Saturday, February 11, 2012

B³ Postgame Recap 2/10: Lincoln 4, Omaha 5 OT Shootout

Will Suter puts a beating on Omaha's Mark Miller
A third period comeback by the Stars earned them a point, but it was the Omaha Lancers who prevailed in the overtime shootout to beat Lincoln by a score of 5-4 at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.  After winning six in a row against Omaha going back to last season, the Stars have now lost five in a row to the Lancers.

I was able to watch this game on FastHockey, so my thoughts are below.  I know a lot of Stars fans were in attendance last night, so I'd like to hear from as many of them as possible.  Please leave a comment below.

For the most part, the first period was pretty uneventful.  A total of six minor penalties were whistled in the first twenty minutes, with four of those were against Lincoln.  The Lancers, like they've done most of this season against the Stars, took advantage of their powerplay opportunities and scored the first goal of this game.  Kenny Morrison of Omaha scored from the point on a shot that got past a screened Charles Williams to give the Lancers at 1-0 lead at the 16:09 mark of the period.  Lincoln outshot Omaha 8-6 in the first period, but found themselves down 1-0 going into the first intermission.

In the second period, the game got a little out of control as the two teams combined for 16 penalties and 85 penalty minutes.  A total of four goals were scoring in the second period, two by each team, and every goal came on the powerplay.  Lincoln got on the scoreboard first in the second when Kevin Roy scored his league-leading 32nd goal of the game on the PP to tied it up at 1-1 at the 8:19 mark.  Luke Johnson and Ralfs Freibergs collected the assists on Roy's PP goal.

Roy's PP goal came because of a nasty check from behind by Omaha forward Ken Babinski on Stars forward Teemu Tiitinen at the 7:25 mark of the second period.  Tiititen, who looked like he lost an edge close to the boards, started to fall and Babinski pushed/elbowed the back of Tiitinen's head and drove it face first into the boards.  It was a very dirty hit and Teemu was obviously hurt after the play.  Dominik Shine of the Stars took exception to the cheapshot and dropped the mitts with Babinski immediately.  I heard some rumors that Teemu may have a broken orbital bone, and possibly a concussion.  Not good.  Babinski was given a boarding major and misconduct on the play.  Teemu did not return to the ice after the hit from behind.

The penalties against Lincoln came fast and furious after Roy's goal, and the Lancers took advantage by scoring two straight PP goals to take a 3-1 lead.  Sure, I'm a homer but a lot of the calls made by referee Brett Sheva looked to be very ticky-tack.  Some of the calls against the Stars were legit, and led to the two Omaha PP goals in the second period.  There just wasn't a lot of consistency from Sheva in my opinion.

Lincoln ended the scoring in the second period when Dominik Shine scored a PP goal at the 16:42 mark to pull the Stars to within one goal at 3-2.  Brent Tate and Ralfs Freibergs earned the assists on Shine's third goal of the season.  Shine's goal, like Roy's before, came on a rebound in front of Omaha goaltender Thatcher Demko.  Both teams had nine shots on goal in the second.

In the third period, the Stars dominated play and outscored the Lancers 2-1 to force overtime.  For Lincoln, it was pretty much the "Jared Hanson Show" in the third.  Hanson, who historically has a knack of scoring big goals (especially against the Lancers) scored two in the third including the game-tying goal with only 6:35 remaining in regulation.  Kevin Roy and Matt Friese collected the assists on Hanson's first goal of the third period which was scored at the 8:29 mark.  Tommy Schutt and Mike McKee earned the assists on Hanson's second goal of the period, which came on the PP, at the 13:25 mark.

Jared Hanson, who scored 9 goals in 53 games last season, now has netted 20 goals in only 33 games for the Stars this season.  Without a doubt, Hanson gets my vote for the most improved player on the team.  Hanson has a total of 33 points (20g, 13a) in 33 games played, is +21, and has scored three game-winning goals.  With the kind of season Kevin Roy is having, I think a lot of folks are forgetting Hanson and his efforts this season.

Lincoln outshot Omaha 14-6 in the third period, and 32-23 overall.  After a scoreless five-minute overtime period, this game went to a shootout.  Lincoln went 0-for-6 in the shootout, while the Lancers went 1-for-6.  Stars goaltender Charles Williams stopped 18 of 22 shots on goal in the loss.  Omaha netminder Thatcher Demko stopped 28 of 32 shots in the win.  Lincoln went 3-for-6 on the PP, while Omaha finished 3-for-9 on the man advantage.  I believe Stars radio announcer Mike Melbye said on the air last night that the Stars have given up a PP goal in 17 of their last 22 games.

Tough loss once again, but I thought the Stars were by far the better team at even strength last night.

The Stars will host the Sioux Falls Stampede tonight at the IceBox.  Time to bounce back in a big way and start a new winning streak.  Four of the next six games will be played at home, and those two away games will be in Kearney against the Storm.  Hope to see you all at the IceBox tonight!

Go Stars.

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