Wednesday, February 16, 2011

B³ Postgame Recap 2/16: Green Bay 3, Lincoln 4

w00t!  Home win #300! 

The Lincoln Stars used a total team effort tonight over 60 minutes to beat the league-leading Green Bay Gamblers by a score of 4-3 at the IceBox.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.  It was the third straight home win for the Stars.  The victory was also home win #300 at the IceBox.  With the "W" and two points, the Stars improved to 20-16-4 (44 points) and are tied for fifth place in the USHL Western Conference with the Des Moines Buccaneers.  

In what was in my opinion one of the best opening periods at home for the Stars this season, Lincoln came out very strong and dominated play in the first twenty minutes.  They were rewarded early on when forward Andrew Schmit outworked three Gamblers for the puck and then sniped the puck past Gamblers goaltender Ryan McKay at the 2:27 mark to give Lincoln the early 1-0 lead.  John McCarron and Ryan Dzingel collected the assists on Schmit's sixth goal of the season.  The Stars would increase their lead exactly fifteen minutes after the first goal when defenseman Chris Casto collected the puck in the offensive zone and wristed it from just inside the circle to beat McKay and give Lincoln a 2-0 lead.  Earning assists on Casto's goal was Brent Tate and Sam Alfieri.  Stars outshot the Gamblers 15-9 in the first period, and while the score was 2-0, it could have been a lot worse for the Gamblers.  Green Bay was outplayed in every facet of the game.

The Gamblers would get on the board at the 8:57 mark of the second period when forward Ludwig Karlsson scored on the powerplay to bring his team within one goal at 2-1.  The Stars would answer at the 13:29 mark of the second period when forward Dominik Shine scored to give Lincoln back its two-goal lead at 3-1.  Teemu Tiitinen and Chris Casto collected the assists on Shine's ninth goal of the season.  At the end of the second period, the Stars had a 3-1 lead, and had outshot the Gamblers 26-17.

Four minutes into the third period, the Gamblers would again crawl back into the game when forward Alex Broadhurst scored to bring Green Bay back within one goal again, this time at 3-2.  However, just over a minute after the goal by Broadhurst, Stars forward Austin Hervey would come up huge with a wrap-around goal to give the Stars another two goal lead at 4-1.  Hervey's goal, which would prove to be the game-winning goal, was his first as a member of the Stars.  Assisting on Hervey's goal was Jared Hanson and Ryan Dzingel.  The Gamblers would play a little better in the third period, but the Stars proved to be the better team as they stopped wave after wave of Green Bay scoring attempts.  The Gamblers would get a late goal by forward Nolan Laporte, but it was too little, too late.  Stars outplayed, out-hustled, and outscored the league-leading Green Bay Gamblers to win big by a score of 4-3.  Lincoln outshot Green Bay 35-27 through the three periods.  The Stars finish 0-for-1 on the powerplay, while the Gamblers went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.

Wow....what a game!  Playoff atmosphere for sure tonight at the IceBox.  I said in my preview article that the Stars would have to play some of their best hockey of the season to beat the Gamblers, and they did just that tonight.  I'm not sure we saw the best from the Gamblers tonight, but give a lot of credit to the Stars defense tonight (both forwards and defenseman) for limiting the amount of Green Bay scoring chances.  Stars goaltender Kevin Murdock was stellar yet again between the pipes, as Doc stopped 24 of 27 shots to record his 18th win of the season.  Doc has dialed up wins in four of the last five games he has started for Lincoln.  On the other end of the rink, Gamblers goaltender Ryan McKay stopped 31 of 35 Lincoln shots in the losing effort.  McKay never looked comfortable tonight, and at times seemed very rattled in net.

Big win tonight!  The Stars proved once again that they can play with, and beat the top teams in the USHL.  It's very encouraging to see them playing this well at this point in the season.  No where to go but up in the standings.  The Stars return to action this Friday night at the IceBox against the Fargo Force.  I understand that there are only a few hundred tickets available for that game, so if you haven't bought your tickets yet for Friday, buy them soon!  It's going to be another sellout crowd at the IceBox!  Don't miss it.

Go Stars. 


nutz4puckz said...

Agree 100% that it was one of the best first periods they have played all year at home. Way to get the W and get ready for Friday night. Anyone else impressed lately with the line of Dom, Teemu and Sam? They have been playing very very well! GO STARS!!

Yeti said...


I agree 100% with that statement. In fact, I was talking to a few blog readers during the first intermission, and that line came up in conversation. You could argue that the Shine-Teemu-Alfieri line is playing better than any other line right now.

Teemu is a guy who continues to impress me. He doesn't get a lot of points, but the guy works harder than just about anyone on the team. I'd bet he's the fastest skater on the Stars roster, too. One of my favorite players to watch.

nutz4puckz said...

Another thing I thought of...How about Casto with two more points. 6 points in the last five games. Chris has been playing very well as of late also.

Unrelated, anyone else notice that its $1 beer and hotdog night in Omaha this Saturday AGAIN as the Stars visit...

Puck Luck said...

I think the 1st period was the best overall period of hockey we’ve played this year. I also liked the way we made a push to answer back after they scored! That was the Best 60 minutes played this year!