|Courtesy of Shooting Star Photos|
With their 5-0 shutout win at the IceBox last night, the Lincoln Stars snapped a seven-game home losing streak to the Cedar Rapids Roughriders that dated back five years. The last time the Stars beat the 'Riders at the IceBox was October 26th, 2007.
Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.
Simply put, it was a dominating 60-minute effort from start to finish for the Lincoln Stars. I'm not sure the Roughriders knew what hit them.
With the win and the two points, the Stars improved to 11-1-0 (22 points) on the season and thanks to Waterloo's 6-1 loss to Omaha last night, Lincoln is now all alone in first place in the USHL Western Conference. Click here to view the updated USHL standings.
Before the 'Riders could get accustomed to the atmosphere at the IceBox, Dominik Shine scored Lincoln's first goal just 46 seconds into the game to give the Stars an early 1-0 lead. Little did the home fans know at the time that Shine's goal would turn out to be the game-winner. Zach Frye picked up the only assist on Shine's eighth goal of the season, which leads the Stars. Shine's goal was an absolute snipe.
Less than three minutes after Shine's opening goal, the Stars would score again to make it a 2-0 lead. At the 3:19 mark of the first period, Jake Wood scored his fourth goal of the season with assists going to Paul LaDue and Eric Scheid.
Wood, LaDue, and Scheid would all team up again late in the period to score Lincoln's third goal of the game. A Paul LaDue shot on goal was saved by 'Riders goaltender Chad Catt but the rebound went straight up into the air. From my seat it first looked like the puck went up into the air before falling behind Catt and into the open. To be honest, I didn't get a good look at this goal, as it was awarded to Eric Scheid. I don't know if Scheid deflected LaDue's shot before it went into the net, or if Scheid batted the puck into the net after it fell behind Catt. Scheid's goal was his seventh of the season, with assists going to Paul LaDue and Jake Wood.
Lincoln took a commanding 3-0 lead into the first intermission. Stars outshot the 'Riders 18-6 in the first period. For all intents and purposes, this game was already over.
Neither team would score in the second period, but the Stars dominated in shots on goal once again, 16-5 in the second stanza. Even with powerplay opportunities, the 'Riders had no answer for Lincoln's swarming defense and exceptional goaltending.
Lincoln would add two more goals in the third period to complete the scoring. At the 11:30 mark of the third, forward David Parrottino, playing in his first game as a member of the Stars, scored on a nice wrister which got by 'Rider goaltender Chad Catt. Trent Samuels-Thomas and Dominik Shine collected the assists on Parrottino's first career USHL goal.
Parrottino was originally placed on the 45-day injured reserve list in September due to offseason shoulder surgery. At Lincoln's tryout camp this past June, Parrottino scored more goals than any other player. The Stars are definitely a better team with Parrottino healthy and in the lineup.
Lincoln's last goal came on a nice 2-on-1 play by forwards Ross Olsson and Vinni Lettieri. Olsson and Lettieri broke into the Cedar Rapids zone on an odd-man rush late in the game. Olsson did a great job of holding onto the puck until the last second before passing it over to a wide open Lettieri who fired it into the open net. Olsson and Zach Frye both collected the assists on Lettieri's third goal of the season.
Stars outshot the Roughriders overall, 42-25. Cedar Rapids went 0-for-4 with the man advantage, while the Stars did not have one single powerplay opportunity in this game. Not one. Now, I know the Roughriders play a pretty clean game, but they weren't angels last night. I can't remember the last time the Stars played an entire game without one powerplay opportunity. I honestly believe that a lot of officials in the USHL purposely look the other way when it comes to penalties against Lincoln just because of the physical style of hockey the Stars play. Just my opinion.
Jackson Teichroeb rebounded after a tough loss to Fargo last weekend with his second shutout of the season. Because the Stars played so well defensively as a team, I didn't think Teichroeb had to work that hard for the shutout. I'm not taking anything away from his performance last night because Teichroeb did have to make a few saves throughout the game to keep the Stars in it. But in my opinion, the Roughriders rarely tested Teichroeb last night. Regardless, it was nice to see Teichroeb get the shutout and the win.
The Stars will head north to Sioux Falls, SD tonight to face the Stampede, who are 7-1-0 at home. Tonight's matchup will be a huge test for the Stars. I'll be watching on FASTHockey, so I'll report back here with my thoughts after the game. I hope to post pictures from the shutout win over Cedar Rapids here on the blog later this afternoon.
P.S. - Could the UNL parking idiots get any worse than last night? Holy crap. Talk about a monkey humping a football. I understand there was a UNL womens basketball game at Devaney last night, but it was a mess getting into the area, and a HUGE mess getting out. I'd argue that Stars fans on their own can do a better job parking themselves and getting out in an orderly fashion. We definitely don't need their "help."