|Riley Bourbonnais scores in the second period|
Courtesy of Shooting Star Photo
Click here to view the Poinstreak boxscore.
With the loss, the Stars fell to 21-13-3 (45 points) and are still in fourth place in the USHL Western Conference, one point ahead of the fifth place Omaha Lancers. Speaking of the Lancers, they lost to the Waterloo Blackhawks last night (in Ralston) by a score of 8-1 (LOL). Click here to view the current USHL standings.
Fargo got out to an early 1-0 lead in this game thanks to a Brendan Harms goal at the 5:03 mark of the first period. The Stars could not clear the puck out of their own zone, and Force capitalized with their first goal of the game.
Fargo's one goal lead would last only 55 seconds as Dominik Shine responded with a rebound goal that had bounced off the back wall at the 5:58 mark of the first period. Justin Woods picked up the lone assist on Shine's 14th goal of the season. The score would remain tied at 1-1 going into the first intermission. Lincoln outshot Fargo 9-8 through the first twenty minutes.
After a scoreless second period, which saw the Stars outshoot the Force 14-9, this game would be decided in the third period.
Newly acquired forward Riley Bourbonnais gave the home fans a lot to cheer about at the 3:19 mark of the third period when he received a pinpoint pass from Tommy Schutt, which sprung him on a breakaway. Bourbonnais skated in alone before wristing the puck stick side past Fargo goaltender Cam Johnson to give the Stars a 2-1 lead. The IceBox erupted. Schutt and Paul LaDue collected the assists on Riley's 17th goal of the season, and his first as a member of the Lincoln Stars.
However, less than two minutes after Bourbonnais' goal, the Force would score on a strange play to tie the game up at 2-2. Fargo's Alex Iaffalo skated the puck into the Lincoln zone before putting what looked like an innocent, bad angle shot on Stars goaltender Michael Bitzer. Unfortunately, a Lincoln defenseman deflected the puck on goal instead of into the corner, and the shot got past Bitzer. Fluke goal, for sure.
Fargo scored the game-winning goal while on a powerplay at the 9:18 mark of the third period. Yet again, it was a long Force shot which was deflected by a Lincoln defenseman that found the back of the net. Hard to blame Michael Bitzer for those last two goals.
Try as they might for the remainder of the third period, the Stars could not solve Force netminder Cam Johnson. Fargo escaped the IceBox with a 3-2 victory, despite getting outplayed for the majority of the game, and getting outshot 31-23.
Michael Bitzer stopped 20 of 23 shots in the loss. The Poinstreak boxscore I linked above is incorrect in that it shows Jackson Teichroeb playing in this game. Cam Johnson stopped 29 of 31 shots for the win, and was awarded the #1 star of the game.
Lincoln went 0-for-3 on the powerplay (it was ugly once again), while Fargo went 1-for-4 with the man advantage. Fargo's game-winning tally was a PP goal.
Honestly, I thought Lincoln played pretty damn well last night against Fargo. Take away the two fluke defections, Lincoln probably wins the game and gets two points. The Stars certainly played well enough to deserve at least one point, but that's hockey. Sometimes the puck bounces your way, sometimes it doesn't. Fargo is a good team, so there's no reason to hang your head after that kind of loss.
The weekend isn't over for the Stars, as they will face off against the Buccaneers in Des Moines today for a rare Sunday afternoon tilt. Puck drops at 3:05pm CST. The last time these two teams faced one another, the Bucs put a beating on Lincoln in Des Moines by a score of 6-2 on 12/22/12. Here's hoping the Stars remember that loss and reverse the score against the Bucs this afternoon.