Wednesday, April 25, 2012

B³ Postgame Recap: Lincoln 3, Fargo 1


The Lincoln Stars took a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five Clark Cup playoff series against the Fargo Force tonight with a well-earned 3-1 road victory.

Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.

The Stars now have an opportunity to close out the series this Friday evening in Fargo with a win.  If the Stars are unable to win Friday night, game five will be played this Saturday evening in Lincoln at the IceBox.  Click here to view the Pointstreak USHL playoff bracket.

I went to the Stars watch party at Qdoba tonight and viewed the game with approximately 50-75 other rabid Lincoln hockey fans.  I think we all had a good time, even if the advertised "big screen" wasn't a big screen at all, and we were unable to listen to the silky sounds of Stars radio announcer Mike Melbye.  Regardless, I think the fans in attendance tonight had a blast, and I want to thank the Stars organization for hosting it.  Here's a suggestion for the next watch party: open up the IceBox and broadcast the game up in the Galaxy Club area.  Hell, have a cover charge if you want.  I know I, and many other Stars fans, would show up and pay.  Just a thought.

Anyway, back to the game.  Lincoln got on the scoreboard first when Paul LaDue fired a shot from just inside the blueline that got past Fargo goaltender Zane Gothberg and into the net.  LaDue's goal came on the powerplay, with the lone assist going to Brent Tate.  It appeared that Gothberg may have been screened on the play, and may not have seen the puck.

The Stars would strike again before the conclusion of the first period when Kevin Roy scored his second goal of the playoffs to give Lincoln a commanding 2-0 lead.  Roy's goal, which came at the 16:42 mark of the first period, was assisted by Paul LaDue.  Roy skated in on an odd-man rush, and looked to me like he beat Gothberg with a wrister that went underneath his arm.  Mike Melbye said  that the puck went five-hole, but I didn't have the best view watching it on the TV.

Stars took the 2-0 lead into the first intermission.  Fargo outshot Lincoln 8-6 in the first period.

The Force would get their only goal of the game in the second period while on the powerplay when Gabe Guertler wristed the puck stick-side past Stars goaltender Charles Williams.  I thought Fargo played much better in the second period compared to the first, and Lincoln played "not to lose" and didn't show enough aggressiveness with the puck.  Fargo outshot Lincoln 11-9 in the second period.

In the third, Lincoln played one of their better periods of the playoffs thus far and limited the Force to only four shots on goal.  Instead of playing "not to lose," I thought the Stars controlled play and dominated the Force in all facets.  Even when the Force pulled goaltender Zane Gothberg late in the third, the Stars continued to hold a blanket down on Fargo and smothered any offense chances they tried to develop.  Charles Williams really never had to work that hard in the third period, which is a credit to his teammates in front of him.

Kevin Roy would score the empty-netter to put the game away with only 13 seconds remaining.  Roy's third playoff goal was unassisted.  Stars win it convincingly, 3-1.  Stars outshot Fargo 12-4 in the third period and overall, 28-23.  Both teams went 1-for-3 on the powerplay.

Great team effort tonight, especially on the defensive side.  To only allow the Force 23 shots on goal through 60 minutes, in their own rink, is a testament to how well the team played as a unit.  Charles Williams was steady and dependable once again, stopping 22 of 23 shots on goal for the win.  Just a solid, solid victory over a damn good Fargo team.

The Stars and Force will be back in action again this Friday night for game four of their series.  I just saw on the Stars' Facebook page that the organization will be holding yet another watch party at Qdoba on Friday night for game four.  I'm sure the crowd be even larger.

Go Stars.

Edit:  Click here to view some video highlights of the game, courtesy of KOLN/KGIN 10/11.


nutz4puckz said...

Excellent road win last night. That's some good playoff hockey, now finish things up tomorrow night!!

MacAttack said...

I went to Qdoba as well last night but my fear of there not being enough room for all of the Stars fans turned out to be true. by the time I arrived, ther were no seats to sit in and I was also disappointed in the "big" screen. plus there were spots you couldn't even see the TV. add to that having to listen to the Fargo announcers and I ended up leaving midway thru the first.
I agree with Yeti about opening up the Icebox for a watch party. even if I had to pay for parking to satisfy the University, it would still be better than downtown.