Thursday, September 20, 2012

B³ Postgame Recap 9/20: Lincoln 3, Cedar Rapids 4

Courtesy of Shooting Star Photos
Despite outplaying Cedar Rapids for a good majority of the game, the Stars gave up a one-goal lead in the third period and lost to the Roughriders by a score of 4-3.

Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.

With the loss, the Stars fell to 2-2-0 in the preseason.  The Stars will take tomorrow (Friday) off before returning to the ice at the USHL Fall Classic on Saturday (9/22) to take on the Muskegon Lumberjacks at the Tyson Event Center.

The game against the Lumberjacks will be Lincoln's last preseason game before the home opener next Friday at the IceBox.  The puck will drop at 1:00pm CST on Saturday for Stars-Lumberjacks tilt.

I was able to watch this game on FASTHockey and I'll post my recap and opinions below.

Just like yesterday against the Fargo Force, the Stars came out strong in the first period and controlled play for the most part.  The Stars got on the scoreboard first when Luke Johnson scored a powerplay goal at the 8:30 mark to give Lincoln the early 1-0 lead.  While in the Cedar Rapids zone, Vinni Lettieri made a terrific backhand pass to Johnson who rifled the puck glove high past 'Riders goaltender Chris Birdsall.  Lettieri and Vinny Muto picked up the assists on Johnson's goal.

Despite owning the territorial edge in the first period, the Roughriders were able to even the score at 1-1 after Landon Smith's goal late at the 16:55 mark.  The play began with Michael Neville bringing the puck into the Lincoln zone, skating behind the net before centering the puck to Smith who shot the puck past Stars goaltender Jackson Teichroeb.  It was a very nice setup by Neville, who was recently traded by the Stars to the Roughriders.  I'm still disappointed that Neville was traded away.  He was one of the Roughriders' better players today, and I'm sure he was motivated to play well in front of the Lincoln coaches who traded him to Cedar Rapids.

At the end of the second period, the score was tied at 1-1.  Lincoln outshot Cedar Rapids 7-5 through the first 20 minutes.

In the second, it was pretty much the same for the Stars as they outplayed the 'Riders and eventually got on the scoreboard.  Stars defenseman Daniel Willett, the youngest and smallest player on Lincoln's roster, scored at the 9:55 mark to give the good guys a 2-1 lead.  Max Humitz, who collected the primary assist on Willett's goal, made a very nice pass in the 'Riders zone to a breaking Willett who buried the puck past Birdsall.  Humitz and Tommy Schutt picked up the assists on Willett's even-strength goal.

Landon Smith wasn't done with the Stars in the second as he scored his second goal of the game with two minutes and 36 seconds remaining in the period.  At the end of the second period the score was knotted up at 2-2.  Stars outshot the 'Riders 16-14 through two periods.

In the third, the Stars retook the lead for the second time the game when Vinni Lettieri sniped a short side wrister past Birdsall while the Stars were on a 5-on-3 powerplay.  Daniel Willett and Luke Johnson earned the assists on Lettieri's goal scored two minutes into the third period.

Just when it felt like the Stars would ride the one-goal lead into a well earned win, the Roughriders took advantage of the few offensive chances given to them in the third period to score two straight goals to post the 4-3 victory over Lincoln.  Gerald Mayhew scored for CR at the 10:55 mark, and then it was Landon Smith scoring his third goal of the game, and the game winner, at the 13:02 mark of the third period.

The Stars put a lot of pressure on 'Riders goaltender Chris Birdsall late in the third period, but rookie goaltender shut the door on Lincoln.  Stars outshot the Roughriders 30-22 thru the three periods, but Cedar Rapids won the game 4-3.

Birdsall stopped 27 of 30 shots in the win.  Jackson Teichroeb stopped 18 of 22 in the loss.

Scratched for Lincoln were Michael Bunn, David Parrottino, Jimmy DeVito, Justin Woods, and Jake Wood.

The Stars pretty much dominated the special teams play in this game.  Lincoln went 2-for-6 on the powerplay while the Roughriders went 0-for-8.  Lincoln spent too much time in the penalty box but the the PK unit did a great job of putting a blanket on the Cedar Rapids PP unit.

Despite the loss, I thought the Stars deserved a better fate than was dealt to them in this game.  For the most part, Lincoln dominated the play and looked to be the better team for a good portion of the game.  The Stars did take some undisciplined penalties at times, and could have done a better job defensively by eliminating some of the giveaways that led to Roughriders goals.  But overall, the Stars played pretty damn well considering they've only had a handful of practices together as a team.

I'll be in Sioux City on Saturday to watch all of the games at the Tyson Events Center so my recap article of the Lincoln-Muskegon game won't be posted until Sunday morning sometime.  If you're at the games on Saturday and you see a tall guy sporting a brace on his left leg, hobbling around on crutches, wearing a black Stars hat....feel free to stop me and say hi.  I always enjoy to meet the people who read this blog.

Thanks for reading.  Go Stars.

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