Saturday, April 14, 2012

B³ Postgame Recap 4/14: Lincoln 2, Fargo 1

Stars win the West!

The Lincoln Stars captured the USHL Western Conference regular season title with a 2-1 road victory over the Force in Fargo, ND tonight.  Click here to view the Poinstreak boxscore.

The Stars won their last four regular season games to finish the season with a record of 38-18-4 (80 points).  The 38 regular season wins is the most by a Stars team in 10 years (the 2001-02 Lincoln Stars netted 43 wins).

Although the two teams (Omaha, Waterloo) below Lincoln the standings also won both of their games this weekend, the Stars took care of business to end the season as the western conference champs.  Click here to view the final USHL regular season standings.

I was only able to catch the game tonight on the radio, so this recap will be brief.  If any of our blog readers watched it on FastHockey, or were lucky enough to be in Fargo, please leave a comment below with your thoughts.  We'd love to hear from you.

Surprisingly, Stars forward Kevin Roy was a healthy scratch tonight, along with Teemu Tiitinen and Logan Smith.  It sounded like the coaches wanted to give Roy and a few others some rest.  That means Kevin Roy finished the 2011-12 regular season with a total of 104 points (54g, 50a) in 59 games played.

Roy's season totals of 54 goals, 50 assists, +44 ranking, and 305 shots on goal were the most by any player in the entire USHL.  His 14 powerplay goals and 7 game-winning goals were second best in the USHL.  Click here to view the final Pointstreak stats by all of the scoring leaders in the USHL.

Stars defenseman Ralfs Freibergs finished as the top scoring defenseman in the league with 43 points (8g, 35a) in 60 games played.  Ralfs also was +24 on the season, and scored 17 powerplay points during the 2011-12 campaign.  When was the last time the Stars had the top scoring forward and defenseman in the USHL?

Lincoln got on the scoreboard first tonight when Vinni Lettieri scored his fourth goal of the season at the 6:38 mark of the opening period to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.  Jared Hanson and Dax Lauwers collected the assists.

Both teams exchanged goals in the second period, with Lincoln scoring first at the 6:46 mark thanks to Luke Johnson's powerplay tally.  Brent Tate and Jared Hanson picked up the assists on Johnson's 20th goal of the season.

Fargo would answer at the 12:29 mark of the period when Force forward Austin Farley scored a breakaway goal on Stars goaltender Jackson Teichroeb to pull to within one goal.  However, the Stars (and Teichroeb) would put up the brick wall after that and shutout the Force for the remainder of the second period, and all of the third.

Teichroeb, who hasn't played his best hockey as of late, really came through tonight with a strong effort against the Force.  Jackson stopped 19 of 20 shots to record his 18th win of the season and helped the Stars clinch the western conference title.

Really proud of all of the players and coaches for finishing the season strong and on top of the western conference standings.  This is just the first step, however!  The Clark Cup playoffs loom ahead.  Time to rest up and let the other teams below them in the standings beat each other up in the first round of the playoffs.

Lincoln will be back at the IceBox next Friday, and Saturday night to open the second round of the playoffs against a yet to be determined foe.  If you haven't bought those playoffs tickets yet, what are you waiting for? This is the best hockey you'll see all season long.  The Stars busted their asses to earn home ice in the playoffs, so lets do our part as fans and pack the IceBox and get LOUD!

Go Stars.

No comments: