Sunday, December 4, 2011

B³ Postgame Recap 12/3: Sioux City 4, Lincoln 3

Courtesy of Depicted Image - Jeff White
The Sioux City Musketeers came into the IceBox on Saturday night and extended the Stars' home losing streak to three games with a gritty 4-3 victory.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.

With the loss, the Stars dropped to 12-7-1 (25 points) and despite their current two-game losing losing streak, the Stars are still all alone in first place in the USHL Western Conference.  Click here to see the current USHL standings.

The Muskies got on the scoreboard early in the first period when Nikita Sirotkin scored at the 4:45 to give SC the 1-0 lead they would take into the first intermission.  The Stars would outshoot the Muskies 8-5 in the first period, but they were not able to get any shots past SC goaltender Matt Skoff.

In the second period, both teams really amped up the scoring chances as the two teams combined for 33 shots on goal.  It was Lincoln who scored first in the period when Kevin Roy scored his league-leading 16th goal of the season (on the powerplay) to even the score at 1-1.  Brent Tate and Colton Saucerman earned the assists on Roy's PP wrap-around goal, which came at the 7:05 mark of the period.

Sioux City would answer at the 10:29 mark when David Henry scored for the Muskies.  The Stars kept fighting and scored another PP goal late in the period to knot the game up at 2-2.  Ralfs Freibergs muscled the puck past Skoff in a goal-mouth scramble at the 16:47 mark of the period.  Brent Tate and Zach Aston-Reese collected the assists on Freibergs' 5th goal of the season.  Sioux City outshot Lincoln 17-16 in the second period.

The Stars struck early in the third period when Matt Friese scored a very impressive individual effort goal at the 4:49 mark to give the home team its first lead of the game at 3-2.  Jared Hanson and Zach Aston-Reese earned the assists on Friese's even-strength goal.  That 3-2 Lincoln lead only about a minute, as David Goodwin of the Muskies scored at the 5:55 mark of the third period to tie the game at 3-3.

Sioux City would score the game-winning goal late in the third period thanks to a Brad Robbins' PP tally with less than four minutes remaining in the game.  Robbins brought the puck in from the blueline and ripped a glove-high shot past Stars goaltender Jackson Teichroeb.  The Stars would have their own late powerplay opportunity late in the game, when SC's Jose Delgadillo was whistled for tripping at the 17:27, but the Stars were unable to convert.

Lincoln finished 2-for-5 on the powerplay, while the Muskies went 1-for-4 with the man advantage.  Sioux City outshot Lincoln overall, 32-29.  Jackson Teichroeb stopped 28 of 32 shots in the loss.

Stars obviously played better on Saturday night against Sioux City than they did Friday night against Omaha, but I felt that they let the Muskies control the play for large portions of the game.  I really expected the Stars to come out in that first period and really play inspired hockey, but I just didn't see that sense of urgency.  The momentum swings in this game were constant, but it seemed like whenever Lincoln had "mo" on its side, the Muskies would quickly score a goal or do something to take the crowd out of the game and deflate the Stars.

Losing three in a row at the IceBox is rare for this team, so maybe it's good that they go on the road for seven of their next eight games.  The Stars have five games before the x-mas break, four of those on the road, and each will be against some of the better teams in the USHL.  Two games against Waterloo, one game against Sioux Falls, one game against Green Bay, and one game against Dubuque.  Not one of those four teams has a losing record as of today.  With Omaha and Waterloo sneaking up behind them in the western conference ratings, the Stars are going to have to win some key games on the road in the next month to keep that top spot in the standings.

Lincoln will return to action next weekend with three games in three days.  Friday night they will go on the road to face the Sioux Falls Stampede.  On Saturday night, the Stars will be back at the IceBox to knock heads with the Waterloo Blackhawks.  On Sunday afternoon, the Stars will take on the Blackhawks again, but this time in Waterloo, Iowa.  Great opportunity for the Stars to get back on track and earn 6 points next weekend.  We'll talk about those three games later in the week.

Go Stars.

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