With the win, the Stars improved to 22-13-3 (47 points) and earned four out of a possible six points this weekend. More importantly, the Stars now have a three point lead over the Omaha Lancers (45 points) for fourth place in the western conference. Only the top four teams from each conference make the playoffs this season. Lincoln has one game in hand over Omaha.
I was only able to listen to the radio broadcast of this game, so this recap will be brief. I hope to post video highlights of this game courtesy of @DMBucshighlight later today, or tomorrow (Monday).
Luke Johnson scored the first two goals of this game, with one coming in the first period and one coming later in the second period. The Stars would take a 2-0 lead into the second intermission. Lincoln had a 17-14 lead on shots through 40 minutes.
In the third period, the Stars would erupt for three goals to complete the scoring. Vinni Lettieri scored on a 5-on-3 Lincoln powerplay at the 8:48 mark to make it 3-0. With exactly two minutes remaining in the game, Jimmy DeVito scored his 4th goal of the season to give Lincoln a 4-0 lead.
And with only 13 seconds left in the game, Luke Johnson scored his third goal of the game to finish out the scoring. It was Luke's first career USHL hat trick.
Lincoln finished 1-for-5 on the powerplay, while the Bucs went 0-for-6 with the man advantage. From the sounds of it, the Stars' PK unit did a great job of shutting down Des Moines' PP unit.
As mentioned above, Stars goaltender Jackson Teichroeb stopped all 19 shots he faced to record his 10th win, and his third shutout of the season. Great to see Teichroeb rebound after the Omaha loss last Friday night at the IceBox.
In a battle between the top two teams in terms of penalty minutes, there were a total of three fights. Luke Johnson and Jimmy DeVito were both an assist away from getting a Gordie Howe hat trick. Mike McKee was one goal away from the Gordie Howe hat trick. Amazingly, the Stars and Bucs now have the same amount of penalty minutes: 1,108 (Lincoln has played three less games than Des Moines).
Gutsy effort considering the Stars were probably a bit tired and sore after playing both Friday and Saturday night. Des Moines was well rested after not playing at all on Saturday, so credit Lincoln for coming out strong to get those two points.
The Stars will return home next weekend with a Friday night game against Sioux Falls, and a Saturday matchup with the Des Moines Bucs. Another full weekend of hockey at the IceBox. More on those two games later this week.
Check back later for those video highlights of this game.