Wednesday, November 23, 2011

B³ Postgame Recap 11/23: Tri-City 3, Lincoln 2 OT SO

The first overtime hockey played by the Stars this season saw the visiting Tri-City Storm squeak by Lincoln in a sudden-death shootout to win by a score of 3-2 in front of a packed IceBox crowd.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.

With the overtime loss, the Stars earned one point, and are still all alone in first place in the USHL Western Conference with a record of 10-5-1 (21 points).  Just behind the Stars are the Omaha Lancers (19 points), who lost tonight to the Des Moines Bucs by a score of 6-0.  The Waterloo Blackhawks also have 19 points in the west, and have one game in hand over Lincoln, and two games in hand over Omaha.  Click here to see the standings.

The Storm got on the scoreboard first in this game very late in the first period when Heikki Liedes scored with only 10 seconds remaining to give the Storm a 1-0 lead going into the first intermission.  Sloppy, lazy play by the Stars in their own end allowed a Tri-City forward to collect the puck behind the net and find a wide open Liedes in the slot who one-timed the puck glove high past Lincoln goaltender Jackson Teichroeb.  Stars outshot the Storm 10-7 through the first twenty minutes.

Lincoln got on the scoreboard late in the second period when defenseman Ralfs Freibergs slapped the puck past TC goaltender Adam Wilcox, on the powerplay, to knot the game up at 1-1.  Brent Tate and Colton Saucerman collected the assists on Freiberg's second goal of the season.  Before the fans in the crowd could finish celebrating the first Lincoln goal of the game, the Storm would take advantage again of sloppy play by the Stars in their own end to retake the lead.  Only 13 seconds after Freiberg's goal, Tri-City's Trevor Moore came in alone on Teichroeb and backhanded a shot into the net giving his team the 2-1 lead going into the second intermission.  Stars outshot the Storm 12-9 in the second period.

In the third period, the Stars finally woke up halfway through the stanza and took the play directly to the Storm who seemed to tire at this point in the game.  Lincoln was rewarded with Ralfs Freibergs scored his second goal of the game at the 11:00 mark of the period to tie the game at 2-2.  Brent Tate and Kevin Roy earned the assists on Freiberg's second goal of the game.  Lincoln would pepper Storm goaltender Adam Wilcox with shot after shot, but none would find the back of the net.

After a scoreless 4-on-4 overtime period, the game went to a shootout.  In the shootout, the Storm would score once, while the Stars were held scoreless.  Stars outshot the Storm overall in the game, 42-26.  Lincoln goaltender Jackson Teichroeb stopped 24 of 26 shots on goal in the loss.  TC goaltender Adam Wilcox, who was rightfully named the #1 star of the game, stopped 40 of 42 shots to record his first win as a member of the Tri-City Storm.  Stars went 1-for-6 on the powerplay, while the Storm went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

The Stars outshot the Storm 42-27 tonight, but Lincoln flat out played some of their worst hockey of the season for the first 50 minutes of the game.  If the Stars had faced a more potent offense, I thought Lincoln could have easily been down 5-1 going into the second intermission.  Not sure what was going on with the Stars tonight, but they looked lost and tired.  Still recuperating from three games in three nights last weekend?  Too much pre-Thanksgiving turkey today?  Thinking about home and the holidays instead of the opponent on the ice?  I'm not sure.  Whatever it was, it wasn't fun to watch.

Considering the effort for the first 50 minutes of the game, I was very happy that this game went into overtime.  I figured one point was better than none.  Credit the Storm for wanting it more and getting the job done in the end.  They deserved the two points and the win.  Chad Johnson mentioned this after the game, but the Stars have to feel pretty lucky after these last two games against the Storm.  Lincoln definitely hasn't played their best hockey against Tri-City, yet they earned 3 out of 4 points against them in these last two games.

Stars will take tomorrow off to celebrate Turkey Day and after that they will jump on the bus for two road games this weekend.  First up on Friday night will be the Sioux Falls Stampede.  On Saturday night, the Stars will head west to once again battle the Tri-City Storm.  More on those two games later in the week.

Wishing all of the blog readers a happy, healthy, and bountiful Thanksgiving.

Go Stars.

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