Saturday, November 5, 2011

B³ Postgame Recap 11/5: Fargo 3, Lincoln 8

Photo courtesy of Brandon Anderson Photography
The Lincoln Stars rebounded in a big way Saturday night at the IceBox with a dominating 8-3 blowout win over the Fargo Force.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.

With the win, the Stars improved to 5-4-0 (10 points) on the season, and are all alone in third place in the USHL Western Conference.

I'm going to try to recap this game the best that I can remember with help from the Pointstreak boxscore, but because there were so many goals scored by the Stars, I may not remember the specifics about how each one was scored. The scoring came fast and furious last night.

Just like Friday night, the Force got on the scoreboard early in the first period when Luke Sandler scored six minutes into the game to give his team the 1-0 lead.  Stars forward Logan Smith would answer about five minutes later when he batted a rebound past Fargo goaltender Reed Peters to score his second goal of the season.  Smith did a good job of setting up shot right in front of Peters, and used his size to corral the puck and shovel it into the net.  Kevin Roy and Jared Hanson collected the assists on Smith's goal.

A little over two minutes after the Logan Smith goal, the Stars found themselves on the powerplay and it was Will Suter who capitalized.  The Omaha native scored his first goal as a member of the Lincoln Stars, with assists going to Kevin Roy and Brandon Carlson.  With less than 3 minutes remaining in the first period, the Force would get their own powerplay goal as Austin Farley scored to knot the game up at 2-2 going into the first intermission.  Through the first twenty minutes, the Stars had outshot the Force 12-10.

In the second period, the Stars would explode with four goals scored, to Fargo's one.  First it was Brent Tate who redirected a shot past Peeters at the 6:26 mark to give Lincoln a 3-2 lead.  Tate's goal, which came on a 5-on-3 powerplay, was assisted by Paul Ladue and Tommy Schutt.  At the 10:38 mark, Will Suter and Kevin Roy combined to score a pretty shorthanded goal to give the Stars a 4-2 lead.  On a 2-on-1, Suter faked a shot on goal, got Reed Peeters to commit, and then passed the puck over to a wide open Roy who buried the shot.  The Force would answer very quickly after the Roy shorthanded goal when Dave Gust scored a PP tally 19 seconds later to pull Fargo to within one goal at 4-3.

Teemu Tiitinen would get the monkey off his back at the 14:30 mark of the second period with his first goal of the season to give Lincoln a 5-3 lead.  Forwards Will Suter and Kevin Roy assisted on Teemu's even-strength goal.  With less than two minutes remaining in the second period, defenseman Zach Frye pinched at the blueline and brought the puck all the way behind the net and stuffed it past Peeters on a wrap-around to increase the lead to 6-3.  Frye's goal, which came on the powerplay, was the first USHL goal of his career.  Markus McCrea picked up the lone assist on Frye's PP goal.  At the end of the second period, the Stars were up 6-3 and had outshot the Force 18-8 in the middle stanza.

In the third period, the Stars would finish the scoring with two goals scored on only four shots on net.  At the 4:53 mark, forward Brent Tate would scored his second goal of the game, also on the powerplay, to increase the lead to 7-3.  Teemu Tiitinen and Markus McCrea collected the assists on Tate's third goal of the season.  Very late in the game, Lincoln would gets its final goal when Kevin Roy scored his second goal with only 21 seconds remaining.  Assisting on Roy's eighth goal of the season was Matt Friese and Will Suter.  Final score was 8-3 Lincoln.  The Force outshot the Stars 8-4 in the third period.  Total shots saw Lincoln with 34 and Fargo with 26.  Stars goaltender Jackson Teichroeb stopped 23 of 26 to record his fourth win of the season. Force goaltender Reed Peters stopped 26 of 34 in the loss.

Wow....what a game!  I think most in attendance had a feeling that the Stars would play much better Saturday night compared to the game on Friday night, but I don't know if many thought the offensive explosion would be so great.  Whereas on Friday night I thought the Force won the special teams war, on Saturday night, Lincoln definitely had the better special teams.  Stars finished 4-for-7 on the powerplay, while the Force went 2-for-9 with the man advantage.  Overall, I thought the Stars played with a sense of urgency Saturday night that wasn't seen much on Friday night.

What more can you say about the points racked up by Kevin Roy (2g, 3a) and Will Suter (1g, 3a).  They certainly fed off each other and created a ton of scoring chances.  With his performance over the weekend, Roy could very well earn his second USHL offensive player of the week award.  After going pointless in his first three USHL games, Roy has now scored 15 points (8g, 7a) in his last six games played.  It's still very early in the season, but in my opinion, Roy may turn out to be the best pure goal-scorer the Stars have seen since Jason Gregoire.  He does a fantastic job getting to the open areas of the ice to get uncontested shots on goal. He's also getting the attention of some USHL bloggers and newspaper writers.

Very happy also to see Will Suter prove that he's deserves a shot every night in the lineup.  Suter has spent most of the regular season watching in the stands as a healthy scratch, but he's taken advantage of the opportunities given to him when he's been allowed to dress and play in the past few games.  I've been a big fan of Will since the Stars' tryout camp this past June.  He's a hard worker, and it's fun to watch that hard work be rewarded with points and wins.

Great team effort by all of the players Saturday night.  They should be proud.

Next up for Lincoln will be a rare Tuesday night road game in Sioux City on 11/8/11 against the Muskies.  After that, the Stars will be back at the IceBox next weekend for two straight home games.  Sioux Falls on Friday night, and rival Omaha Lancers on Saturday night.  Get your tickets for those two games.  That Omaha matchup should really be a great game to watch live.

Go Stars.

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