Sunday, March 20, 2011

B³ Postgame Recap 3/19: Des Moines 3, Lincoln 5

It's a four-point weekend, and a six-point week!  w00t!

The Lincoln Stars went 3-0 this week after completing the six-point sweep on Saturday night at the IceBox with a 5-3 victory over the Des Moines Buccaneers.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.  With the win, the Stars improved to 28-20-5 (61 points), and are in fifth place in the USHL Western Conference.  With the Fargo Force and the Sioux Falls Stampede both winning their games on Saturday night, the Stars are still five points behind those two teams, and eight points ahead of sixth place Des Moines.

The Stars struck first in this game when Jared Hanson scored at the 13:13 mark of the first period to put Lincoln up 1-0.  Forwards Ryan Dzingel and Sam Alfieri collected the assists on Hanson's eighth goal of the season.  Hanson's first period tally marked the sixth straight game in which the Stars scored the first goal of the game.  Before the crowd of 4,212 at the IceBox could finish celebrating the first goal, Stars forward Eric Scheid scored his 13th goal of the season just 39 seconds after Hanson's goal to give Lincoln the quick 2-0 lead.  Teemu Tiitinen and Sam Alfieri earned the assists on Scheid's goal at the 13:52 mark.  Teemu's primary assist was one of the prettiest passes I've seen at the IceBox this season.  His backhand pass from along the boards to a streaking Scheid was a thing of beauty.  

The Bucs would answer a little over a minute later when Ray Pigozzi scored for Des Moines to bring his team to within one goal at 2-1.  Just when it looked like the Stars might take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, forward Austin Hervey snapped a quick shot off a faceoff past a screened Michael Shibrowski to give Lincoln a commanding 3-1 lead.  Hervey's goal, which came at the 18:13 mark of the first period, was assisted by Zach Aston-Reese and Zach Frye.  Stars out-shot the Bucs 11-8 in the first twenty minutes.

In the second period, the Stars got a PP goal late in stanza when forward Dominik Shine scored to give Lincoln the 4-1 lead.  Forwards Sam Alfieri and John McCarron earned the assists on Shine's 12th goal of the season.  The Bucs got a powerplay goal of their own from forward Mitch Cain, with only 23 seconds remaining in the second period, to give themselves some life at 4-2 heading into the second intermission.  The Buccaneers out-shot the Stars 15-12 in the second period.

In the final twenty minutes, the Stars and Bucs traded scoring chances until late in the period when Dajon Mingo of Des Moines scored a powerplay goal with less than seven minutes remaining to bring the Bucs within one goal at 4-3.  All of a sudden, the Bucs were right back in this hockey game.  However, the Stars and goaltender Kevin Murdock would stand tall and thwarted numerous scoring chances by Des Moines to keep the lead.  Stars forward Andrew Schmit would put the icing on the cake with an empty-net goal with eight seconds remaining to give Lincoln the eventual 5-3 final score.  Forwards Garrett Peterson and Teemu Tiitinen collected the assists on Schmit's 11th goal of the season.  Andrew Schmit has now scored a goal in three straight games.  The Bucs out-shot the Stars 14-8 in the third period, and 37-31 overall.

Stars goaltender Kevin Murdock came up huge once again for the third straight game, as he stopped 34 of 37 shots to record is 25th win of the season, which is second best in the entire USHL.  Bucs goaltender Michael Shibrowski stopped 26 of 30 shots in the loss.  Lincoln went 1-for-3 on the powerplay, while the Bucs went 2-for-4 with the man advantage.  The Stars won the season series against the Bucs with two wins, and zero losses.

For the second straight night at the IceBox, the Stars played a full 60 minutes and finished strong against a quality opponents.  Two or three months ago, the Stars might have found a way to lose both games in the third period, but not this weekend.  Kevin Murdock was once again unbelievable between the pipes, and he should be in consideration for another goaltender of the week award from the USHL for his efforts.  In the past three games, all wins, Murdock stopped 88 of 94 shots on net.  Great effort all-around this weekend.  The Stars seem to be clicking as a team, which is fun to watch from the stands.  Getting that first goal of the game has been huge, and it's something the Stars are improving on as the season goes along.

Lincoln has the week off, but will be back in action on the road against Team USA U-18 next Friday night, and then in Chicago on Saturday evening to face the Steel.  More on those games later in the week.

Go Stars.


Yeti said...

I'd really like to hear from all of the other Stars fans out there. What did you think of the two big wins over the weekend? Can the Stars move up to that coveted 4th place in the western conference standings?

I know a lot of player parents/family were in town this past weekend, so I'm glad they were treated to a couple of wins. Two big crowds, also!

MacAttack said...

Was a great game last night! Talked with a couple of player parents and they were very happy with the weekends games.
Wish the Des Moines coach had some class and would have started Tyler Deresky, former Star from last years team.
as for gaining ground on the teams ahead of us, the guys just need to keep focused and win OUR games first and foremost. Starting with this coming weekends games, the team is capable of winning all the remaining 7 games. after that, we are going to need help. Will be an interesting last few weeks of the season.

lincolnfan said...

it was a fun weekend at the Ice Box. great crowds, great effort by the team, exciting games. i agree that the Stars are perfectly capable of winning all of their remaining games. all we have to do is show up and play the full 60 minutes, like we did this weekend. not that this really means anything, but all of the games we have left to play are against teams that are below us in the standings. we have zero control over how Fargo, Sioux Falls, and Omaha play in their remaining... so i agree with MacAttack that we just have to focus on OUR games and how WE play, and hope for the best and that we end up in at least 4th place in the standings.

nutz4puckz said...

What a weekend. My voice is still a little bit scratchy, but well worth it to cheer the guys on to a couple of big big wins. 4th is going to be hard to get to, its going to take some help, but if they keep playing the way they have been playing, it wont matter if they are home or on the road.

Friday night sat by Austin Hervey's dad for a period. Very nice guy!!

Doc was amazing at the end of the 3rd period Saturday night and not let anything through under all that pressure.

Two games this weekend that might be considered trap games, so focus up and play solid hockey!

tzweeb said...

im not so sure that we really want to move up to 4th, i think that being 5th with omaha second would be a better start to the play offs for us.
i might be wrong but isnt the set up for the play offs, 1 vs 6, 2 vs 5, 3 vs 4??

MuskiesFan4Ever said...

1st & 2nd place teams in each conference will get a 1st round by. The remaining 4 teams in each conferense play each other in a best-of-3 series... 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5... the higher seat team in each series gets home ice for their entire best-of-3 1st round series.

Yeti said...


I have a blog article coming up this week in which I will talk more in depth about the new playoff format. In the meantime....

#1 and #2 seeds in each conference get a first round bye.

First round series is best of three.

#3 seed plays the #6 seed
#4 seed plays the #5 seed

All games will be played at the #3 and #4 seeded rinks, respectively. That's why it's important to get that #3 or #4 seed. Otherwise, all of your first round games will be played on the road.

Yeti said...

Sorry, Muskies....didn't see your pending comment before I posted mine.

tzweeb said...

home ice would be the only advantage for us right now, but might be a hard thing to have happen.
thanks for the pre-article info.

Layla said...

I would think the Stars would like to have the revenue that comes with having all home games hosted in our arena if we can get up to 4th spot, and as a fan, I would like to be able to watch a bit of playoff hockey, since there is no guarantee that we'd make it past the first round. Not being negative, being realistic, we have a good team, and we have as good a chance as any to advance. But playoffs are a whole new ballgame. I don't know about anyone else but I hate, hate, hate, this format.I hope the league gets rid of it for next year, or if they do have to keep it, make sure that the schedule is more balanced. Either actually USE the 3 div/2 Conf format or get rid of the "Central" Div which only exists in paper anyways. Can someone explain to me how this is supposed to help travel when a team like DM plays teams in the West 12 times and teams in the East 20?

nutz4puckz said...

I agree with you and am NOT a fan of the current playoff schedule as it sits now. Although it is better than the year they tried it with the everyone making the playoffs.

Assuming that the US National team(s) stay in their current spot, which squad plays? The 17's or 18's or does is depend on the day of the week the games are played?

While I am on my soapbox, would it be too much to ask for at least the Clark Cup finals to be a best of 7? OK thats it for now :-)

Yeti said...


Only the U-17 Team USA squad will participate in the playoffs. The U-18 team will be playing in tournaments that time of year.

I'm putting together an article now about the upcoming playoffs, and the new format. Hope to have that up tonight or tomorrow.