|Jake Wood scores Lincoln's only goal in the game|
Courtesy of Shooting Star Photos
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With the loss, the Stars fell to 22-14-3 (47 points) and have now dropped down to fifth place in the USHL Western Conference. The Omaha Lancers, who beat Fargo last night, leapfrogged Lincoln into fourth place. If the playoffs were to start today, the Stars would be on the outside looking in.
The good news is that Lincoln has two games in hand over Omaha. Click here to view the current USHL Standings.
The Stampede initiated the scoring last night late in the first period when Tony Calderone was allowed to bull rush through a faceoff to score a PP goal on Stars goaltender Jackson Teichroeb at the 16:56 mark. On the play, the Stars' defense was asleep as Calderone pushed the puck to himself off the faceoff and wristed the puck into the open net.
Lincoln would respond with only 23 seconds remaining in the game to knot the contest up at 1-1. After a Brad Hawkinson shot on goal which was saved by Stampede goaltender Charles Lindgren, the rebound came right out front to Jake Wood who one-timed it into the open net to score his 9th goal of the season. Hawk and Mike McKee picked up assists on Wood's even-strength goal.
Little did the 4,000+ fans in attendance know that Wood's tally would be the only goal they would celebrate that night. Stars and Stampede took the 1-1 tie into the first intermission. Sioux Falls outshot Lincoln 11-9 through the first twenty minutes.
In the second and third periods, it was pretty much all Sioux Falls. The Stampede outscored Lincoln 3-0 in the last forty minutes of the game, and outshot them 20-11.
Jackson Teichroeb was pulled after the third Sioux Falls goal and Michael Bitzer entered the game. Teichroeb stopped 12 of 15 in the loss, while Bitzer stopped 15 of 16.
Sioux Falls went 1-for-5 on the powerplay, while the Stars went 0-for-1. That's right, one powerplay. I know the Stampede played pretty well last night, but they weren't angels.
Sioux Falls outshot Lincoln 31-20 overall in this game, which isn't good. I don't have time to go back and look at every game, but the 20 shots on goal has to be the lowest amount the Stars have had at home this season.
Lincoln put a ton of pressure on Sioux Falls and Charles Lindgren in the first period, but could only score the one goal. Personally, I thought Lincoln was the better team for the first 20-30 minutes of the game, but the bounces certainly were on Sioux Falls' side last night.
I guess what I didn't like to see what the effort on the Stars' behalf in the third period. I didn't see any sense of urgency. Down two goals, it seemed like quite a few Lincoln players on the ice were on auto-pilot. Having said that, Sioux Falls definitely got better as the game went along. They forechecked like demons, and didn't allow Lincoln much of anything in terms of offensive chances in the third period. The Stars were only able to manage 4 shots on goal in the final period.
Tonight's game against Des Moines is a must win, in my opinion. With Omaha's victory last night, they are now ahead of the Stars in the standings, and playing some of their best hockey of the season. The Stars can't say that right now. Lincoln needs to take better advantage of the home crowd at the IceBox and get the two points against a struggling Bucs team that has lost four of their last five games.