Sunday, March 29, 2015

B³ Weekend Recap: 3/27 & 3/28

Lincoln's woes continued as the Green Bay Gamblers swept the Stars in two games this weekend at the Resch Center in Green Bay, WI.  The Gamblers started the weekend series with a 5-3 win over the Stars on Friday.  On Saturday, the Gamblers finished it out with a 5-4 victory.

3/27:  Lincoln 3, Green Bay 5
3/28:  Lincoln 4, Green Bay 5

The Lincoln Stars are still in last place in the USHL western conference with a record of  16-34-5 (37 points)

The Stars have now lost five in a row with five games remaining in the 2014-15 season.  Lincoln has been outscored 32-11 in their current five-game losing streak.

I was able to listen to the radio broadcast for the Friday game, but I was not able to follow the Saturday contest.  If anyone out there watched these games online, please leave a comment below and let us know how the boys looked.

Lincoln 3, Green Bay 5

On Friday, the Gamblers scored two powerplay goals, and one shorthanded goal in route to a 5-3 win.  Green Bay's powerplay unit, which coming into this weekend was the worst PP unit in the entire USHL at 13/4%, went 3-for-6 against Lincoln's PK unit.

It was the "Marc Michaelis Show" as the Green Bay forward scored 4 goals, and added 1 assist, to lead the Gamblers.  The four goals scored by Michaelis was the first time a USHL players scored four goals in one game this season.  Stars seem to have been on the wrong end of records this season.

A common theme this weekend in Green Bay for the Stars would be to fall behind early, stage a comeback, but then eventually fall in the end.

In this particular game, the Gamblers got out to a 3-1 lead after two periods before consecutive Lincoln goals from Chris Dodero and Michael Gillespie early in the third period actually tied this game at 3-3.  Stars forward Grant Jozefek scored Lincoln's first goal of the game in the second period.

The Stars showed life getting the score tied at 3-3 at the halfway point of the third period, but the Gamblers responded with two unanswered goals in the latter half of the period to pull away from Lincoln and get the two points.

Lincoln went 0-for-2 on the powerplay while the Gamblers went 3-for-6.  Shots were even at 32-32.  Green Bay won the special teams war for sure.

Stars goaltender Cam Hackett stopped 27 of 32 shots in the loss against his former team.  Green Bay goaltender Jason Pawloski stopped 29 of 32 for the win.

Lincoln 4, Green Bay 5

Five different Gamblers scored, and Green Bay held off another comeback attempt by the Stars to sweep the weekend series with a 5-4 win over Lincoln

The Gamblers got out to an early 3-0 lead, only to see the Stars score three unanswered of their own to tied it up at 3-3 in the second period.  Just like Friday's game, once the game was tied, the Gamblers scored two straight to regain the lead and hold on.

Down 3-0 after one period in Green Bay, things weren't looking good for the Stars.  However, towards the latter half of the second period Lincoln fought back with three unanswered goals scored in less than two minutes.

Stars forward Patrick Polino started the comeback with his 14th goal of the season at the 13:05 mark of the second period.  Biagio Lerario made it a one-goal game 53 seconds after the Polino goal with his 18th goal of the season.  Dominick Sacco completed the comeback at the 15:01 mark of the second period to knot the game at 3-3.  Suddenly, the Stars were right back in this gae.

The momentum killer for the Stars came with only 3:17 left in the second period when the Gamblers scored to take a 4-3 lead which they took into the second intermission.

In the third, the Gamblers scored at the 11:09 mark to take a commanding two-goal lead at 5-3.  Stars defenseman Cam Lee got the Stars back to within one goal at the 13:19, but it wasn't enough.  Green Bay held off Lincoln the final six minutes of the game to secure the weekend sweep.

Lincoln went 0-for-1 on the powerplay, while the Gamblers went 1-for-3.  The Stars only had 3 powerplay opportunities in the two games in Green Bay.  If you look Lincoln's special teams stats so far this season, you'll see that the Stars do not do a very good job drawing penalties.  Their 193 PP opportunities in 55 games this season is tied for second worst in the entire USHL.  That needs to change next season.

The Stars outshot the Gamblers 37-31 overall.  Lincoln goaltender Peyton Jones got the start and stopped 9 of 12 shots before he was pulled at the end of the first period.  Cam Hackett finished the game and stopped 17 of 19 in the loss.  Gamblers goaltender Kevin Reich started the game and stopped 22 of 25 shots before he was pulled.  Jason Pawloski stopped 11 of 12 shots in relief to pick up the win.

Well, I was hoping for at least one win out of this weekend to beat the 16 win total the 2009-10 team finished with, but that wasn't the case.  The 2009-10 Lincoln Stars finished the season with a record of 16-36-8.  The current Stars have a record of 16-34-5.  I know all of us fans would rather not see this team finish with a worse record than that 2009-10 club.

The Stars now have five games remaining to beat that win total.  Five games against very good competition, however.  Three of the five remaining games are against Omaha, and one each against Sioux Falls and Cedar Rapids.

The Stars are back at the IceBox this upcoming Tuesday night against the Omaha Lancers.

Thanks for reading.  Go Stars.

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