Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My guess at Lincoln's preseason roster

With Lincoln's first exhibition games only a few days away, I thought I'd put a quick article together and post what I believe Lincoln's preseason roster looks like right now.  Call it an educated guess.

Per a new USHL rule, teams are now allowed to protect up to 30 players on their preseason roster up until 9/22 when it must be cut down to 23 players.  

Previous to this new rule, teams had to cut down to 25 players by 9/1, and then to 23 players before the start of the regular season.

Because of this new rule, I don't believe we will see the league release the 25-man rosters of every USHL team like they have done in years past around 9/1.  Keeps the fans guessing, I suppose.

There are 27 players listed above, which will have to get cut down to 23 before the start of the regular season.

One of the biggest battles appears to be between the three goaltenders.  Shepard, Jones, and Hackett will compete for only two spots on the regular season roster.  Shepard and Jones were selected by the Stars in the 2014 USHL Entry Draft, while Hackett was acquired from the Green Bay Gamblers in the offseason.  Hackett is the only goaltender of the three with prior USHL experience.

As you can see above, it appears defenseman Connor Frantti is the only overager (player born in 1994) on the roster.  That's a good indication of how young this roster is (nine players included above were born in 1997).  USHL teams are allowed to carry a maximum of four overager players on the roster.  

There are three import players noted above, which indicates a player born outside of the USA.  Defenseman Cameron Lee and forward Jared Bethune were both born in Canada, but from what I've been told, they are not considered imports in the eyes of the USHL.  Bethune has dual citizenship, while Lee has played in at least three seasons of organized hockey in the United States.  Like overagers, each USHL team is allowed to carry a maximum of four imports on the regular season roster.

In a few days I'll post a preview article which will look at the three games the Stars will play this weekend at the 2014 USHL Atlantic Challenge.

Go Stars.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We have ice!

Quick blog article this evening after I stopped by the IceBox earlier today and snapped a few pictures of the ice and logos/lines being painted.  Hockey season is just around the corner!  All of the players are already in town, and the Stars will play their first three preseason games next weekend at the USHL Atlantic Challenge in New York.

Anyway, here are some photos I snapped while I was at the IceBox today.  Click the "Read more" link below to see all of them.  We're almost there, folks!  Go Stars!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Stars acquire forward Grant Jozefek from Muskegon

Per Lincoln Stars GM Jon Hull, the team has acquired '97 forward Grant Jozefek (5'9", 180 pounds) from the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

It was not announced what the Stars sent to Muskegon for the rights to Jozefek.

Grant was originally selected by the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the first round (7th overall pick) in the 2013 USHL Futures Draft.  Click here to read a good article about Jozefek's background.

In December of 2013, Jozefek committed to play college hockey at Northeastern University.  Click here to read more about that.  According the article I just linked, Grant is expected to start at Northeastern the fall of 2016.  So that means we could see him in a Lincoln Stars uniform for at least the next two seasons.

This past season, Jozefek completed his sophomore year at West Morris Mendham High School in Menham, New Jersey.  Grant, who hails from Chester, NJ, scored 103 points (45g, 58a) in his sophomore season before going on to play 22 games with the Jersey Hitmen U18 (USPHL) team where he scored 35 points (14g, 21a).

In 2012-13, Jozefek became the first freshman in New Jersey state high school history to score 100 points in a season when he scored 103 points (51g, 52a) in only 24 games played.

The Lumberjacks called up Jozefek in November of last season to play one game against the Youngstown Phantoms.  In that game, he put two shots on goal but was held scoreless.

Click here, here and here to watch some videos of Grant in action from this past season.  He wears #52 in the videos.

On paper, this looks like a great addition to the team.  The Stars add yet another talented '97 forward to the lineup.  Lincoln may have a young squad up front this upcoming season, but they will be skilled, quick, and exciting to watch.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Mount Puckmore: The Four Faces of the Lincoln Stars

My version of Lincoln's "Mount Puckmore"
Graphic courtesy of Carl Kacvinsky
About four years ago on the Yahoo.com NHL "Puck Daddy" blog, they did a feature for each NHL team called "Mount Puckmore."  In this fantastic summer project, the folks at Puck Daddy picked four defining faces of each NHL franchise.

At the time, I thought about doing something similar for the Lincoln Stars, but I never got around to doing it.  With 40+ days until the home opener, I figured now would be a good time to resurrect this article.  I gives us something to talk about before the preseason schedule begins in about one month.

We all know the four iconic faces on Mount Rushmore:  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.  They define our country's storied history.

So let's take that same thought and look at four defining faces which encapsulate what the Lincoln Stars are about.

One topic that is frequently brought up with these team Mount Puckmore articles is, do you only count what the player/coach did with the team?  Or do you also consider what they did afterwards?  At the junior hockey level, players move on to successful college and (hopefully) pro careers.  I think it's fair to take into consideration what they've done after they've left Lincoln, and not focus only on what they've done with the Stars.  Just my opinion.

I've included about 12 players/coaches below that I think should be considered.  You are welcome to add your own if you wish.  If there is a player/coach/executive you think is worthy, let us know!  You can leave a comment below, or email me at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com.  Comments are wide open, so you do not need to register to leave a comment.


Steve Johnson:  The "Godfather" of Lincoln Stars hockey.  Coached the 1996-97 expansion Lincoln Stars to a 40-13-1 record and won a Clark Cup that season (first USHL expansion team to ever win the Clark Cup). Steve was named the USHL coach of the year in 1996 (with Fargo-Moorhead), 2000 and 2001.  Steve was also named USHL general manager of the year for 2000-01.  He led the Stars to a second Clark Cup championship in 2003.   Johnson won three Anderson Cups (USHL regular-season champion) with Lincoln in 2000, 2001 and 2003. He won 30+ regular season games nine times with Lincoln.  His overall regular season record with the Stars is 406-188-47, with a playoff record of 49-36.  'Nuff said.

Derek Reynolds:  The heart and soul of the 1996-97 Lincoln Stars.  Reynolds was a Tasmanian devil on the expansion, Clark Cup winning team.  In 50 regular season games for the Stars that magical season, Reynolds scored 62 points (21g, 42a) and added 265 PIM's.  In 14 playoff games, Reynolds scored 20 points (8g, 12a) in route to the Clark Cup.  As Stars radio announcer Mike Melbye said on Twitter, "In the spring of 1997, Reynolds could have run for mayor of Lincoln and won."  Former Stars forward Ted Suihkonen said on Twitter that Reynolds was "Mr. Everything" during the championship 1996-97 season.  Reynolds played three seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha before spending five years in the pros.  He returned to Lincoln in 2004 and spent two years in Lincoln as an assistant coach for the Stars.

Josh Langfeld:  Along with Derek Reynolds, led the Lincoln Stars to a Clark Cup championship in the team's first season in the USHL.  Langfeld scored an impressive 58 points (35g, 23a) in 38 regular season games during 1996-97, along with 100 PIM's.  Langfeld added 21 points in 14 playoff games that season.  Although he only played one season in Lincoln, Josh certainly left his mark.  In 1998 for the University of Michigan, Josh scored the championship winning OT goal to beat Boston College and give the Wolverines a national championship.  Langfeld is the first Lincoln Stars player to be drafted in the NHL, as he was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the 1997 NHL draft.  He's also the first former Stars player to play in the NHL.

Grant Potulny:  Played two season for the Stars (1998-2000) where he scored 73 points in 102 regular season games, including 161 PIM's.  Like Josh Langfeld, Grant was a prototype power forward who used his size to dominate games.  After his time in Lincoln, Grant went on to play for the University of Minnesota, where he was a three-year captain for the Gophers.  In 2002 for the University of Minnesota, Grant scored the championship winning OT goal to beat the University of Maine and give the Gophers a national championship.  Grant has been an assistant coach for the Gophers for the past five seasons.

Nick Fouts:  Tough as nails defenseman who played 137 games in a Lincoln Stars uniform from 1998-2001.  The native of Lake Stevens, WA accumulated 31 points and 573 PIM's in those 137 games.  Fouts was team captain on the 2000-01 Anderson Cup winning Lincoln Stars team.  After four years at New England College, and a brief pro career, Fouts returned to Lincoln as an assistant coach from 2007-2010.  Fouts was a very popular player among the fans.  He wasn't a big guy, but he definitely played big.  Heart and soul type of player.  You still see #2 Fouts jerseys at the IceBox to this day.

Chris Fournier:  Fournier holds many franchise records for the Stars, including games played (217), goals scored in a career (79-tied with John Snowden), career assists (159), and career points (238).  Chris played four seasons for the Stars from 1997-2001.  The diminutive native of Anchorage, AK scored 83 points in 55 games during the 2000-01 season, which was a franchise record before it was smashed by Kevin Roy (104) in 2011-12.  Fournier was named USHL Forward of the Year, and USHL Player of the Year for the 2000-01 season.  Another extremely popular player among the fans.

Ryan Potulny:  Younger brother of Grant Potulny.  Scored 135 points in 114 regular season games for the Stars over the course of two seasons (2001-03).  In 2002-03, Ryan led the Stars in regular season scoring (78 points in 54 games), ahead of players such as David Backes, Danny Irmen, and John Snowden.  Ryan led the Stars in playoff scoring in 2002-03 (17 points in 10 games) in route to the Clark Cup.  Ryan was named USHL Forward of the Year, and USHL Player of the Year for the 2002-03 season.  After three productive seasons at the University of Minnesota, Ryan embarked on a lengthy pro career.  Potulny has scored 49 points in 126 NHL games.

Jean-Philippe Lamoureux:  "Phil" accumulated a record of 64-38-8 over the course of three seasons (2001-04) for the Stars, including a total of 13 shutouts.  Stopped 70 of 72 shots in the last two games of the 2003 USHL Clark Cup Finals against the River City Lancers to earn two big wins and clinch the Clark Cup for the Stars (the last time they have won the Clark).  Phil was named the USHL Goaltender of the Year for the 2003-04 season.  Phil played in 115 games for the Lincoln Stars, the most of any goaltender who as suited up for the organization.  After four seasons at the University of North Dakota, Phil has bounced around in minor pro hockey, mostly with AHL and ECHL teams.  The last three seasons he has played pro hockey in Austria.

David Backes:  Arguably the most famous alumni of the Lincoln Stars.  In 87 games over the course of two seasons (2001-2003) for the Stars, Backes racked up 90 points (39g, 51a) to go along with 180 penalty minutes.  David was a key part of the 2002-03 Lincoln Stars team that won both the Anderson and Clark Cups.  Backes scored the eventual game-winning goal in the deciding Game 5 of the 2003 USHL Clark Cup Finals against the River City (Omaha) Lancers.  After three successful seasons at the University of Minnesota-Mankato, Backes entered the NHL and has been a mainstay for the St. Louis Blues since.  In September of 2011, Backes became the 20th captain in the history of the St. Louis Blues.  David is a two-time Olympian and won a silver medal with Team USA in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Jared Boll:  Definitely a fan favorite during his time with the Stars.  In 2003-04, Boll arrived in Lincoln and scored 14 points (6g, 8a) and racked up 176 penalty minutes in 57 games played.  The next season, in 2004-05, Boll exploded with 47 points (23g, 24a) and a whopping 294 penalty minutes (team record for most in a season) in 59 games played.  After two seasons in Lincoln, Jared moved on to play two additional seasons of junior hockey, this time in the OHL with the Plymouth Whalers.  The past seven seasons, Jared has played a total of 416 NHL games with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Boll has been an alternate captain for the Blue Jackets.  At all levels played, Jared was definitely a guy who was fearless and was never afraid to drop the mitts.

Brandon Bollig:  Arguably one of the most popular players among the fans of the Lincoln Stars.  In 173 regular season games for the Stars, Bollig scored 73 points (37g, 36a) and racked up an incredible 593 penalty minutes (franchise record for most PIM's in a career).  During his heyday with the Lincoln Stars, Bollig was known to be one of the toughest heavyweights in the league.  Lincoln's rough and tumble style of hockey fit Bollig's style very well.  After spending two seasons playing college hockey at St. Lawrence University, Bollig signed with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks.  At the conclusion of the 2012-13 NHL season, Bollig became the first alumni of the Lincoln Stars to win the Stanley Cup when the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins in the finals.

Kevin Roy:  Kevin only played one season for the Lincoln Stars, but during that 2011-12 campaign, Roy crushed just about every Tier-1 USHL offensive record that previously existed.   In 59 games for the Stars, Roy scored a whopping 104 points (54g, 50).  In 8 playoff games that season, Kevin scored 10 points (7g, 3a).  His regular season point total was the most in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present) and the most by a player in over 20 years.  Kevin was also the first player in the USHL Tier-1 history to score 50 goals in a season.  As he smashed USHL records, he also smashed Lincoln Stars team records including most points and most goals in a season.  At the conclusion of the 2001-12 season, Kevin was named the USHL Forward of the Year and USHL Player of the Year.  Kevin was later drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 4th round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

All of the players noted above, save for Kevin Roy, have been inducted into the organization's "Stars of Fame."

Of all the players/coaches listed above, the only lock (in my opinion) is Steve Johnson.  You can't talk about the history of the Lincoln Stars and not start the conversation with Steve Johnson.  He put the Stars on the map.  As I stated above, he is the godfather of Lincoln Stars hockey.  There should be zero debate on if he should be one of the four faces.

My four faces?  Well, this was a VERY tough decision for me.  I was a season-ticket holder from 1996-99, so I was there to witness some great early teams and players.  I moved to Seattle in 2000, and lived there until 2006.  So I missed players like Backes, Fournier, Boll, Lamoreaux, and many others.  Since the 2006-07 season, I've been a season-ticket holder once again.  So I've seen a combination of both old and new.

Anyway, the four faces on my "Mount Puckmore" would be Steve Johnson, Derek Reynolds, David Backes, and Kevin Roy.

Derek Reynolds won the hearts of Stars fans instantly with his style of play.  He put the 1996-97 team on his back and led them to a league championship.  A lot of the new fans really missed out on one heck of a player.  I'm not sure the Stars become the first USHL expansion team to win the Clark Cup if it wasn't for Reynolds.

I never saw Backes play in a Stars uniform, but his accomplishments with the Lincoln Stars, the St. Louis Blues, and internationally (Olympics), are hard to ignore.  If someone were to ask you who the most famous alumni of the Lincoln Stars was, you'd likely say David Backes.

I may catch some flak for including Kevin Roy, but I feel that he is more than deserving.  In one season in Lincoln, Kevin did things that have never been done at the USHL Tier-1 level.  He smashed just about every offensive record for the Stars, and many for the USHL.  Countless times that season, Roy did things that left me amazed and shaking my head.  He's a once in a lifetime talent that we may never ever see again at the USHL level, let alone in Lincoln.

Nick Fouts and Chris Fournier were two names that were hard for me not to include in my list of four faces.  Fouts was my favorite player back in the day (still is), and I occasionally rock a #2 Fouts Stars jersey at the IceBox.  Fournier has worn the Stars jersey in more games than any other player, and before Kevin Roy, held the majority of the team's offensive records.

I only listed 12 above, but you could argue that there are others who should be included.  Players such as Danny Irmen, John Snowden, Jason Gregoire, David Reekie, and Paul LaDue.

Okay, now I want to here from you, the reader.  Who are your four faces for Lincoln's Mount Puckmore?  Please leave a comment below.  Like I said above, you do not need to register to leave a comment.  You can be anonymous, if you wish.

Go Stars.

Lincoln's preseason schedule released on Pointstreak

Quick article this morning with information that I know everyone out there in #StarsNation will appreciate.

Pointstreak has posted the USHL preseason schedule on its website.  I will post Lincoln's schedule below.  We already knew about 5 of the preseason games (3 at the USHL Atlantic Challenge, and 2 at the USHL Fall Classic).  Added to those five games are three more, including two at the IceBox!

I'll have to go back and research this a bit, but I can't remember the last time the Stars hosted a preseason game at the IceBox.  I think it may have been a game against the Tri-City Storm in 2009.  Regardless, I'm very stoked about the two home preseason games.

Friday, September 5th:  Cedar Rapids RoughRiders vs. Lincoln Stars  - 5:00pm EST - (USHL Atlantic Challenge in East Meadow, NY)

Saturday, September 6th:  Lincoln Stars vs. Team USA  - 3:30pm EST - (USHL Atlantic Challenge in East Meadow, NY)

Sunday, September 7th:  Lincoln Stars vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks - 12:30pm EST - (USHL Atlantic Challenge in East Meadow, NY)

Friday, September 12th:  Tri-City Storm vs. Lincoln Stars - 7:05pm CST - (at the IceBox)

Saturday, September 13th:  Lincoln Stars vs. Tri-City Storm - 7:05pm CST - (at the Viaero Event Center in Kearney, NE)

Tuesday, September 16th:  Sioux City Musketeers vs. Lincoln Stars - 7:05pm CST - (at the IceBox)

Friday, September 19th:  Lincoln Stars vs. Sioux Falls Stampede - 4:00pm CST - (USHL Fall Classic in Sioux City, IA)

Saturday, September 20th:  Muskegon Lumberjacks vs. Lincoln Stars - 1:00pm CST - (USHL Fall Classic in Sioux City, IA)

So the Stars will play a total of 8 preseason games in 16 days.  No rest for the weary.  This will give the Lincoln coaches and GM a good opportunity to see which players deserve to stay in Lincoln once the regular season begins in late September.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Stars trade (F) Ryan Lomberg to Youngstown

Quick article this evening to post some news that Stars GM Jon Hull announced earlier today via Twitter.
So less than one month after the Stars originally acquired Lomberg's rights from the Muskegon Lumberjacks, they have traded him to the Youngstown Phantoms.  Lomberg's rights were acquired by the Stars last month in return for a 11th round conditional entry draft pick.

It was not announced what the Stars got in return from Youngstown for Lomberg, but if I were to guess I'd say it was a draft pick or picks.  If there were any players coming to Lincoln in this trade, it would have been announced.  According to the USHL's Hockey Ops account, the Stars obtained three draft picks from Youngstown for Lomberg's rights.
So basically, the Stars traded an 11th round pick for a 2nd, 3rd, and 6th round picks.  Heck of a deal.  Incredible return.  I'm guessing here, but I assume the picks are conditional due to Lomberg not saying yet where he will play.  If he plays in Youngstown this upcoming season, then I assume all three picks go to Lincoln.  Again, just my guess.  The league, nor the teams, do a very good job explaining the reasons why certain picks are conditional.

Lomberg got into some legal trouble earlier this year after his sophomore season at the University of Maine.  Click here to read more about that.

What's interesting about the trade announcement is that Lomberg's legal case came to an end today.  He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was fined $1,000 (along with $252 for restitution).  Interesting timing.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Stars acquire (G) Cam Hackett, (F) Patrick Polino from Green Bay

Some unexpected news on this Saturday morning as the Lincoln Stars have announced via Twitter that they have acquired goaltender Cam Hackett and forward Patrick Polino from the Green Bay Gamblers.

No word yet on what the Stars traded to Green Bay for Hackett and Polino.  Edit:  Per the USHL Hockey Ops Twitter account, the Stars traded a conditional 2015 Phase I 4th round pick for Hackett and Polino.  That's it.  No players are going to Green Bay in this trade.  I'm shocked.

Cam Hackett ('96) is originally from Sault St. Marie, Ontario, Canada and was drafted by the Green Bay Gamblers in 6th round of the 2012 USHL Futures Draft.

Cam got his first taste of the USHL during the 2012-13 season with Green Bay.  In six games that season, he had a 3-2-1 record along with a 3.24 goals against average and a .895 save percentage.

Cam returned to the Gambers in 2013-14 and posted a 5-8-2 record in 18 games along with a 2.59 goals against average and a .908 save percentage.

From what I have read online, Hackett suffered from a high ankle sprain last October which kept him out of the lineup for almost three months.  While out of the lineup, Gamblers goaltender Jared Rutledge, who played at the University of Michigan in 2012-13, cemented his spot as the #1 goaltender.  So on paper, it doesn't appear that Hackett really got an opportunity to be the #1 goaltender last year for the Gamblers.

Jared Rutledge returns for the Gamblers this upcoming season, and the Gamblers also obtained goaltender Jason Pawloski in the Indiana Ice dispersal draft.  Pawloski was the USHL's Clark Cup MVP this past season, so the Gamblers have a logjam at the goaltender position for 2014-15.  Hackett was most likely the odd man out with Rutledge returning and the acquisition of Pawloski.  This trade allows Hackett to fight for a #1 position in Lincoln while in Green Bay he likely would never have had the opportunity.

In late 2012, Hackett committed to play college hockey at Cornell University.  However, he is no longer committed to Cornell from what I have read online.  So there is a good chance Hackett could play two seasons in Lincoln before heading off to college.  I assume Hackett, Hunter Shepard, and Peyton Jones will compete in the preseason for the two goaltending spots available on the roster.  Hackett has very good size, coming in at 6'2", 205 pounds.  I've been told Hackett is considered an import in the eyes of the USHL.

Patrick Polino ('95) hails from Buffalo, NY and was originally selected by the Chicago Steel in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft.  Patrick was a very high draft pick that year, going fourth overall to the Steel.

The season after he was drafted by Chicago, Patrick played the 2011-12 campaign with the Team Illinois U-18 program, which happens to be where Lincoln Stars GM Jon Hull used to coach.  Gotta think there's a connection there.

Polino played his first full USHL season in 2012-13, where he scored 24 points (9g, 15a) and added 50 penalty minutes in 60 games played.

 In 2013-14, Patrick was named an alternate captain for the Steel to begin the season.  In 31 games for the Steel, Polino scored 12 points (6g, 6a) and added 46 penalty minutes before he was traded to the Green Bay Gamblers.  Patrick finished the 2013-14 season in Green Bay where he only scored 1 point (assist) in 15 games played.

I'm friends with a hardcore Steel fan, and he told me that Polino was a favorite of his when he played in Chicago.  My friend described Polino has a very hard worker on the ice with a motor that does not stop.  Although he may not have put up a ton of points while in Chicago, Polino's effort was never in question according to my friend.  Hopefully the change of scenery from Green Bay to Lincoln will give Patrick an opportunity to get his scoring touch back and be a positive, veteran leader on the team.  Although he is a bit undersized at 5'9", 170 pounds, I've been told Polino plays a bigger game than his size indicates and won't take a shift off.

Looking at this trade from a fan's perspective, I like it.  Hackett (24 USHL games) and Polino (109 USHL games) have some good USHL experience and both should be hungry to come to Lincoln and play well to impress the college scouts out there.  Having a goaltender with USHL experience on the roster to start the season is a must, in my opinion.  I said in a previous blog article that it would not surprise me to see the Stars make some moves over the summer to address some experience needs in certain positions, and that is certainly what they did here.

Your thoughts on the trade?  Please leave a comment below.  I will edit this article to include the players/picks the Stars traded to Green Bay in return for Hackett and Polino once that information is made public.

Go Stars.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A look at the Lincoln Stars' protected roster

A few days ago, Chris Dilks of the SB-Nation College Hockey blog authored an article in which he posted the protected rosters of all USHL teams.

This came to a surprise to many, including myself.  I was told by the USHL's Hockey Ops Twitter account that teams had the option of releasing their 48 man protected roster (30-man main, 18-man affiliate).  If teams didn't want to release their rosters, they didn't have to.  So I expected most teams to not release their protected rosters, including the Stars.

I've been following the USHL for a long time now, and it seems like teams are becoming more and more tight-lipped about their protected rosters this time of year.  Why that is, I'm not exactly sure.  I would assume every USHL team in the league has the protected rosters of all the other teams.  So I would guess there are no secrets among USHL clubs.

Anyway, it was a nice surprise to see the rosters posted by Chris Dilks.  I'm sure some folks within the USHL circle probably weren't very happy that the protected rosters were released.  But considering the amount of people who originally had access to it, it was bound to find its way to the media and to the public who buy tickets.

I'm going to post Lincoln's 30-man main and 18-man affiliate roster below.  I'll post my thoughts afterwards, including a look back at my prediction article.  The players listed below are in no particular order.

30-player protected roster:
G - Hunter Shepard
G - Peyton Jones
D - Connor Frantti (Overager)
D - Luke Shiplo (Import)
D - Patrick Gazzillo
D - Tye Ausmus
D - Anthony Wyse
D - Dylan Woolf
D - Cameron Lee
D - Wyatt Kalynuk (Import)
D - Ryan Jones 
D - James LaDouce
D - Tony DeVito
F - Dominick Sacco
F - Max Humitz
F - Keegan Ward
F - Biagio Lerario
F - Blake Christensen
F - Ludvig Hoff (Import)
F - Jared Bethune
F - Angus Scott
F - Miguel Fidler
F - August Von Ungern-Sternberg
F - Chris Klack (Import)
F - Quin Foreman
F - Michael Gillespie
F - Colton Fletcher
F - Casey Dornbach
F - Dylan Malmquist
F - empty

18-player affiliate list:
D - Tristan Rostagno ('96)
F - Nathan Dingmann ('96)
D - Austin Cho ('97 - Import)
D - Luke Jaycox ('97)
D - Tyler Jutting ('97)
F - Josh Bell ('97)
F - Michael Floodstrand ('97)

F - Troy Terry ('97)
G - Tommy Nappier ('98)
D - AJ DiCesare ('98)
D - Liam Schioler ('98 - Import)
F - Jack Badini ('98)
F - Sam Field ('98)
F - Ethen Frank ('98)
F - Jacob Harris ('98 - Import)
F - Dominick Mersch ('98)
F - Ethan Stahlhuth ('98)
F - Kyle Weller ('98)

I noticed that the protected roster sent in by the Stars has James LaDouce listed as a forward, but he is a defenseman.

Looking back at my roster prediction article, of the 48 players listed, I got 44 correct.  Not too bad.  The three players listed I had listed in my prediction article that were not included above were Evan Johnson, Cade Gleekel, and Grant Loven.  

The two surprise additions in my opinion were (D) Patrick Gazzillo, and (F) Michael Floodstrand.  Gazzillo was at Lincoln's tryout camp this past fall, but did not make the camp all-star game.  I heard later that he was attending the Madison Capitols' tryout camp, and had made their 30-man protected roster.  That obviously wasn't the case as he is listed here.  My guess is that the Stars have him protected in case any other USHL teams would like to trade for him.

As far as I'm aware, Michael Floodstrand will be playing for the NTDP U-18 team this fall, and will be attending Harvard the following year.  Floodstrand is a former futures draft pick of Lincoln, so I assume they are protecting him here in case one of two things happen:  1) Floodstrand doesn't play for the U-18's this year, or 2) Harvard pushes him back to 2016. 

You'll notice that the Stars only protected 29 players on their 30-man roster, leaving an open spot that I assume will be filled by (F) Ryan Lomberg.  Click here to read more about how the Stars acquired Lomberg.

On paper, this will be a very young, talented, yet inexperienced team.  There are some good veteran forwards coming back, and a few defensemen, but neither goaltender has USHL experience.  You'll notice there are a lot of players born in 1996 and 1997 on the 30-man roster, and not too many players born in 1994 or 1995.  So it may take this team a little bit of time to get adjusted to the speed and skill of the USHL.

Is this a playoff team?  It's still too early for me to even guess.  A lot can happen to the roster above between now and September.  It would not surprise me at all if more trades are made during the summer.  I think it would be wise to add a little more experience to this team.

What I do know is that this will be a quick, disciplined, and skilled team.  Unlike in years past, I very much doubt this team will lead the USHL in penalty minutes.  In fact, I'd be willing to bet big money with anyone that this team will not even lead the western conference in penalty minutes.  The new staff in place will stress puck possession and smart, physical hockey.  It will be a change for what most fans have witnessed at the IceBox over the years, but I think it will be a good change.

 If this club can play .500 hockey the first couple of months of the season, then I'll be very happy.  I anticipate this team getting better as the season progresses as the younger players get accustomed to the league.  What I like about the preseason and regular season schedule is that the Stars will hit the ice earlier (late August, early September) in preparation for the USHL Atlantic Challenge preseason tournament in New York.  No late starts like in past seasons.  Also, the Stars will start the 2014-15 regular season with five straight home games.  Good opportunity there for a young team to build some confidence early playing in from of the home crowd.

I'm already excited for the upcoming season, and wish we could fast forward to late September.  I haven't been this excited about Lincoln Stars hockey in a long time.  It is certainly a new era for this organization.  I'm looking forward to the positive changes ahead.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about this roster.  Please leave a comment below.

Go Stars.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Stars acquire Ryan Lomberg from Muskegon

Courtesy of Rich Images Photography
This bit of news was leaked via Twitter yesterday, but it was made official today via the USHL Hockey Ops Twitter account.

The Lincoln Stars have acquired the rights to '94 forward Ryan Lomberg from the Muskegon Lumberjacks in return for a conditional 11th round pick in the 2015 USHL Phase II draft.

The native of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada last played for Muskegon back in 2011-12, where he was the team's leading scorer with 40 points (22g, 18a) in 52 games played, to go along with 154 penalty minutes.

For the past two seasons, Lomberg has played college hockey at the University of Maine where he scored 32 points (18g, 14a), and added 82 penalty minutes in 66 total games played.

Jeff Cox of the SB-Nation College Hockey blog broke this story yesterday, so I'm going to copy-paste his article below since he did a good job summarizing why Lomberg became available after completing his sophomore season at the University of Maine.

Acording to multiple sources, suspended Maine forward Ryan Lomberg could be on the move to the USHL. The Lincoln Stars will acquire the rights of the Richmond Hill, Ontario native from the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
Lomberg was suspended from the hockey team pending an assault charge against him stemming from an off-campus dispute back in April. He has plead not guilty in Penobscot County Court to the charges. According to several sources and police documents, the incident was provoked by an argument over an acquaintance's dog.
A University of Maine athletic spokesperson said the hockey program has no comment on the matter at this time. This transaction doesn't mean Lomberg is leaving the school or the hockey program, but it certainly points in that direction. A '94, Lomberg has one remaining season of junior eligibility.
Lomberg, Maine's third leading goal scorer as a sophomore, had 11 goals and seven assists in 34 games. A graduate of the Hill School in Ontario, Lomberg scored 22 goals and added 18 assists in 52 games played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks during the 2011-12 season.

Jeff Cox tweeted last night that sources at the University of Maine told him that Lomberg is likely off the team and will report to Lincoln.

Okay, now my thoughts.  I'll be the first to admit I don't know all of Lomberg's story.  There are a lot of articles out there on the internet about his recent legal issues, and I've read the majority of them.  I'm a bit hesitant to give my opinion here because there may be more to the story than what has been reported in the media.

However, on paper, I'm not sure I'm a big fan of this acquisition.  Considering the recent legal trouble of two former players, I'm a little surprised the Stars would take on a player who as far as I can tell, is awaiting trial for assault and disorderly conduct.  The addition of Lomberg, in my opinion, is a bit of a head scratcher.  Why add to the negative attention (warranted, or not) the team is getting as of late.

But as I've said plenty of times, I'm just an idiot with a blog.  Maybe I don't know all of the story.  I can only trust that the Stars have done their due diligence.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out over the summer.  I will post any updates here on the blog as soon as I'm aware.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Congrats to Keegan Ward

Quick article to report some news that was tweeted this evening by Lincoln Stars forward Keegan Ward.

Keegan Ward has committed to play his collegiate hockey at Northern Michigan University.  Click here to read the tweet.

Although he didn't mention it in his tweet, I assume Keegan will enroll at Northern Michigan the fall of 2015 or 2016.  NMU is located in Marquette, Michigan (upper peninsula area).  The NMU Wildcats play in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).

Ward will begin his second season with the Lincoln Stars in 2014-15.  In limited action last season, Keegan scored 3 points (1g, 2a) and accumulated 68 penalty minutes in 25 games for the Stars.

Former Stars forward Dominik Shine just completed his freshman season at Northern Michigan.  Current Stars defenseman Connor Frantti has committed to play at NMU, also.

Congrats to Keegan!  It's obvious that he loves to play the physical game, but I'm hoping we see more of a well-rounded game from Keegan in 2014-15.  Getting more playing time in this upcoming season should help with that.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

USHL releases 2014-15 regular season schedule

Hooray! The USHL released the 2014-15 regular season schedule today. 

 Click here to read the official press release from the USHL.

Click here to see the 2014-15 season schedule for the Lincoln Stars.

Just like in 2013-14, the Stars will play 32 games at home next season and 28 on the road.  More on that odd number later on in this article.

The Lincoln Stars will open the 2014-15 regular season at home on Friday, September 26th against the Tri-City Storm.  Looking forward to that game at the IceBox already.  Less than 80 days away!

Here are some highlights of the Stars' season schedule:

  • In the first half of the season (30 games), the Stars will play 16 games at home, and 14 games on the road.  

  • In the second half of the season (30 games), the Stars will play 16 games at home and 14 games on the road.

  • The 32 games at the IceBox consist of 17 Friday night games, 10 Saturday night games, 3 Tuesday night games, 1 Wednesday and 1 Sunday night home game.

  • The Sunday (10/5/14) home game against Waterloo is the first Sunday game at the IceBox since October 19th, 2003 when the Stars beat Waterloo by a score of 6-1.

  • The Stars will play at the IceBox on Halloween (Friday, October 31st) against the Waterloo Blackhawks.

  • The Stars will be on the road on 12/31/14 in Waterloo, IA against the Blackhawks.  The annual New Year's Eve game in Waterloo is becoming a bit of a tradition, unfortunately.

  • The Stars will be at home on Wednesday, November 26th (the day before Thanksgiving) against the Cedar Rapids Roughriders.  On Thanksgiving day, Lincoln will be on the road in Sioux City, IA to face the Musketeers. 

  • The Stars will play four weekday (not counting Friday) games at home: vs. Des Moines (Tuesday 11/11/14), vs. Cedar Rapids (Wednesday 11/26/14), vs. Tri-City (Tuesday 3/10/15), vs. Omaha (Tuesday 3/31/15).

  • The Stars will play 7 of their first 10 games of the regular season at home at the IceBox.

  • The longest home-stand at the IceBox is 7 games (late January into February).

  • The longest road swing for the Stars is 4 games (occurs twice during the season).

  • Back-to-Back games against the same opponent occur a whopping 10 times during the season.

  • Although the Stars play every eastern conference team twice in 2014-15, some of those teams will not visit the IceBox.  Conversely, the Stars will not visit every eastern conference city.  Eastern conference teams we will not see at the IceBox during the 2014-15 season are Youngstown, and Green Bay.  Eastern conference teams the Stars will not travel to for 2014-15 are Muskegon, Bloomington, Chicago, and Ann Arbor (Team USA).

  • Lincoln does not have any stretches where they will play three games in three consecutive nights.  That's down from 3 last season, so that's definitely good news.

  • The Stars will play 42 games against Western Conference opponents, and 18 games against Eastern Conference opponents.  The 18 games against eastern conference foes is up from 16 games last season.  

  • As I mentioned above, for the second straight season, the Stars will play more games at home than on the road.  How did that happen?  Well, those two games were "relocated" by the league after an agreement was made between the Stars and the Lumberjacks and Steel.  Instead of a road trip to Muskegon and Chicago next season, the Stars will play those two games at the IceBox.  Those four points could be huge at the end of the season when teams are jockeying for playoff position.  But to get those four points you have to take advantage of home ice and win the two games.

  • One big positive of the schedule is the lack of home game conflicts with the Nebraska Huskers home football schedule, and the Huskers home volleyball schedule.  I looked at both of those Husker schedules, and as far as I can tell, there is only one conflict.  Just one.  That takes place very early in the season on Friday, October 3rd when the Husker volleyball team plays at Devaney.  Other than that lone game, no conflicts.  Props to the Stars front office for that one.

  • # of games against opponents:
    Omaha - 8  (same as last season)
    Tri-City - 8  (same as last season)
    Des Moines - 8  (same as last season)
    Fargo - 4  (down from 6 last season)
    Sioux Falls - 4  (down from 6 last season)
    Sioux City - 6  (up from 4 last season)
    Waterloo - 4  (same as last season)
    Cedar Rapids - 2  (same as last season)
    Dubuque - 2  (same as last season)
    Youngstown - 2  (same as last season)
    Chicago - 2  (same as last season)
    Green Bay - 2  (same as last season)
    Muskegon - 2  (same as last season)
    Team USA - 2  (same last season)
    Bloomington - 2 (expansion team starting in 2014-15)
    Madison - 2 (expansion team starting in 2014-15)

    At first glance, I like this schedule quite a bit.  It's no secret the Stars will be a very young, and somewhat inexperienced club to start the 2014-15 season.  Having 7 of the first 10 games at the IceBox should allow some of those younger players to build confidence playing in front of the home crowd.

    I also like the fact that the Stars will not play any back-to-back-to-back games.  Those are brutal stretches, and the Stars have never done very well in those third games.  I doubt you'd find too many USHL teams that play well in that third game, however.

    It's great that the Stars worked around the Nebraska football and volleyball schedules to avoid any parking nightmares at the IceBox.  We can deal with only one conflict with the volleyball team.

    Okay, I'd like to hear from you now. Your thoughts on the new schedule?  Start planning those road trips!  

    Stars lose forward Troy Terry to the NTDP U-18 Team

    Troy Terry in action at the Stars' 2014 tryout camp
    Photo courtesy of Brandon Anderson
    Some bad news for #StarsNation today as '97 forward Troy Terry has been cherry picked from the Lincoln Stars by the NTDP program.  Terry will play for the Team USA U-18 squad for the upcoming 2014-15 season.

    Just last week, Terry participated in the USA Hockey Select 17 Tournament in Buffalo, NY where he made one of the two camp all-star teams and was eventually named to the 2014 USA Hockey Ivan Hlinka team.  From what I've been told, Terry played so well in that particular tournament that the NTDP also offered him a spot on the U-18 team.

    Terry was acquired by the Lincoln Stars this past May in the Indiana Ice dispersal draft.  Terry was originally selected by the Indiana Ice in the 3rd round of the 2013 USHL Futures Draft.

    I don't blame Troy for jumping all over this opportunity.  Although there have been players over the years who have spurned the NTDP, the majority of those who when asked by the program, eagerly report to Ann Arbor (NTDP headquarters).  The NTDP spends a LOT of money on a select few hockey players every year.  Not everyone is a fan of the NTDP (myself included).  In fact, the late Herb Brooks was very, very critical of the program.

    Regardless, the program itself is a great way for players to be seen by a ton of NHL scouts.  Troy will get the opportunity to play both against international, USHL, and college competition this next season.  That's a big jump for a player who last year was participating in U-16 AAA hockey, but I think he'll do just fine.  He'll get a lot of attention heading into his first NHL draft year (2015), and he'll definitely get better as a hockey player.

    I confirmed with Troy that he just finished the 10th grade, so there is a good chance he will play his senior year of high school here in Lincoln for the 2015-16 season.  However, some media outlets like Heisenberg's and Elite Prospects show Troy attending Denver University (where he has committed to play college hockey) starting the fall of 2015.  A lot can happen between now and the fall of 2015, so it will be a wait and see situation.

    This reminds me a lot of the circumstances the Stars dealt with in the summer of 2012 with forward Sean Malone.  Malone was a highly-touted player out of the Buffalo, NY area that the Stars selected in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft.  It was looking like Sean would play the 2012-13 season in Lincoln, but after a very good performance at the USA Hockey Select 17 tournament in the summer of 2012, the NTDP poached Sean from the Stars.  Sean played the 2012-13 season for the U-18's, then went to Harvard University the season after that.  Sean never got to play a game in a Lincoln Stars uniform.

    The NTDP is bulletproof, and can cherry pick at will.  They certainly don't need the Stars' approval to roster Terry or any other player already protected by a USHL team.  The NTDP brings the USHL too much positive attention (especially around NHL draft time) for them to be held to a higher standard by the league.  I'm just not a fan of the process of the NTDP being allowed to cherry pick players from competing teams in the same league.  That seems odd to me, but what do I know.

    The Stars do not get any compensation from the USHL or the NTDP for the Team USA selecting Terry.  No extra draft pick, or monetary compensation.  The only thing the Stars are able to do now is protect an extra player on their affiliate list for the 2014-15 season since Terry will not be playing here.

    Again, I don't ever fault the player for choosing the NTDP over a USHL team.  It's a no brainer for a player to choose to play for his country and the NTDP.  This one stings, though.  Terry really impressed me at Lincoln's tryout camp, and I know he would have been a top six forward for the Stars in this upcoming season.  I guess we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that he plays in Lincoln in 2015-16.


    Monday, July 7, 2014

    Lincoln Stars players at 2014 NHL Development Camps

    While we're waiting for the protected roster and affiliate list to be released by the Stars, I thought I'd post a list of current and former Stars who are attending NHL development camp in the upcoming weeks.  Most of the information I posted below came from the HFBoards.com site.

    For this particular list, I only noted players who played in at least 20 games for the Lincoln Stars.  If I've forgotten anyone below, please let me know.  You can leave a comment or send me an email at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com.

    This list could change, as NHL teams such as Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey,  Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh have not released their development camp rosters yet.

    Anaheim Ducks
    (F) Kevin Roy, Northeastern University

    Chicago Blackhawks
    (F) Zach Aston-Reese, Northeastern University
    (F) Luke Johnson, University of North Dakota

    Dallas Stars
    (D) Cole Martin, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

    Detroit Red Wings
    (G) Jared Coreau, Northern Michigan University 
    (D) Mike McKee, Western Michigan Univeristy

    Edmonton Oilers
    (F) John McCarron, Cornell University

    Minnesota Wild
    (F) Vinni Lettieri, University of Minnesota
    (F) Eric Scheid, Penn State University

    Florida Panthers
    (F) Miguel Fidler, Edina HS (MN)

    New York Rangers
    (F) Vinni Lettieri, University of Minnesota

    Ottawa Senators
    (F) Ryan Dzingel, Ohio State University

    Winnipeg Jets
    (D) Ralfs Freibergs, Bowling Green University

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

    Predicting the Stars' 30-player protected roster and affiliate list

    I've done this the past four seasons, so I figured I'd do it again this year.  It's interesting to compare my predictions against what the official roster looks like once it is released.  

    A reminder, each USHL team has until 7/9/14 to submit their protected roster to the league.  

    Teams also will submit an 18-player affiliate roster, which consists of two players born in 1996, six players born in 1997, and ten players born in 1998.  Players protected on the affiliate roster can only be former draft picks of that particular team, and not undrafted "free agents."

    Here are my predictions.  I'm just a fan who follows the team, so this is just my educated guess.  I'm in no way affiliated with the Stars.  I have received some insider info on some of the players, and others are just wild guesses on my part after watching the tryout camp.  Some players have stated on Twitter that they made the team, so I use that info also.  The players listed below are in no particular order.

    30-player protected roster:
    G - Hunter Shepard
    G - Peyton Jones
    D - Connor Frantti (Overager)
    D - Luke Shiplo (Import)
    D - Tristan Rostagno
    D - Tye Ausmus
    D - Anthony Wyse
    D - Dylan Woolf
    D - Cameron Lee
    D - Wyatt Kalynuk (Import)
    D - James LaDouce
    D - Tony DeVito
    F - Dominick Sacco
    F - Max Humitz
    F - Keegan Ward
    F - Biagio Lerario
    F - Blake Christensen
    F - Ludvig Hoff (Import)
    F - Jared Bethune
    F - Angus Scott
    F - Miguel Fidler
    F - August Von Ungern-Sternberg
    F - Troy Terry
    F - Chris Klack (Import)
    F - Quin Foreman
    F - Michael Gillespie
    F - Colton Fletcher
    F - Casey Dornbach
    F - Dylan Malmquist
    F - Evan Johnson

    18-player affiliate list:
    D - Ryan Jones ('96)
    F - Nathan Dingmann ('96)
    D - Austin Cho ('97 - Import)
    D - Luke Jaycox ('97)
    D - Tyler Jutting ('97)
    F - Josh Bell ('97)
    F - Cade Gleekel ('97)

    F - Grant Loven ('97)
    G - Tommy Nappier ('98)
    D - AJ DiCesare ('98)
    D - Liam Schioler ('98 - Import)
    F - Jack Badini ('98)
    F - Sam Field ('98)
    F - Ethen Frank ('98)
    F - Jacob Harris ('98 - Import)
    F - Dominick Mersch ('98)
    F - Ethan Stahlhuth ('98)
    F - Kyle Weller ('98)

    Because the affiliate list is age specific, and can contain only draft picks, a lot of USHL teams will fill that specific roster up with players they know will make the team next season so they can protect more players (and free agents) on the main 30-player roster.  Players on the affiliate roster can be brought up to play for the Stars at any point during the regular season.

    As we've seen in seasons past, the Stars will likely bring players from both the main protected roster and the affiliate list to the USHL Fall Classic in September.  After the Fall Classic, the Stars will have to cut down to 23 total players on the main roster, and that group will start the 2014-15 regular season.  A lot can happen to the roster between the 7/9 deadline and opening night of the regular season.  This is just a very small step towards that final cut of 23.

    Another reminder, each USHL team can only roster four "overagers."  For this upcoming 2014-15 season, any player born in 1994 is considered an overager.  Also, each team can roster a maximum of four "imports."  Imports are players who were not born in the USA.  However, if a foreign born player participates in at least 3 years of organized hockey in the United States, he is no longer considered an "import" in the eyes of the USHL.  Defenseman Cameron Lee falls into this category.

    Again, these are just my opinions, and in the grand scheme of things, my opinions don't mean much at all.  They are just one fan's observations.  I'd appreciate any feedback!  Feel free to leave a comment below, or email me at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com.  Thanks for reading.

    Go Stars.

    Sunday, June 22, 2014

    Stars to play in Atlantic Challenge - Fall Classic preseason tournaments

    The Lincoln Stars will participate in two different preseason tournaments this September.  One of which is very familiar to Stars fans, the other not so much.

    The lesser known USHL Atlantic Challenge preseason tournament had its inaugural run in 2013, and the Lincoln Stars will take part in this tournament this fall.

    The dates of this particular tournament are September 5-7, and it will take place in East Meadow, NY.  The three other USHL teams participating in the Atlantic Challenge will be the Muskegon Lumberjacks, Cedar Rapids Roughriders, and the NTDP Team USA squad.

    The Stars will play a total of three games at the Atlantic Challenge tournament, against the three other USHL teams I noted above.  The specific game schedule for this tourney is noted below:

    USHL Atlantic Challenge Schedule

    Friday, September 5th

    5:00 PM – Cedar Rapids RoughRiders vs. Lincoln Stars

    8:00 PM – Team USA vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks

    Saturday, September 6th

    3:30 PM – Lincoln Stars vs. Team USA U-18
    6:30 PM – Muskegon Lumberjacks vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

    Sunday, September 7th

    12:30 PM – Lincoln Stars vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks

    *All times are Eastern Daylight Time

    The fact that this tournament takes place during the first week of September leads me to believe the Stars will report to Lincoln much earlier than in years past.  I'm guessing that the Stars will want to open training camp in mid to late August in order to prepare for the Atlantic Challenge tournament.

    The more well known preseason tournament, the annual USHL Fall Classic (West), will take place once again at the Tyson Event Center in Sioux City, IA.

    I will post the game schedule of this tournament below, with the two Lincoln games in bold.

    USHL Fall Classic West Schedule

    Friday, September 19th, 2014

    10:00 AM – Muskegon Lumberjacks vs. Fargo Force

    1:00 PM – Tri-City Storm vs. Des Moines Buccaneers

    4:00 PM – Lincoln Stars vs. Sioux Falls Stampede

    7:00 PM – Sioux City Musketeers vs. Omaha Lancers

    Saturday, September 20th, 2014

    10:00 AM – Tri-City Storm vs. Fargo Force

    1:00 PM – Muskegon Lumberjacks vs. Lincoln Stars

    4:00 PM – Omaha Lancers vs. Des Moines Buccaneers

    7:00 PM – Sioux City Musketeers vs. Sioux Falls Stampede

    I like that the Fall Classic West will take place on a Friday-Saturday, as opposed to Thursday-Friday as first announced.  Having it on a Fri-Sat will allow more fans to make the trek to Sioux City and attend the event.

    I'm planning on attending at the Fall Classic in Sioux City, but unless I win the lottery in the near future, I will not be in New York in early September for the Atlantic Challenge tournament.

    So as of right now, the Stars will play 5 preseason games, unless others are added in the future.  Lets hope we finally get that preseason game at the IceBox we've all been waiting for.

    Go Stars.