone now in eighth place in the USHL Western Conference.  With the road win, the red-out Ice are now 18-2 in the their last 20 games.  Indiana also increased its road-winning streak to 9 straight games.

The Ice came out very strong to start the game, and took the play right to the sluggish Stars.  Ice forward Brian Ferlin scored at the 7:45 mark of the first period, on the powerplay, to give Indiana the early 1-0 lead.  With just about one minute remaining in the first period, Ice forward David Johnstone scored to give his team a commanding 2-0 lead going into the first intermission.  Although the shots on goal were close, 10-9 in favor of Indiana, I thought the Ice clearly outplayed the Stars in the first twenty minutes.

In the second period, the Stars came out with both guns blazing.  They out-played, out-hit, and out-skated the Ice for the entire second stanza.  The Stars out-shot the Ice 17-6 in the second, but were only able to score one goal when at the 13:41 mark, Lincoln forward Teemu Tiitinen deflected a shot from the point past Ice goaltender Jon Gillies to pull the Stars within one goal.  Dominik Shine and Frank Misuraca assisted on Teemu's third goal of the season.  You have to give a lot of credit to Ice goaltender Jon Gillies in the second period, and in the game, for keeping his team from giving up the game in that second period.  At the second intermission, the Stars trailed 2-1.

In the third, the Ice scored the final goal of the game when Austrian-born forward Peter Schneider buried a rebound shot at the 7:45 mark to give Indiana a bit more breathing room at 3-1.  Try as they might, the Stars could not solve Indiana goaltender Jon Gillies in the final twenty minutes of the game.  In my opinion, the Stars did not play as consistent Friday night as the Ice did, and that's why Indiana got the two points.  The Stars played fantastic in the second period, but were a bit flat in both the first and third period.  

Tough loss Friday night, because at times I thought the Stars completely dominated the Ice, especially in the second period.  Give credit to Indiana for coming back in the third period and getting that insurance goal to give the Ice some breathing room...and then shutting the door on Lincoln.  Ice "backup" goaltender Jon Gillies stopped 33 of 34 shots to record his sixth straight win.  Stars goaltender Kevin Murdock stopped 20 of 23 shots in the loss.

Indiana is a very good hockey team, and although they were out-shot tonight by the Stars 34-23, I thought Indiana did enough to earn the win.  No sense in hanging your head after that loss, although I would liked to have seen the Stars come out in the third period with a bit more "jam."  

Stars will return to the IceBox on Saturday night to face the Fargo Force.  Fargo shutout the Des Moines Bucs in Des Moines on Friday night by a score of 2-0.  In that game, the Force out-shot the Bucs 41-19.  Ouch.  The Stars will have their hands full yet again Saturday night.

Go Stars.

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