|Phil Marinaccio's 3rd period shot finds the back of the net|
Courtesy of Shooting Star Photos
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With the win and the two points, the Stars improved to 29-18-3 (61 points) and are once again tied with the Waterloo Blackhawks for third place in the USHL Western Conference.
Lincoln really helped themselves by winning last night as both Omaha and Waterloo both lost yesterday evening. The Lancers lost (again) to the last place Sioux City Musketeers by a score of 6-2, and Waterloo lost also by a score of 6-2 to the Cedar Rapids Roughriders.
Click here to view the current USHL standings.
I was unable to watch this game via FASTHockey, so this recap will be brief. I did listen to the radio broadcast.
Like Friday night, Fargo got out to a quick 1-0 start when Austin Ortega scored at the 5:13 mark of the first period to give the Force a 1-0 lead. That lead would only last 7 seconds, thanks to Stars forward Riley Bourbonnais.
At the 5:20 mark, before the Force fans in attendance could finish applauding after the Ortega goal, Bourbonnais scored his fifth goal as a member of the Lincoln Stars to tie this game up at 1-1. Jake Wood picked up the lone assist on the goal. Bourbonnais has five points (4g, 1a) in his last four games played.
The score would remain at 1-1 going into the first intermission. Each team put six shots on goal in the first twenty minutes of the game.
The Stars came out very, very strong in the second period and outshot the Force 19-7. The only goal scored in the second came from the stick of Tommy Schutt, who scored at the 4:20 mark to give the Stars a 2-1 lead. Garrett Brossart collected the lone assist on Schutt's ninth goal of the season. Lincoln would take that 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
In the final stanza, Fargo evened the score at 2-2 with a goal from Alex Iafallo just one minute and twenty seven seconds into the third period.
The game-winning goal came at the 10:36 mark of the third period when a Phil Marinaccio shot squeaked past Cam Johnson and barely over the goal line. Marinaccio has scored 7 points (3g, 4a) in his last five games played. Since being acquired by the Lincoln Stars, Marinaccio has 19 points (8g, 11a) in 18 games played.
Stars goaltender Michael Bitzer, who grew up just outside of Fargo, stopped 24 of 26 shots on goal in the win, which was his 18th of the season. From the sounds of it, Bitzer had to make a number of big saves late in the game after the Force had pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker.
Both teams went 0-for-2 on the powerplay. Lincoln outshot Fargo 36-26 overall. In the two road games in Fargo this weekend, the Stars put a whopping 78 shots on goal. If it wasn't for a red hot Cam Johnson in Friday's game, the Stars would be coming home with four points instead of two.
Huge road win for the good guys to even up the weekend series against the Force. They should all be very proud of their effort.
The Stars will be back in action in just a few days when they host the Sioux City Musketeers at the IceBox on Tuesday night.