Wednesday, March 11, 2015

B³ Postgame Recap: Tri-City 6, Lincoln 1

Courtesy of Brandon Anderson Photography
The Tri-City Storm allowed the Stars to score one goal before going on a six-goal unanswered tear Tuesday night at the IceBox to beat Lincoln by a score of 6-1.  The Stars fell to 1-6-0 in seven games against Tri-City this season.

Click here to view the Pointstreak boxscore.

The loss dropped Lincoln's record to 15-29-5 (35 points) and they still occupy last place in the USHL western conference.  Lincoln also has the worst record in the USHL.

The Stars are 1-6-0 in their last seven games played, and have been oustcored 11-2 in their last two games.  Click here to view the current league standings.

I wasn't able to attend this game in person due to illness, and I didn't listen to the radio broadcast so this recap will be very brief.  The main reason I wanted to post a recap article is to allow the fans to voice their comments.  If you were at the game, please leave a comment below.

As I mentioned above, the Stars got out to a 1-0 lead early in the first period when Ludvig Hoff scored his 15th goal of the season at the 7:07 mark.  Although they were outshot 13-5 in the opening twenty minutes, the Stars took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

As we've seen countless times this season, the Stars were outplayed, outscored, and outshot in the second period and quickly lost whatever momentum they had at the first intermission.  The Storm outscored the Stars 3-0 in the second, and outshot them 16-7.  For all intents and purposes, this game was over after the second period.  Broken record.

In the third, the Storm scored three goals on five shots on goal to finish out the scoring.

Final shots on goal were 34-18 in favor of Tri-City.  I'm trying to remember the last time a Stars team had less than 20 shots at home.  Was it earlier this season?  Edit:  A little over a month ago on 2/6/15, Tri-City outshot Lincoln 50-16 at the IceBox.

I wasn't there at the game, so it's not fair for me to talk much further about what happened.  I'll let the fans who were there leave a comment below.

This Friday the Stars will travel out to Kearney, NE to wrap up their eight-game regular season series against the Storm.  On Saturday, the Stars will be back at the IceBox to face the Sioux Falls Stampede.

Thanks for reading.  Go Stars.


Anonymous said...

It's probably good you weren't there last night, Yeti. It was beyond ugly.

Very obvious to me that this current coaching staff cannot motivate these young men. If that's the case I hope the new owner makes a change otherwise the same thing will happen next season.

And once again, the head coach is a no show for the post game radio show. My wife and I try to listen to that on our way home, win or lose. This new head coach comes across as very unprofessional and childish to me. Maybe I'm wrong but I think he's in way over his head here in Lincoln.

The new GM and owner never should have hired a rookie head coach for this position. As storied as this franchise is, they should have hired someone with prior head coaching experience. You can't give this job to a rookie. Look at what he's done with it.

Ready for this season to be over with. I very much doubt my wife and I will renew our season tickets unless major changes are made. We'll spend our money elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Trying to stay positive but it's hard....

I wish I knew what the answer was. I know the players and staff don't want this either.

Anonymous said...

I posted this earlier today on the pre-game blog--this is probably a more appropriate place for it so....
I wasn't able to go to the game last night (6-1 loss to Tri-City), but I did manage to watch the first 2 periods on Fasthockey, catch some of the reaction on social media, and read this mornings article in the Journal Star.
For my part, this years frustration goes way past disappointment--by my count, the Stars are something like 4-17 since Jan. 10th, with none of those wins coming in regulation.
My problem is this--looking back through the Blog, (almost the first game of the season) I've noticed that coach/management use the phrase "players that really want to be here" as an excuse for poor play--all the way up to last nights interview with LJS......seriously???
As a fan, it would be nice to see management lead by example and show some ACCOUNTABILITY! ---stop pointing the finger at players and at least have the decency to show up for "coaches comments" after the game.
Fans were lead to believe that this management team was going to emphasize "puck control" from the very start of the season yet this team can barely bring the puck up out of our own zone--in my humble opinion, this doesn't have anything to do with talent or effort on the players part but EVERYTHING to do with COACHING.
It would be nice to see at least SOME improvement before the end of the season and to hear why next year might be any different.
Sorry for the rant, but continually blaming the players is getting pretty stale.

lincolnfan said...

you didn't miss much, Yeti. to me it seemed Tri City came out stronger than Lincoln initially but then the Stars managed to gain some control and score a goal. it was pretty much all Tri City after that. Lincoln was lucky to be up by a goal after the 1st period, and even more lucky that Tri City didn't score until halfway through the 2nd. it could have easily been 6-1 after the 2nd period.

i too am beginning to question the coaching and management side of things. i'm just a fan, i know very little about this so don't take my comments as trying to sound like an expert. i remember seeing an interesting comment a while back about the idea behind having a general manager and a coach and how that has never been a very successful prospect in this league. i am not saying whether it is or isn't, just brainstorming what the issue could be. does the general manager and coach have specifically designed roles, or are they kind of overlapping? that could explain some of the confusion and inconsistency that we're seeing from game to game and even period to period.

again, i am not very knowledgeable at all in that area but we are getting worse, not better. at least before it was a number of one-goal games that we were losing, now we are seeing more of the 6-1; 5-1 losses. you can't expect to win games when you can't generate shots on goal or control the puck. i don't know what next year will look like for us either. i can't imagine after one year that our owner would make any changes in the coaching area; that could be very expensive given the contract our coach is in.

as fans we're all in this together and i'm confident we will get through this... Go Stars.

Anonymous said...

You know from day one the fans were told that this was going to be a exciting fast paced skilled hockey team that is based on puck control, well frankly most of the above statement is BS. Yes there are moments where this team is amazing but its far from being a constant thing. I really can't point out the answer to fix this but I am a firm believer that you are as good as your leader.

That being said I don't think there is much leadership on this team, and by that I mean the coaching and GM. I think that they are both over their heads.

Now they have been saying the last few weeks that the players are constantly being evaluated and if a player dosent want to be here then they won't be. well I think the same should be going of for them, Ryan should be constantly looking at his coach and gm evaluating them. From what I can see they haven't done a great job. Also the same should be said to them "if you don't want to be here" its kind of obvious that the coach dosent want to be here by skipping out on the coaches comments more times than he's actually shown up for them.

At least the players show up and do their jobs every night. they are just being led in the wrong direction.

On another note, I think this coached team could go down and the worst record in stars history

Thats just my .02 as a season ticket holder. Also I have been seriously thinking of not renewing my tickets next season. There is too much going on that I can spend my $ on.

Anonymous said...

We were remarking before the game that we were hoping for a good game last night. That did not happen, I am sorry to say. I did see some flashes of goodness- the passing on our goal, the toughness shown by LaDouce in his tilt, and the dedication of the fans in sitting through another frustrating loss. I hope that Star's ownership is evaluating our GM and Head Coach each day as well. In my opinion, their grade as leaders is "F", as in failing their ownership, their players, and the fans.

nutz4puckz said...

I think the one word that I would put on the last two months is embarrassing. I, like others have no idea what the issue is, but I think it's time that people start to look at the top of the organization and the folks that are responsible for the makeup of the team and the coaching of the team. It's hard to figure how after almost 6-7 months together as a group, they seem to be taking big steps backwards, yet teams like Omaha and Waterloo started slowly but were able to right their ships.

I'm inclined to agree that the current coach may not be the best fit for this group and I also think that Lincoln is too good a job for caoches to get to use it as a learn as you go opportunity. I get that hiring a coach is a crapshoot alot of the time, but this just not seem to be working at all.

I'm frustrated beyond belief and am leaning more towrads not renewing season tickets for next season. I'll be sad to let them go as we have had our tickets for the past 15 years and make the drive from Omaha to Lincoln to support the team, but it might be time to take a step back until things get turned around. The only voice we have as fans is money spent and butts in the seats.

I'm hopeful that something changes at the end of the season, but would not be surprised if things are just left as is. I'm sure some will call me fair-weather for not wanting to be there for 30+ games next season, but so be it.

End rant....

Anonymous said...

With just 10 regular-season games left for the Stars, Hartsburg still has a goal for the team. "I want to see a group that cares, that wants to play," Hartsburg said. "Each day these kids are being evaluated by someone. If they don't take the chances to care, it is on them."

Anonymous said...

I can't even describe how hard this season has been. Typically I would be more than thrilled for next year as we should has a decent amount of returning guys but, I just do not see Hartsburg being let go after one bad year. It would be much to expensive. However, I am hoping that over the summer Job and Chris can get together and really talk about what system they want to run because this little fast team is not getting it done. We need some big boys up front to get those dirty goals...we just aren't seeing any heart and as far as I'm concerned that's because no heart is being shown by the Coach.

Extra Note I was sitting next to a couple scouts in G last night and they left half way through the second period, they were scouting both teams but stated to me "It's not worth coming to scout if one team isn't going to try"

nutz4puckz said...

It's come up in this thread a couple of times about the cost that might be incurred to make a change at coach/GM.

Does anyone have any idea the terms of the contracts for both the coach and GM? Just curious if those were 3 year, 4 year or what kind of deals they have.

Anonymous said...

Hartsburg is on a 3-year contract, not sure about Hull.

Anonymous said...

@ nutz4puckz--
good luck finding any info on the terms of the contracts--while most pro and college coaches salaries and terms are made public, I don't recall ever seeing any such info on any USHL coaches.
I would guess however, that having 2 separate contracts for both a coach AND a GM would be considerably more costly than paying a single person that held both titles.

Frustrated said...

What do we expect when we trade away talent? Luckily for those traded they got better opportunities than we could provide.

Coaches comments are very important to those of us that listen in. I find it very rude to be stood up so frequently. I can only imagine how Melby feels up there broadcasting. Although it has been the same ol song this year that players dont have the heart. My opinion, I have seen some of the best efforts from these young men to turn things around, than I have in previous seasons. We do have talent and heart on the team its just misguided or traded away.

Very difficult to justify renewing our season tickets next year.....

Jason O said...

I guess what can be said about the on-ice product that hasn’t already been said? But, why would you blame players when you’ve traded their teammates away?

And simply, if you want kids to do their job, do yours, including showing up for the post game shows.

Would everyone be OK with these actions and play if the team was winning?

And at this point, you can only beat that mule so hard. Eventually the mule lies down, quits pulling the plow altogether and takes the beating knowing it will end sooner or later.

To a bigger point:

If changing things is too costly for what appears to be a frugal ownership, then put this out there if you want to speak money: attendance is down vs. last year on average 453/night according to USHL’s site. Since the 12-13 season, we’ve seen a decline of almost 800 fans/night, a nearly 20% decline.

Not so coincidentally, that’s about the time the Pinnacle Bank Arena, Railyard district and revitalized Devaney opened. And guess what, attendance BOOMED at those places. Granted we’ll see what happens if Nebrasketball lays another egg, but you tell me competition isn’t tougher in the entertainment space in Lincoln? The timing is way too coincidental that you’ll have to prove to me with hard facts that the new developments aren’t at least one factor in attendance drops.

Hockey fans may not be Volleyball and Basketball fans, but that isn’t the crowd you’re trying to pull: you want casual fans/night out folks to consider your place as an option. Your diehards are the crowds on Tuesdays, and when the snow falls with negative windchills. That’s probably not the numbers Ryan is looking for on his return on investment.

I’ll be blunt here, what else is being offered to the non-hockey fan? Lots of places offer cheap beer (btw, where are the $1 beer specials?)

Cheap beer won’t overcome going to watch a team lose, and whether you cringe at this mentality or not - won’t satisfy those fans going to see the hits and fights, a factor often cited in the 09-10 season’s high attendance despite a poor record. I hate to put it in these terms, but it is what it is.

If you aren’t producing either, then what are you offering? Sorry, but fans aren’t coming for intermission entertainment.

We can all talk about stories of abundant free tickets being handed out prior, and this year seeing paid attendance increasing. Yes, I believe in the saying, “it doesn’t cost you anything to give away an empty seat” and while those freebies buy concessions, my experience in the entertainment business at Eagle Raceway prior shows it isn’t all made up in beer, and they tend to buy LESS than the paying attendant. Cheap people are cheap all the way.

Giving away seats just in the hope of selling some beer and hotdogs is a promotion, not a way of doing business day-to-day. It devaules the product. If you constantly give away seats, you lower your potential in selling paid tickets which limits growth. It also cheeses off season ticket holders.

I agree with what ownership is doing in regard to eliminating freebies as its sound long-term strategy. It’s what the Florida Panthers did: eliminating the giveaways, and producing a product that in that Florida’s new ownership’s view was worth paying for.

And so far Florida’s getting there: they produced a product that is competitive, in the playoff hunt and are starting to come back. PAYING fans who are also buying concessions and that item with a even better margin: the game ticket.

I don’t want the Stars to become a dwindling niche activity. I like packed houses, and I’m sure owners do, too.

So, would winning cure most of these ills? It looks like it. In that case the task has been put to ownership: go win. This is the USHL, turnaround times can be quick, just look at Sioux City vs. Waterloo. Look at Lincoln vs Tri-City. As we see in some of the comments, fan patience is short and fan patience will soon turn into owner’s dollars.

Anonymous said...

Most winning teams play good defense . This teams defense is getting worse. Coaching change is necessary to keep fans in the seats. No change could cost owner way more than a salary.

Unknown said...

In the end we all will get our tickets because let's face it, we love hockey and this team.

Crazy Carl said...

Yes many of us do love hockey and do love the team but it's hard to shell out the money when for the same I could buy a new TV and NHL packages to go with it. I know I'm not the only one who's planning on watching some pro hockey from home next year. And since I don't need the new TV we're talking about finally making a trip to the Joe to see the Wings in person. Sure sounds a lot more fun than spending every fri/sat night hoping for more than 12 shits on goal and listening to the same old excuses on the radio after the game.

Anonymous said...

The Stars will miss the playoffs for the 2nd straight season. The only Western Conference teams to not go to the playoffs in both 13-14 and 14-15 are Lincoln, Des Moines and Fargo (thrilling company).

Lincoln has not been close to winning the Western Conference regular season title since 2011-12. If the current standings hold, only Lincoln and Des Moines will have not made the top 2 teams in the Western standings at least once in the past 3 seasons (again thrilling company).

We are now being held in the same company as Des Moines. We used to have every advantage in the book in Lincoln. Hiring a coach who is learning on the job has proven to be a horrible mistake. You can't tell me there weren't dozens upon dozens of veteran, experienced, proven coaches wanting this job. The days of Jimmy McGroarty seem wonderful right about now. You could never say his team didn't play hard.

Jon said...

Last year was trying. Even harder to keep tickets for next year. We spend from $20 to 40 on concessions per game. Bought something from the store almost every game last year too. It seems the person who orders shirts hats etc has lost their creative edge. It's bad when I cannot find anything worth using my in store season coupons for. Plus the two behind the counter are [deleted] this year. Nothing shows lack of respect for the fans like the drive into the parking lot with the pot holes that could ruin a vehicle.

Anonymous said...

Couple bad seasons in a row and the true colors show, disappointed in the "fans" yes it's been rough but, it can only go up gotta be optimistic or you shouldn't be coming anyway.

Bill C. said...

Ah yes, the meta fan who tells all the other fans how they are supposed to act. Get real.

Yeti said...

Ok, that's enough of the snarky comments.

Be nice, or I'm not approving it.

Anonymous said...

I hope the owner/gm/coach follow your blog Yeti. Great blog btw.

Anonymous said...

Its a tough league. Rather than voice here why not approach the coaching staff or owners. These young men are on a development path. The next step not the finished article.
Teams are going to have good seasons and bad. If a losing season or seasons makes you question if you should renew then maybe the USHL isn't right for you. Des Moines has an AHL team, Omaha an College Team Rather than complain pick another option.

Crazy Carl said...

I don't see a whole lot of complaining about win/loss records. You're right, this is a developmental league. With that in mind, it's pretty reasonable for fans to be upset when they don't see any development. You'd be hard pressed to make the argument that the level of play is getting any better from game to game. And I for one don't think it has anything to do with lack of talent.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the fans care so much about the W\L record as much as we all think. Yes we all like a winner but if you look at the first time Jimmy was let go we were just as bad as a team as we are now but still lead the league in attendance.

I think the real issue here is all the talk from Hull that this is what were going to do and this is the team were going to be was complete crap as he has been nothing but talk thus far, and the fans feel like they were lead on and the promise was never delivered.