Sunday, January 1, 2012

B³ Postgame Recap 12/31: Lincoln 0, Sioux City 5

2011 ended with a whimper for the Lincoln Stars as they were shutout by the Sioux City Musketeers at the Tyson Events Center by a score of 5-0.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.

With the loss, the Stars dropped to 17-9-2 (36 points) but are still in sole possession of first place in the USHL Western Conference.  The second place Omaha Lancers (32 points) were also shutout last night by a score of 3-0 at the hands of the Tri-City Storm.  Click here to view the current USHL standings.

Unfortunately, I spent the money to watch this game last night on FASTHockey.  With no goals scored by Lincoln, there isn't a lot for me to highlight.  Lincoln came out in the first period and looked very lethargic.  This was the third game in four days for the Stars, but to be fair, the Sioux City Musketeers were also playing their third game in four days.  Having said that, two of Sioux City's games were at home, while all three Lincoln games were on the road.

Sioux City played with a sense or urgency last night that I didn't see from the Stars until the third period.  At the second intermission, the Stars were down only one goal at 1-0.  The game was still up for grabs.  Yes, Lincoln gave up four goals in the third but they at least played with more "jam" and put 18 shots on goal.  Through the first two periods, Lincoln only managed 12 shots on goal.  This after Friday night's game in Des Moines when the Stars put a league-high 56 shots on goal against Des Moines.

What has me a bit concerned is the fact that Lincoln has surrendered 11 goals in their last two games.  For the most part the Stars have been one of the better defensive teams in the league this season.  I didn't see that same team from earlier in these past two games.  Stars defenseman Colton Saucerman was injured in the Friday game, and last night on the radio he stated he heard his left knee pop, and he has not been able to put any weight on it since.  That doesn't sound good at all.  I hope it isn't a serious injury because Saucerman is a key part of the Stars' defensive unit.

Lincoln's penalty kill unit has really struggled as of late also.  6 of the 14 goals the Stars have given up in the past three games have come on the opposition's powerplay.  Lincoln has surrendered a total of 26 powerplay goals to the opposition this season, which is tied for most overall with Team USA.  Lincoln's penalty kill percentage of 81.29% ranks them 11th out of 16 USHL teams.

Stars head coach Chad Johnson missed his second straight game and did not travel with the team to Des Moines and Sioux City, according to radio announcer Mike Melbye.  There hasn't been much said about the status of Johnson, other than he is ill.  Johnson coached the game in Fargo last Wednesday, but nothing after that.  Hopefully we get word about the status of Johnson soon.

The loss in Sioux City last night was the final game of a six-game road trip for the Lincoln Stars.  The Stars finished with a record of 3-2-1 in those six road games and earned 7 points out of 12 possible points, which is pretty darn good.  What's next?  Well, the Stars will play 7 of the next 9 games at home, and those two road games in between the seven home games are going to be played in Omaha.  So basically, the Stars won't have to travel more than one hour away from the IceBox for the next month.  This is a great opportunity for the Stars to increase their point lead in the western conference and put some distance between themselves and the second and third place teams in the west.

The Stars will get some much needed rest now and will return to the IceBox this Friday night against the Sioux Falls Stampede.  It seems like forever since we have had a home game at the IceBox.  Looking forward to some home-cookin' this Friday.  More on the upcoming games later in the week.

Go Stars.


MacAttack said...

made the trip up to SC last night. to be honest, that was the most uninspired performance by the boys this year that I have witnessed. they came out looking like they did not want to be there. yes, they did play a lot more focused in the 3rd but SC matched them shift for shift. SC's Skoff was on his A game last night in the crease for sure, but a little more pressure in the first 2 periods might have loosened him up a bit. let's hope it was a simple case of being tired from being on the road for so long.

on another note, going to road games makes me really appreciate what we have in Lincoln. we don't need the announcer and his help to encourage us to "make some noise". while I appreciate the handing out of free stuff, like thunder sticks for last nights games, the selling of horns is a bit much. it really takes away from my enjoyment of the game when you have horns blaring in your ears along with cow bells ringing(don't even get me started on that subject) and thunder sticks booming away. I also appreciate that the Stars do not have an announcer who tries to break my eardrums when he announces that the home team in on a POWER play.

looking forward to Friday at the Icebox and seeing all of my hockey friends in the new year. LET'S GO STARS!

Brandon Anderson said...

I agree with you Mac, the boys just looked tired and didn't want to be there. A lot of dumb penalties were taken by our team the entire night. I think they need to learn to play with a little bit more discipline that seemed to be a them from the prior night as well. I won't call out any players on this but if you watched the game last night we all know who Im talking about.

I was and still am a bit confused about the whole announcer being able to talk over the PA System while the puck is in play. I thought that there was a league rule about not being able to be on the PA while the pucks in play if there isn't there should be and with the SC announcer doing so showed little class and respect for the teams playing. Seriously fans should know when to cheer on their team and not have to be told so. Im all for doing what ever while there is a stoppage. I did enjoy the thunder sticks though it was cool seeing everyone use them all be it they didn't help out my migraine any.

I hope to see everyone at the Ice Box this friday and lets hope or team decides to show up and play because that game last night was garbage.