|Tommy Marchin (L) and Brandon Smith (R) celebrate with David Parrottino|
after his 3rd period goal. Courtesy of Shooting Star Photos
Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.
With the loss, the Stars' preseason record is now 2-2-0. Omaha improved to 1-1-0.
Lincoln will play their last preseason game on Thursday, September 19th in Kearney, NE against the Tri-City Storm.
Scratches for Lincoln in this game were Jake Ireland, Daniel Willett, Dominick Sacco, John Simonson, Garrett Brossart, and Drew Callin. Goaltender Nick Schmit played the first two periods against Omaha, and Michael Bitzer played the third period along with the overtime period.
Early in this game, the Stars looked pretty good and were able to get on the scoreboard first thanks to a powerplay goal by forward Nick Monfils at the 6:07 mark of the first period. After getting a pass from forward Max Humitz, Monfils put his head down and drove hard to the front of the Omaha net and jammed the puck past Lancers goaltender Atte Tolvanen.
The Stars would hold that 1-0 lead for the rest of the first period, and into the second period. Omaha outshot Lincoln 12-9 in the first twenty minutes.
Omaha outscored Lincon 2-0 in the second period, and for the most part took over the game at that point. The Lancers would score those two goals early in the middle stanza, less than a minute apart, to flip the momentum to their side.
After the two Omaha goals, both teams fought it out on the ice, literally. Two fights and 58 penalty minutes later, the second period ended with the Lancers holding a 2-1 lead. Omaha outshot Lincoln 9-6 in the second period.
Omaha quickly snuffed out any attempt at a comeback by the Stars with two goals scored within the first 5:08 of the third period.
With Omaha in front by a score of 4-1, Stars forward David Parrottino scored off of a faceoff in the Omaha zone to pull the Stars to within two goals. Parrottino snapped a shot glove-high past the Lancers goaltender into the open net for his first preseason goal. Brandon Smith collected the lone assist on Parrottino's even-strength goal.
Late in the third period, with the Stars trailing 4-2, Lincoln pulled goaltender Michael Bitzer for an extra attacker. However, the Lancers quickly scored an empty-net goal to complete the scoring in regulation. Lincoln outshot Omaha 15-8 in the third period, and overall, 30-29.
Like every preseason game so far this month, the USHL required these two teams to play a five minute 3-on-3 sudden death overtime period after regulation. As I have stated previously, the league is testing this new 3-on-3 OT period to see if it is something they want to use in the regular season. Last season, teams played five minutes of 4-on-4 overtime hockey when teams were tied after regulation.
In the OT period, Stars forward Luke Voltin scored an unassisted laser at the 1:59 mark to finish out the game. Voltin's shot looked like it buzzed the Omaha goaltender's head before finding the back of the net.
Much like every Omaha-Lincoln game last year, the Stars could not stay out of the penalty box in this game. Stars went 1-for-3 on the powerplay, while Omaha was blanked, going 0-for-7. Lincoln's penalty kill unit so far this preseason has been lights out. They've been shorthanded 24 times, and have not given up a powerplay goal. Not one PP goal.
Nick Schmit played the first forty minutes of this contest and stopped 19 of 21 shots. Michael Bitzer played the third period, including the overtime session, and stopped 7 of 10 shots. The Pointstreak boxscore linked above is wrong in that they show Schmit playing the entire game.
I want to give some props to a couple of forwards who stood out to me this weekend. I thought Nick Monfils and Christian Lampasso had a great Fall Classic. Monfils is an undrafted free agent who played well enough at Lincoln's tryout camp this past June to earn a spot on the protected roster. As we've seen over the years, it's very difficult for an undrafted free agent to make the Stars, but I think Monfils has a very good shot at making the team. He's a smaller forward, but he's incredibly fast and isn't afraid to put his head down and drive to the net. Good hands, too. Lampasso is how I remembered him last season. Like Monfils, he's a bit on the smaller side but fearless. Looking forward to watching him this next season. I think Lampasso will be a fan favorite for sure.
I was informed by the USHL yesterday that all teams will have to cut down to 23 players on Wednesday, September 18th. Currently, the Stars have 28 players on their training camp roster, so 5 of those players won't be with the team when they open up the 2013-14 regular season on September 27th against the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. If my calculations are correct, the Lincoln coaches will likely cut one goaltender, one defensemen, and three forwards. I would not want to have to make those decisions.
Considering the Stars play their last preseason game on September 19th, one day after the roster cut deadline, I assume Lincoln will not be able to bring their full training camp roster to Kearney. I guess we'll have to wait and see how that plays out. Maybe the Stars will get permission from the league to make the cut down to 23 after that game on the 19th.