Saturday, March 10, 2012

B³ Postgame Recap 3/10: Lincoln 5, Muskegon 2

The Lincoln Stars finished out their quick Michigan road trip with a solid 5-2 victory tonight over the Muskegon Lumberjacks.  The win was Lincoln's fourth in a row on the road.  Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.

With the win, the Stars improved to 30-15-4 (64 points) and are in second place in the USHL Western Conference.  Click here to view the current USHL standings.

Also, the two points earned by the Stars tonight allowed them clinch a spot in the 2012 Clark Cup playoffs.  Technically, the Stars clinched a playoff spot last night, but apparently the USHL wasn't aware of that.

I was able to watch this game on FastHockey, so my thoughts are below.

The Stars came out very strong against the 'Jacks tonight in the first period and pretty much dominated the first twenty minutes.  Their hard work was rewarded at the 8:33 mark when Zach Aston-Reese broke in alone on 'Jacks goaltender John Keeney and roofed a puck over Keeney's glove to give Lincoln a 1-0 lead.  Defenseman Paul LaDue collected the lone assist on ZAR's fifth goal of the season.

Very late in the first period, the Stars were rewarded again when Brent Tate wristed the puck past Keeney from the slot to give Lincoln a 2-0 lead.  Tate accepted a very nice pass from Dominik Shine to score his 11th goal of the season.  Luke Johnson also picked up an assist on the second Lincoln goal.  Stars took that 2-0 lead into the first intermission.  Stars outshot the 'Jacks 14-7 in the first period.

In the second period, the 'Jacks seemed to finally wake up and played the Stars much closer than in the first.  Muskegon got on the scoreboard at the 8:31 mark to cut the Stars lead to 2-1, but the Stars answered a few minutes later at the 11:55 mark.  Kevin Roy would score his 42nd goal of the season on a rebound with assists going to Jared Hanson and Matt Friese.  Lincoln regained its two-goal lead at 3-1, but Muskegon would answer before the period concluded.

With Stars defenseman Mike McKee sitting in the penalty box, Muskegon scored a powerplay goal at the 18:02 mark to pull within one goal once again.  Stars took at 3-2 lead into the second intermission.  Lincoln outshot Muskegon 16-15 in the second period.

In the third, the Stars turned on the jets and outscored the 'Jacks 2-0 to pull away with the win.  That all-important insurance goal was scored by Luke Johnson at the 2:26 mark on the powerplay to give Lincoln a 4-2 lead.  Johnson appeared to redirect a point shot by Brent Tate past Keeney on the play.  Tate and Paul LaDue earned the assists on Johnson's 17th goal of the season.  Luke has now scored a goal in five straight games.

Who better than Kevin Roy to add the icing on the cake with his second goal of the game, coming on an empty-netter to seal the 5-2 victory.  Roy's USHL leading 43rd goal of the season was assisted by Vinni Lettieri and Paul LaDue.  Muskegon outshot Lincoln 10-9 in the third period, but the Stars outshot the 'Jacks overall, 39-32.

Both teams went 1-for-5 on the powerplay.

Stars goaltender Jackson Teichroeb was the surprise start, but he was solid in net tonight.  Jackson stopped 30 of 32 shots to record his 17th win of the season.  Teichroeb has won three of his last four starts for the Stars.  Muskegon goaltender John Keeney stopped 34 of 38 shots in the losing effort.

Solid sixty-minute effort tonight against a team still fighting for a playoff spot.  I thought it was interesting that head coach Chad Johnson told radio announcer Mike Melbye at the first intermission that the 'Jacks were purposely running Kevin Roy, and taking liberties with him on the ice.  After Roy scored his first goal of the game in the second period, a Muskegon player hit Roy up high while he was celebrating and Jared Hanson quickly roughed the 'Jacks player up.  I guess when you can't beat a team on the scoreboard, you try to cheap shot them and take them out of the game.  Roy was also on the receiving end of a knee-on-knee hit in the third period which was penalized as well.  Stay classy, 'Jacks.

Stars are back in action next weekend with a road game Friday night in Sioux City against the Musketeers, and a home game Saturday night against Des Moines.

Go Stars.

1 comment:

nutz4puckz said...

Good road trip, now keep it rolling!!