Sunday, December 1, 2013

B³ Postgame Recap: Lincoln 4, Des Moines 5 OT SO

Down 0-3 to the Buccaneers, the Lincoln Stars scored four unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead late in the third period, but Des Moines responded with a game-tying goal with 2:16 remaining before winning the game 5-4 in a shootout.

Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.

The overtime shootout loss gave the Stars one point, and their record now is 4-11-5 (13 points).  The Tri-City Storm and the Fargo Force both lost last night, so the Stars actually jumped up to sixth place in the USHL western conference with the one point earned against Des Moines.  Click here to view the current USHL standings.

I listened to the radio broadcast of this game, so this will recap will be brief.  I don't feel comfortable writing about how good or bad the team played unless I've watched them in person or on FASTHockey.

As I stated above, the Stars fell behind quickly in this game and trailed 3-0 at the first intermission.  The Bucs scored one powerplay goal, and two even-strength goals in the first twenty minutes of the game.  Des Moines outshot Lincoln 17-9 in the first period as well.

Whatever switch the Stars forgot to turn on in the first period, it was definitely flipped on in the second.  The first of four unanswered Lincoln goals was scored shorthanded by Brandon Smith at the 5:53 mark.  Jonathan Desbiens followed that up with an even-strength goal at the 9:12 mark.  The game tying tally, which was also scored at even-strength, came from Magnus Hoff at the 12:51 mark.

So in a 6:58 span in the middle period, the Stars scored three goals and clearly had momentum on their side.  Lincoln put an incredible 23 shots on goal in the second period, as opposed to 15 for Des Moines.

In the third period, Stars defenseman Luke Shiplo, who played for the Bucs last season, picked a great time to score his first goal as a member of the Lincoln Stars as he put his team up 4-3 with an even-strength tally at the 8:55 mark.  The improbable comeback was now a one-goal lead for the Stars, which they held until late in the period.

The Bucs stopped the bleeding with a huge, game-tying goal, which came shorthanded, with only 2:16 remaining in the third period.  Just like that, momentum switched back over the Bucs.

After playing to a 4-4 regulation tie, this game would go to overtime.  Neither teams scored in the 4-on-5 OT period, despite both club having a PP opportunity.

In the shootout, three Bucs scored while only two scored for Lincoln giving Des Moines the win and the two points.  The Stars are now 2-3 in the five shootouts they've participated in this season.

Stars goaltender Michael Bitzer and Bucs netminder Ryan Ruck both put up the same exact numbers last night with 45 saves on 47 shots on goal.  Considering the amount of shots on goal, it doesn't sound like either team played particularly well defensively.  It was definitely a shooting gallery.

Des Moines went 1-for-5 on the powerplay while the Stars went 0-for-7.  Lincoln is now 0-for-14 on the powerplay in their last three games combined.

Tough loss for sure, but credit the Stars for not giving up when they were down 0-3.  With how this season is going, it would have been easy for them to just quit playing after the first period and let the Bucs roll over them.  But they battled back and showed a lot of heart.  You have to focus on the positives and try to build on them, and I hope that's what the Stars do with this game.

Based on some tweets I read from players, the Stars had a 3:00am bag skate early this morning when the team returned to Lincoln.  Ouch.  If you don't know what a bag skate is, what the movie "Miracle," or click here.

The Stars will be back in action this week with a Friday night home game at the IceBox against the Sioux City Musketeers.  On Saturday, the Stars will travel to Des Moines (again) for a tilt against the Bucs.  I'm sure by now those two teams are sick of one another.  Looking ahead, Lincoln's schedule coming up is very, very tough. The combined record of all of the teams the Stars play in the next 10 games is 81-37-7.

Go Stars.

Edit:  Video highlights of this game are embedded below, courtesy of Scott Thompson.

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