Friday, October 7, 2011

B³ Postgame Recap 10/7: Waterloo 4, Lincoln 3

Courtesy of Brandon Anderson
It was a back and forth battle tonight at the IceBox in Lincoln which saw the visiting Waterloo Blackhawks take advantage of a PP late in the third period to score the go-ahead goal and beat the Stars by a score of 4-3.  Click here to view the boxscore.

With the loss, the Stars dropped to 1-1-0 (2 points), and are tied for third place in the USHL Western Conference.  With the win, the Blackhawks improved to 2-0-0 (4 points), and are tied for first place in the west.

The B'hawks came out very strong in the first twenty minutes of the game tonight and they were rewarded for their hard work very early with the first goal.  Just 41 seconds into the first period, 'Loo forward Taylor Cammarata collected a lose puck at the blue line, went in alone on Stars goaltender Charles Williams, and roofed a shot to give Waterloo the 1-0 lead.  Before the Blackhawks could fully celebrate the goal, Stars forward Jared Hanson sniped a shot high stick side past 'Loo goaltender Jay Williams to even the score at 1-1.  Hanson's goal came just 56 seconds into the period.  The game wasn't a minute old, yet two pucks had found the back of the net.  Luke Johnson and Brent Tate earned the assists on Hanson's first goal of the season.  Johnson set up Hanson with a really pretty pass on the goal.

The Blackhawks would silence the crowd with two goals later in the first half of the period to increase their lead to 3-1.  Waterloo took advantage of the scoring chances they had in the first period, and they made the Stars pay.  B'Hawks took 3-1 lead into the first intermission.  I thought both teams had their moments in the first period, but it was Waterloo who took advantage of the opportunities given.  The Blackhawks outshot the Stars 12-11 in the first period.

The Stars came out for the second period and dominated play, outshooting the Blackhawks 15-5 in the second stanza.  I'm not sure what the coaches told the players in the locker room during the first intermission, but it worked.  However, the Stars could only get one puck past Jay Williams in the second period despite peppering him with shot after shot.  With less than a minute remaining in the second, Stars defenseman Mike McKee crashed the Waterloo net and jammed the puck past Jay Williams to pull the Stars within one goal at 3-2.  Stars forwards Ryan Cole and Tommy Schutt earned the assists on McKee's first ever USHL goal.

Down 3-2 going into the third, the Stars came out again strong and outplayed the B'hawks for the majority of the period.  At the 4:19 mark of the third, the Stars scored a controversial goal to even the score at 3-3.  I had a very good look at the "goal" from my seat in Section J, and there is no way it should have counted. I plainly saw a Stars player glove the puck and push it over the goal line into the back of the net.  Apparently neither of the on-ice officials saw it, because it was ruled a good goal.  The Waterloo players on the ice immediately protested to lead referee Andrew Wilk that the puck was pushed across by a Lincoln glove, but the officials gave it to the Stars.  Jared Hanson was given credit for the goal (his second of the night), and the assists went to d-man Ralfs Freibergs and forward Luke Johnson.

Call it karma for the third Lincoln "goal," but the Blackhawks were able to get back on the PP late in the third period thanks to a ticky-tack penalty called against Stars defenseman Mike McKee with less than four minutes remaining in the period.  With only 2:38 left in the game, Waterloo capitalized and scored on the powerplay to regain the lead at 4-3.  The Stars would pull goaltender Charles Williams with a little over a minute left in the third period, but Lincoln was not able to get any pucks past 'Loo goaltender Jay Williams.

Kind of a strange game tonight.  Both teams played very well at times, and not so good at other times.  I thought Waterloo outplayed Lincoln in the first period, but I thought the Stars outplayed the B'hawks for the most part in both the second and third periods.  Coach Johnson mentioned this after the game when talking with radio announcer Mike Melbye, but it's going to be hard to beat any team in the USHL when you are on the penalty kill 8 times per game.  Waterloo went 2-for-8 on the PP, while the Stars went 0-for-3.   There may have been some questionable calls made tonight, but you have to work through that.  It's a developmental league for officials as well, so sometimes you have to deal with inadequate officiating at times.

I'm not blaming this loss at all on Wilk, by the way.  The Stars had their chances to win this game, but they couldn't put it together for a whole 60 minutes.  Lincoln slept a bit in the first period and allowed the upstart Blackhawks to jump out to a 3-1 lead.  The Stars fought their way out of that hole, thanks to some hard work and the phantom goal, but in the end it was a Waterloo PP goal late in the game that won it for the visitors.  Hockey is a game of inches at times, and we saw it tonight as the Stars hit at least four posts tonight by my count.  Also, and this was mentioned by head coach Chad Johnson after the game, the Stars had a lot of shots go high and wide tonight.  Get those pucks on net, and it might have been a different score.  Learn from a game like this, and move on.

The Stars will take another week off and return to the IceBox next Friday night to face the Chicago Steel.  Plenty of time this week to practice, figure out the roster moves that need to be made, and prepare for the Steel.  More on that matchup later next week.

I'll post some pictures from this game sometime tomorrow.  Stay tuned for that.  Please leave a comment below if you wish!  I'd love to hear from you.

Go Stars.

1 comment:

lincolnfan said...

have to say it was an exciting and fun game. overall, both teams played very well i would say. the Stars came out flat in the first period, giving up that goal right off the bat, but it was nice to see them answer right back with a goal of their own. yeah they gave up 2 more goals in the first period, but they could have easily thrown in the towel in the second period and they didn't. they played very well in the second and third periods and ended up with more shots on goal than the Blackhawks. i'm really looking forward to watching the Stars this season. i've been going to the games for a number of years now, and i have to say that this team plays a lot better than many other Stars teams have this early on in the season.

btw, has anyone ever seen a hockey stick go into the stands before? i never have. kind of a crazy game tonight...