Sunday, April 3, 2011

B³ Postgame Recap 4/2: Lincoln 3, Sioux City 4

Courtesy of Carl Kacvinsky
I was unable to follow this game at all, so this "recap" will be very, very brief.  I would really appreciate hearing from the fans who were in attendance last night, so please leave a comment.

The Lincoln Stars battled back from a 3-0 deficit last night in Sioux City to tie the game up at 3-3, but the Muskies were awarded a 5-on-3 powerplay late in the third period and converted to beat the Stars, 4-3.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.  The loss snapped Lincoln's six game winning streak, and extended Sioux City's winning streak to seven games.  The Stars are now 31-21-5 (67 points),  and still occupy fifth place in the USHL Western Conference standings

After Sioux City jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the second period, the Stars bounced back in a big way with three straight goals of their own to close out the second period.  Scoring goals for the Stars was Ryan Dzingel, Rasmus Juell, and John McCarron.  With the score tied up at 3-3 late in the third period, the Stars were whistled for two penalties, and the Muskies were awarded a 5-on-3 powerplay.  Sioux City forward Max McCormick made the most of the opportunity by scoring a PP goal with only 1:24 left in the third period to give the Musketeers the 4-3 win.

Sioux City out-shot the Stars 31-23 overall, and finished 3-for-7 on the powerplay.  While the Muskies were awarded 7 powerplay opportunities, the Stars were only awarded 2, and Lincoln was unable to score on either of those two PP chances.  Stars goaltender Kevin Murdock started the game and stopped 13 of 15 shots on net before getting pulled in favor of Lukas Hafner.  Hafner stopped 14 of 16 shots in relief of Murdock.

Seems a bit strange to award a team a 5-on-3 powerplay so late in the game with it tied, so I'm hoping to hear from the fans in attendance to see if the call or calls were legit or not.  Nice to see the Stars battle back after getting down 3-0, but it's tough to win any road games when you fall behind that much.  Regardless, the Stars are still in the hunt for that fourth spot in the western conference standings.  Here are the most up to date standings as of today:

Western Conference Standings:

Dubuque Fighting Saints:  82 points 
Sioux Falls Stampede:  72 points  (two games remaining:  Sioux City, Omaha)
Omaha Lancers:  71 points  (two games remaining:  @Fargo, @Sioux Falls)
Fargo Force:  70 points  (two games remaining:  Omaha, Sioux City)
Lincoln Stars:  67 points  (three games remaining:  @Sioux City, Tri-City, @Tri-City)
Sioux City Musketeers:  64 points  (three games remaining:  Lincoln, @Sioux Falls, @Fargo)
Des Moines Buccaneers:  60 points  (three games remaining:  Youngstown, Green Bay, Team USA)
Tri-City Storm:  49 points  (eliminated from the playoffs)

The Dubuque Fighting Saints have wrapped up the Western Conference regular season championship, even though their schedule was mainly eastern conference teams, so they automatically have a first round bye.  Sioux Falls, Omaha, and Fargo appear to all be battling for 2nd and 3rd place, while the Stars fight for that coveted fourth spot in the standings, and home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

Looks like it's going to come down to the wire!  Should be a very exciting last week of play in the USHL.  The Stars will get a chance at redemption this Tuesday night when they travel back up to Sioux City once again to take on the Musketeers.  That will be a huge game, with the Stars only three points behind Fargo, and Sioux City only three points behind the Stars.

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