|Paul LaDue reacts after scoring the shootout winner|
Courtesy of Shooting Star Photo
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With the win and the two points, the Stars improved to 21-12-3 (45 points) on the season, and are still in fourth place in the USHL Western Conference. The Omaha Lancers, who beat the Fargo Force last night by a score of 4-2, are only one point behind Lincoln in the western conference standings.
Click here to view the updated USHL standings.
First of all, this "recap" will be very short. I've been fighting the flu the last week, so I did not make it to the game last night. I was able to catch most of the game on the radio, however. I want to apologize for not posting a weekend preview article like I normally do. In my 3+ years of posting on this blog, I think that was the first weekend preview article I missed. I just have very little energy to devote to the blog right now.
The Stars and Muskies each traded a goal in the first period, with Lincoln's Luke Johnson scoring a PP goal first at the 9:06 mark of the period. Less than thirty seconds after Johnson's goal, Sioux City's Josh Erickson answered with a goal of his own to knot the game up at 1-1. Shots were 12-6 in favor of Lincoln through one period.
In the second period, Stars defenseman Paul LaDue would score a PP goal with only 36 seconds remaining in the period to give his team a 2-1 lead going into the second intermission. LaDue leads all USHL defensemen in scoring with 30 points (10g, 20a) through 36 games played. His 112 shots also leads all USHL defensemen.
For the second straight game, the Stars took a 2-1 lead into the third period but could not close the deal. Sioux City forward Trevor Olson scored the game-tying goal at the 8:48 mark of the third period. Neither team would score after that, so we would go to overtime.
After a scoreless five-minute OT period, this game would be decided by a shootout. Those results are below:
Newly acquired Phil Marinaccio scored first, and Paul LaDue scored the game-winning shootout goal to seal the 3-2 victory for Lincoln. Stars goaltender Michael Bitzer stopped the last three shooters he faced after surrendering a goal on the first shooter (Lampasso).
Surprisingly, the Stars' PP unit actually put some pucks in the net, as Lincoln went 2-for-5 with the man advantage last night. That's encouraging to see. Sioux City was held scoreless on the PP, as they went 0-for-3.
Stars goaltender Michael Bitzer stopped 20 of 22 shots to record his 12th win of the season. Good to see Bitz bounce back after last Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Omaha Lancers.
If anyone out there recorded video of the shootout, please let me know. I've love to see it.
The Stars return to the IceBox tonight (Saturday) for a huge tilt against the Fargo Force, one of the hottest teams in the USHL right now. Despite losing last night to Omaha, the Force are 13-3-0 in their last sixteen games played. I'm sure they will be a salty bunch after losing to the Lancers last night, so the Stars will have their work cut out for them tonight at the IceBox.