Saturday, March 2, 2013

B³ Postgame Recap: Lincoln 2, Fargo 4

A late third period comeback proved not to be enough Friday night at Sheels Arena in Fargo, ND, as the Lincoln Stars fell by a score of 4-2 to the Fargo Force.

Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.

The loss dropped the Stars to 28-18-3 (59 points), and with Omaha's 5-1 win over Des Moines last night, Lincoln slipped back down to fifth place in the USHL Western Conference.  Click here to view the current USHL standings.

This game turned south for Lincoln right off the bat as the Force scored just 35 seconds into it.  Due to some Stars forwards not backchecking, a Force rush turned into an odd-man opportunity and Dominic Toninato scored on an uncontested wrister past Lincoln goaltender Jackson Teichroeb.  Fargo had a lead 35 seconds into the game and never trailed.

The Force took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.  Fargo outshot Lincoln 11-9 in the first twenty minutes.

Once again early in the next period, the Force would add their second goal of the game.  57 seconds into the second period, Fargo's Dave Gust threw the puck on net and past Teichroeb to give the Force a 2-0 lead.

At the 7:23 mark of the second period, Fargo would take a 3-0 lead with Tyler Rehm's wrister from the faceoff dot.  After surrendering the third Fargo goal, Jackson Teichroeb was pulled in favor of Michael Bitzer.

Force took the 3-0 lead into the second intermission.  Lincoln put a ton of offensive pressure on the Force in the second stanza, but they could not get any pucks past Fargo goaltender Cam Johnson.  Each team put 18 shots on goal in the second period.

The Stars finally got on the scoreboard later in the third period when Luke Johnson fired a shot high on the short side of Cam Johnson to pull Lincoln to within two goals.

With Michael Bitzer pulled for the extra attacker late in the game, Tommy Schutt collected a rebound and fired it into the open net from the slot to pull Lincoln to within one goal.  All of a sudden, this was a hockey game with 1:39 left in the contest.

However, the goals were too little, too late.  The Force scored an empty-net goal with 53 seconds remaining to put the icing on the cake.

Shots were 42-36 in favor of the Lincoln Stars.  Lincoln went 0-for-1 on the powerplay while Fargo went 0-for-3.  Jackson Teichroeb stopped 15 of 18 shots on goal in the loss.  Michael Bitzer stopped all 17 shots he faced after relieving Teichroeb in net.  Fargo goaltender Cam Johnson turned out to be the player of the game, as he stood on his head and stopped 40 of 42 Lincoln shots on goal.

Offensively, I thought the Stars did enough to win this game.  However, you can't just put a ton of shots on net and expect to win games.  Defensively, as we've seen many times this season, the Stars didn't play consistent enough to deserve against the Force.  Fargo had numerous breakaways, and like I mentioned above, Stars forwards were not backchecking at times which led to many Fargo scoring chances.

Stars head coach Chad Johnson said that the team sort of picked up playing like they did from the Tuesday game against Sioux City.  In that contest, the Stars didn't play that great defensively, and allowed the Muskies to score 5 goals.  Unlike in the SC game, the Stars were unable to score 8 goals to mask their defensive inefficiencies.

Speaking of Stars head coach Chad Johnson, he had some interesting things to say during his postgame radio interview with Mike Melbye.  You could tell Chad was very upset with what he saw from his team.  He stated that Michael Bitzer will start tonight (Sat), and that Bitzer could start the rest of this season.  He was not happy at all with Jackson Teichroeb.  It was surprising to hear him single out a player like that after a game.  I'm not sure I've ever heard him do that before.

Also, Chad Johnson threw out a guarantee with this quote:  "We're not leaving out of here (Fargo) without a win tomorrow night."  Hopefully that motivates the team to a win tonight, and doesn't give the hometown Fargo Force any bulletin board material.

Go Stars.


Jason said...

Let's hope 'the guarantee' ends up like Messier's promise.

Anonymous said...

Go Stars.