Friday, November 4, 2011

B³ Postgame Recap 11/4: Fargo 4, Lincoln 2

Courtesy of Brandon Anderson Photography
The Fargo Force took advantage of their powerplay opportunities to cruise to a 4-2 victory over the Lincoln Stars at the IceBox tonight.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.

With the loss, the Stars dropped their second game in a row, and are now 4-4-0 (8 points, fourth place in the USHL Western Conference) on the season.  For the first time in the 2011-12 regular season, the Stars were beaten by more than one goal.  In each of their previous three losses, the Stars had only lost by one goal in each game.

The Force got out to a quick 1-0 lead a little more than four minutes into the game when Gabe Guertler collected the puck in the slot and wristed the puck past Stars goaltender Charles Williams.  The Stars would answer about two minutes later when Brent Tate redirected a Markus McCrea shot past Force goaltender Reed Peters to even the score at 1-1.  Colton Saucerman collected the other assist on Tate's first goal of the season.

Late in the first period, the Force would retake the lead at 2-1 with a powerplay goal by Colton Hargrove.  Not to pick on Charles Williams, but this was a bad goal given up.  From my seat, it sure looked like Williams saw the puck all the way, but the puck beat him five-hole.  Despite outshooting the Force 14-9 in the first period, the Stars found themselves down a goal after twenty minutes.

In the second period, the Force would add yet another powerplay goal late in the period when Austin Farley scored to give Fargo the commanding 3-1 lead.  The PP goal came on a 5-on-3 powerplay opportunity by Fargo.  Stars goaltender Jackson Teichroeb, who replaced Williams in net at the start of the second period, didn't have a chance to save the puck as it appeared to bounce off of a Stars stick or skate and into the net.  Stars outshot the Force 12-8 in the second period, but found themselves down two goals going into the final stanza.

In the third, Stars forward Kevin Roy would score a goal with six minutes remaining to pull Lincoln within one goal at 3-2.  Roy accepted a pass from Colton Saucerman just to the right of Peters, waited for the Fargo goaltender to make the first move, and roofed the shot into the net.  Will Suter collected the other assist on Roy's sixth goal of the season.  Roy has now scored a goal in each of the last three Lincoln games.  Roy has scored 10 points (6g, 4a) in his last five games.

The Stars would pour on the offensive chances in the last six minutes, but they could not get any biscuits past the Fargo netminder.  Fargo's Austin Farley would score his second goal of the game, an empty-netter on the powerplay, with only 31 seconds remaining to seal the victory for the Force.  Stars outshoot the Force tonight 39-23, but fall 4-2.

Simply put, the Force outworked the Stars tonight and took advantage of the opportunities given to them on the powerplay.  The key to the game in my opinion?  Special teams.  The Force definitely won the specials teams war.  Fargo went 3-for-6 on the powerplay, while the Stars went 0-for-8 on the PP.  I thought Lincoln looked lost tonight with the man advantage.

I'm not one to constantly bitch and moan about officiating, or blame losses on the zebras, but Ken Anderson is a guy who I really hope we don't see much of the rest of this season.  Over the years, I've seen referees come into the IceBox and want to be "the show."  They are in love with their whistle, and instead of letting the players and the game be "the show," they demand the spotlight.  If you look up "Napoleon Complex" in the dictionary, you very well may see a picture of Ken Anderson.  The Force deserved to win tonight.  No question about that.  But there were a lot of ticky-tack calls made on both sides of the ice tonight that should have been ignored.  Let the players play the game.  Off my soapbox.

One of the nice things about these back-to-back games against the same team is that the Stars will get a quick chance at redemption tomorrow night.  I expect the players to come out tomorrow night with a lot of energy, and hopefully that energy will equate into some early goals.

Please leave your comments below!  I'd love to hear from you.

Go Stars.

1 comment:

Yeti said...

Forgot to mention the amount of Lincoln shots that did not hit the net tonight. Wow. The Stars were credited with 39 shots on net, but they probably could have had 50. Wasted chances. Gotta start getting those high and wide shots on goal.