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 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

    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  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.

    Saturday, June 21, 2014

    Yeti's All-B³ Tryout Camp Team - Goal Stats From Camp

    One last article about the 2014 Lincoln Stars tryout camp, I promise.  I'm sure some of you are already sick of all the camp updates and are ready to drop the puck.  I'm right there with you.  September can't come soon enough.

    I thought I'd highlight some of the non-returning players who impressed me the most at camp and continue our annual B³ tryout camp team.  Nothing against our returning veteran players because ALL of them looked great at camp.  The vets are definitely the top of the food chain, so to speak.  I just thought it might be nice to highlight some of the lesser known players at tryout camp who impressed me the most.  Here they are.

    All-B³ Team
    Forward: Troy Terry
    Forward: Michael Gillespie
    Forward: Dominick Mersch
    Defense: Cameron Lee
    Defense: Wyatt Kalynuk
    Goalie: Hunter Shepard

    Honorable mention:  (G) Peyton Jones, (D) Ryan Jones, (D) Tony DeVito, (F) August von Ungern-Sternberg, (F) Miguel Fidler, (F) Jack Badini

    There's a good chance you'll see most of the players mentioned above in a Lincoln Stars uniform at some point next season, or in the future.

    Also, here's a list of the top goal-scorers from camp.  A total of 60 different players scored at least one goal at camp, which is an amazingly high number considering there were 120 total players (108 non-goaltenders) who participated.  I'm only going to post the players who scored two or more goals below.

    Goal Leaders:
    Sander Boroczky - 5
    Biagio Lerario - 5
    Dominick Sacco - 5
    Jonathan Desbiens - 4
    Dominick Mersch- 4
    Troy Terry - 4
    Josh Bell - 3
    Miguel Fidler - 3
    Colton Fletcher - 3
    Michael Gillespie - 3
    Endre Medby - 3
    Angus Scott - 3
    Luke Voltin - 3
    Jack Badini - 2
    Elijiah Barriga - 2
    Conner Blanck - 2
    Darren Brady - 2
    Blake Brazil - 2
    Willie Brown - 2
    Bryce Christensen - 2
    Danny DiGrande - 2
    Nathan Dingmann - 2
    Chris Klack - 2
    Wes Michaud - 2
    Michael Miller - 2
    August von Ungern-Sternberg - 2

    Friday, June 20, 2014

    Photos from 2014 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp

    Much thanks go to Stars team photographer Brandon Anderson for allowing me to share some of his photos from the 2014 Lincoln Stars tryout camp.

    Click the read more link below to view all of the photos in this article.

    Stars forward Max Humitz watches the action

    2014 Tryout Camp Review and other notes

    Photo courtesy of Brandon Anderson
    First of all, I want to thank the Lincoln Stars organization for a very successful camp, and for making me feel welcome.  Special thanks to Stars General Manager Jon Hull for providing me with roster sheets for the main camp.  

    Just like the last few years, I thought the 2014 camp was run extremely well.  Just about every player parent I talked to at tryouts stated that they thought it was a great idea to hold the camp at Ridder Arena, and the facilities there on campus were top-notch. 

    I know most of the fans in Lincoln wish the camp was still held in Omaha, but I'm convinced that hosting the tryouts in Minneapolis has attracted a number of players who might not have reported to Omaha.  I talked to a few parents this past weekend who stated exactly that.  They brought their son to Minneapolis because it was easier to fly/drive into.  Also, there's no doubt that the players are exposed to more college and pro scouts in Minnesota than they would be in Omaha.  So I really hope the Stars organization continues to host this camp in Minneapolis.  It's a winner, without a doubt.

    There was some talk late last season from new owner Ryan Schiff of holding the tryout camp at the IceBox in Lincoln, so it will be interesting to see if that comes to fruition next year.  Like any Stars fan, I would really enjoy having a camp here in Lincoln, but the fact remains it is much easier for a player/parent to travel to a city like Minneapolis than it is to Lincoln.  There's also no doubt that the facilities in Minneapolis are 10x better than what is currently in place at the IceBox.

    So what's next?  Well, the Lincoln Stars (and every other USHL team) have until July 9th to firm up their 30-player protected roster, along with their 18-player affiliate roster, and send it into the league.  On September 1st, that list of 30 players has to be cut down to 25.  At that time, the Stars will have a 25-player protected list, and the 18 players on their affiliate list.  To understand it a little better, click here to view the protected roster the Stars released after the 2013 camp last year.  I believe any player protected on the affiliate list has to have been previously drafted by the Stars (i.e., no undrafted free agents).  

    The 18-player affiliate list next season will consist of ten players born in 1998, six players born in 1997, and two players born in 1996.  Players on the affiliate list can be brought up during the regular season by the Stars at any time.

    The Stars will take those 25 protected players, along with some of the affiliate players, to the "USHL Fall Classic West" tournament which will be held in Sioux City, Iowa on September 19th and 20th.  After the mini Fall Classic tourney, the Stars will have to cut down to 23 players and those players will be on the roster on opening night of the 2014-15 USHL regular season.  So the cuts are basically, 30-25-23.  Between now and early October there could still be a lot of roster-shuffling done.  It would not surprise me at all if some trades occur during the offseason.

    While some other USHL teams will release their protected roster before the 7/9/14 deadline, I doubt we'll see anything released from the Stars until early July.  I've already heard of a few players who made the Lincoln roster (via Twitter), but until the Stars put out an official release, I won't be posting any rumors here.  As soon as the Stars make it official I will post it here.  Like every year, I'll also post my predictions on which players I think make the roster.  I'll do that before the 7/9/14 deadline.

    Speaking of early July, sometime that month the USHL should release the 2014-15 regular season schedule.  It's always interesting to look over the new schedule when that's released.  

    I've got a couple of blog articles I'm working on that should be posted this weekend sometime.  The first is my annual "B³ tryout camp all-star team," in which I will highlight some of the top non-veteran players who caught my eye at camp.  I'll also post an article recapping the two preseason tournaments the Stars will play in this September.

    If I missed anything, please leave a blog comment or send me an email at

    Go Stars.

    Sunday, June 15, 2014

    2014 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp All-Star Game (Live Results)

    The 2014 Lincoln Stars tryout camp concludes Sunday with the lone all-star game, which begins at noon.

    Click here to view the tryout camp all-star roster.

    I'm going to use this blog article today to keep a live, running summary of the action as it happens.  So just keep hitting refresh after noon to see information added below.  I'll use Twitter as well to post info.

    Players are currently warming up as I type this.  The all-star game will be run like a normal game with three, 20-minute periods.

    1st Period
    -First penalty goes to #3 Royal defenseman Tye Ausmus - Tripping at the 2:00 mark.  White on the PP.
    -Starting goaltenders are Hunter Shepard for Royal and Peyton Jones for White.
    -We're at the halfway point of the first period and the score it still 0-0.  Shots are 9-2 in favor of White
    -GOAL: Team Royal goal scored by forward Michael Gillespie at 11:49 mark of the first period.  Nice play by Gillespie to crash the net and pick up a loose rebound a few feet in front of White goaltender Peyton Jones.  Team Royal leads 1-0.
    -The first period is complete with Team Royal leading 1-0 over Team White.  Shots are 12-9 in favor of Team White.  I thought both goaltender played very well, especially Hunter Shepard who made some big early saves.  Second period coming up in about 15 minutes.

    2nd Period
    -We're underway in the second period.  Score is 1-0 Team Royal over Team White.
    -Switch in goaltenders as White netminder Tommy Nappier and Royal netminder Quentin Prokopetz enter the game.
    -Hooking penalty on White forward Blake Christensen at the 4:05 mark of the period.  Royal goes on the PP.
    -GOAL: Team White knots the score at 1-1 with a goal from forward Dominick Mersch.  Primary assist goes to forward Troy Terry who had a nice curl-drag move before finding the wide open Mersch at the side of the net.
    -Halfway through the period and the score is still tied at 1-1.  Shots are 19-18 in favor of Team White.
    -Hooking penalty on Royal forward Michael Gillespie.  White goes on the PP.
    -GOAL: With about a little over a minute left in the second period, a Team Royal turnover in their own zone allowed White forward Troy Terry to gain control of the puck before putting it five-hole past goaltender Quentin Prokopetz. White leads 2-1.
    -End of the period with Team White leading 2-1 over Royal.  Shots are 25-24 in favor of Team White.

    3rd Period
    -We're underway in the third period.  Team White leads 2-1 over Team Royal.
    -Royal goaltender Quentin Prokopez, and White goaltender Tommy Nappier are in net to start the period.
    -GOAL: Team Royal ties it up thanks to a nifty backhand high-glove side shot by forward Biagio Lerario.  Nice individual effort by the Stars veteran.
    -GOAL:  Less than a minute after the Lerario goal, Royal strikes again to take a 3-2 lead.  This time it was forward Chris Klack with the goal.  I have to be honest, I was typing up the Lerario goal and I missed how Klack scored this one.
    -Penalty to Royal defenseman Tye Ausmus who get a five-minute major for boarding, I believe.  White defenseman Cameron Lee was on the receiving end of the hit and was slow to get up.  White goes on the PP.
    -Royal PK unit does a good job of killing the entire five-minute major on Ausmus.
    -I've just been informed we will play a 10 minute 3-on-3 overtime period after the third period, regardless of the score.
    -3:46 remaining in the third period with Royal still leading 3-2 over White.
    -End of regulation with Team Royal on top 3-2.  Shots were 34-32 in favor of Royal through three periods.

    10-minute 3-on-3 OT period
    -White goaltender Hunter Shepard and Royal goaltender Peyton Jones are back in net to start the OT period
    -Halfway thru the period the score is still 3-2 in favor of White.  Tommy Nappier and Quentin Prokopetz are back in net for their respective teams.
    -Royal forward Biagio Lerario is denied on a penalty shot attempt late in the period by White goaltender Tommy Nappier.
    -Neither team can score in the OT period.  Royal wins this one by a score of 3-2.

    Edit:  I'm going to add some of my thoughts from this game here at the end of the article.

    Speed, skill, and youth.  It was certainly on display in the 2014 Lincoln Stars tryout camp all-star game.  It's hard to know what the 2014-15 roster will look like on opening night, but if it looks anything like what I watched on Sunday, the Stars will be a much quicker team than they've ever had in the past.  They'll likely be a very young team, also.

    In terms of the goaltenders, I thought all four played very well.  Hunter Shepard was tested early and often in the first period as Royal put 12 shots on goal, but he stopped them all.  I think it's going to be Hunter Shepard and Peyton Jones (both draft picks) who will end up making Lincoln's 30-player protected roster, which must be turned into the league by July 9th.  Shepard and Jones struggled a bit the first couple of days at camp, but I thought both finished very, very strong in the last day or so.

    For this all-star game, I'm not going list certain players who stood out to me because they all looked great.  These players wouldn't have been selected for the all-star game if they hadn't had a great camp.

    I will, however, name a MVP from each team.  My MVP of Team Royal goes forward Biagio Lerario.  I've mentioned Biagio's name quite a bit during camp, but he deserves the spotlight.  He hustles, plays good defense, hits anything that moves, and scores goals.  You can tell he's ready to take a leadership role on this young team, also.

    My MVP of Team White goes to forward Troy Terry who finished this game with 2 points (1g, 1a).  Terry was acquired by the Lincoln Stars just a few weeks ago in the Indiana Ice dispersal draft.  The common theme at camp was the amount of young talented players who stood out, and Terry certainly fits that mold.  Very smart with the puck, and good hockey IQ.  The DU commit should be in Lincoln this fall.

    That's it for me at the 2014 Lincoln Stars tryout camp!  I hope what I offered this week was beneficial to those reading.

    Later in the week I will post a tryout camp review article, along with my B³ all-star team and total goal statistics from all of the tryout camp games.

    Thanks for reading.  Go Stars.


    Saturday, June 14, 2014

    2014 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp: Day Three (Afternoon)

    Team Bollig goaltender Peyton Jones
    Photo courtesy of Brandon Anderson
    A grey, rainy Saturday in Minneapolis was the setting for day three of the 2014 Lincoln Stars tryout camp at Ridder Arena.

    As was the case on Friday, the afternoon session on Saturday began promptly at 2:00pm.  

    Not surprisingly, I thought the overall play on Saturday improved compared to what I saw on Friday.  I think the players are getting better accustomed to the pace of play along with feeling more comfortable with their teammates.

    Game #10:  Team Boll (Columbia) vs. Team Bartkowski (White)
    Team Boll rebounded from a 0-2 hole in this game to score three unanswered goals to beat Team Bartkowski by a score of 3-2.  Team Boll finished the camp with a 3-1 record, while Team Bartkowski finished with a 0-4 record.

    Scoring goals for Team Boll was Miguel Fidler (2), and Michael Gillespie..

    Scoring goals for Team Bartkowski was Wes Baker and Luke Jaycox.

    The Team Boll trio of goaltenders played extremely well in this game.  Both Tommy Nappier and Brady Boudreau pitched a shutout, while Tanner Holmes gave up two goals.

    Team Bartkowski goaltender Parker Butler started the first half of this game and gave up one goal.  Team Bartkowski goaltender Hunter Shepard started the second half of the game and gave up two goals.

    Players from Team Boll who stood out to me were Miguel Fidler, Dylan Malmquist, Michael Gillespie, Dominick Mersch, Lubos Vacek, and Tony DeVito.  My MVP of Team Boll goes to forward Miguel Fidler who had two goals.  Fidler is a prototype power forward who has a great combination of size and speed.  He's definitely a kid who is not afraid to go to those dangerous areas of the ice to score dirty goals.

    Players from Team Bartkowski who stood out to me were Wyatt Kalynuk, Luke Jaycox, Jared Bethune, and Conner Blanck.  My MVP of Team Bartkowski goes to defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk, who is another kid I hope the Stars can find a spot on their roster for.  Wyatt is solid in all aspects of the game, and is one of the better skating defensemen in this camp.

    Game #11:  Team Backes (Black) vs. Team Johnson (Grey)
    Team Backes exploded for 6 goals in the second half of this game to propel themselves to a 8-3 victory over Team Johnson.  Team Backes finished the tryout camp with a 3-1 record, while Team Johnson finished with a 1-3 record.

    Scoring goals for Team Backes was Jonathan Desbiens (2), Nathan Dingmann, Zach Paxman, Angus Scott, Wes Michaud, Troy Terry, and Luke Shiplo.

    Scoring goals for Team Johnson was Michael Rosholt, Cameron Lee, and Sander Boroczky.

    Team Backes goaltender Jacob Nehama played the first half of this game and did not give up any goals.  Team Backes netminder Holden Kurtz played the second half of the game and surrendered three goals.

    Team Johnson goaltender Quentin Prokopetz started the first half of this game and gave up two goals.  Team Johnson goaltender Cody Gibson started the second half and surrendered six goals.

    Players from Team Backes who stood out to me were Jonathan Desbiens, Wes Michaud, Blake Christensen, Tyler Jutting, Ryan Jones, Jacob Nehama, and Troy Terry.  My MVP of Team Backes goes to forward Jonathan Desbiens who had two goals and could have easily had two more.  "Frenchy" was easily the best forward on the ice in this game.  Nice to see the Stars veteran playing so well.

    Players from Team Johnson who stood out to me were Cameron Lee, Aaron Lara, Sander Boroczky, Ethan Jack Badini, and Ethan Frank.  My MVP of Team Johnson goes to defenseman Cameron Lee.  Like other defensemen (Vacek, Kalynuk) I've gushed about, Cameron is the real deal.  He has to be one of the better skating defenseman I've seen in a long, long time.  He has incredible wheels, and just plays a very poised, controlled game.  He's another player I hope to see on the Stars' roster next season.

    Game #12:  Team Dzingel (Yellow) vs. Team Bollig (Royal)
    The last game of day three of tryout camp saw Team Bollig get a 5-1 victory over Team Dzingel.  Team Bollig finished the tryout camp with a 3-1 record, while Team Dzingel finished with a 2-2 record.

    Scoring goals for Team Bollig was Endre Medby, Colton Fletcher, Dominick Sacco, Chris Klack, and Blake Brazil.

    The lone goal scorer for Team Dzingel was Matt Rudin.

    Team Bollig goaltender Jake Berger played the first half of this game and surrendered only one goal.  Team Bollig netminder Peyton Jones played the second half of the game and pitched a shutout.

    Team Dzingel goaltender Josh Creelman played the first half and gave up one goal.  Team Dzingel netminder Tanner Creel started the second half and surrendered four goals.

    Players from Team Bollig who stood out to me were the goaltending duo of Jake Berger-Peyton Jones, Dominick Sacco, Colton Fletcher, Will Scherer, Chris Klack, and Endre Medby.  My MVP of Team Bollig goes to forward Colton Fletcher who has taken full advantage of playing alongside Stars veteran Dominick Sacco.  Colton is another kid who has a good combination of size and skill.  He's also a player who is not afraid to crash the net in order to initiate a scoring opportunity.

    Players from Team Dzingel who stood out to me were Quin Foreman, Anthony Wyse, Tyse Ausmus, Josh Creelman, and Harrison Aide.  My MVP of Team Dzingel goes to defenseman Tye Ausmus who is another talented defenseman that I hope we see in Lincoln this next season.  Ausmus is one of those kids who definitely plays bigger than his size.

    2014 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp: Day Three (Morning)

    Team Bartkowski forward August von Ungern-Sternberg
    Photo courtesy of Brandon Anderson
    A grey, rainy Saturday in Minneapolis was the setting for day three of the 2014 Lincoln Stars tryout camp at Ridder Arena.

    As was the case on Friday, the morning session on Saturday began bright and early at 7:00am.  

    Not surprisingly, I thought the overall play on Saturday improved compared to what I saw on Friday.  I think the players are getting better accustomed to the pace of play along with feeling more comfortable with their teammates.

    Game #7:  Team Boll (Columbia) vs. Team Johnson (Grey)
    Team Boll (Columbia) scored three goals in the second half in route to a 5-2 win over Team Johnson (Grey).  Team Boll improved to 2-1 with the win, while Team Johnson dropped to 1-2.  Much like yesterday's 7:00am game, I thought the flow of this game was a bit sloppy and disorganized at times.

    Scoring goals for Team Boll was Grant Baetsen, Dominick Mersch, Chayse Primeau, Jakob Kranabetter, and Lubos Vacek.

    Scoring goals for Team Johnson was Sander Boroczky and Grant Anderson..

    As I stated yesterday, Team Boll has three goaltenders on their roster and it's a bit confusing trying to track them coming in and out of these games.  Netminders Tommy Nappier and Tanner Holmes each gave up only one goal a piece during their time in net, while Brady Boudreau did not give up any goals.

    Team Johnson goaltender Cody Gibson started the first half of the game and gave up 2 goals.  Team Johnson goaltender Quentin Prokopetz started the second half and gave up three goals.  

    Players from Team Boll who stood out to me were Max Humitz, Tristan Mullin, Lubos Vacek, Chayse Primeau and the goaltending trio of Nappier, Holmes, and Boudreau.  My MVP of Team Boll goes to defenseman Lubos Vacek from Czechoslovakia.  This is just my worthless opinion as a blogger, but I really hope the Stars can find a place on their roster for Lubos.  He goes about his job quietly, but he's a very efficient skater and has a terrific first past out of the defensive zone.  I'm a big fan of this kid.

    Players from Team Johnson who stood out to me were Cameron Lee, Jack Badini, twins AJ and Christian DiCesare, and Grant Anderson.  My MVP of Team Johnson goes to forward Jack Badini who is putting together a very impressive camp.  He's only a '98, but he does not look out of place.

    Game #8:  Team Dzingel (Yellow) vs. Team Bartkowski (White)
    In a close one, Team Dzingel (Yellow) skated to a 4-3 overtime shootout victory over Team Bartkowski (White).  With the win, Team Dzingel improved to 2-1 while Team Bartkowski fell to 0-3.

    Scoring goals for Team Dzingel was Harrison Aide, Patrick Cozzi, Josh Bell, and Tye Ausmus (overtime shootout game winner).

    Scoring goals for Team Bartkowski was August von Ungern-Sternberg, Conner Blanck, and Evan Johnson.

    Team Dzingel goaltender Josh Creelman played the first half of this game and pitched a shutout.  Team Dzingel netminder Tanner Creel played the second half of the game and gave up three goals.

    Team Bartkowski goaltender Hunter Shepard started the first half of the game and gave up one goal.  Team Bartkowski netminder Parker Butler started the second half and gave up two goals, and the lone shootout goal.

    Players from Team Dzingel who stood out to me were Tye Ausmus, Biagio Lerario, Patrick Cozzi, Harrison Aide, and Josh Bell.  For my MVP of Team Dzingel, I'm going to give some love to goaltender Josh Creelman.  Although he only played one half, Creelman did a fantastic job in the first half of this game keeping Team Bartkowski off the scoreboard.    

    Players from Team Bartkowski who stood out to me were August von Ungern-Sternberg, Conner Blanck, Wyatt Kalynuk, Casey Dornbach, and Tristan Rostagno.  My MVP of Team Bartkowski goes to forward August von Ungern-Sternberg.  August is a very talented player who I believe is more than ready to make the jump up to the USHL level.  He was around the puck all game long creating havoc.

    Game #9:  Team Bollig (Royal) vs. Team Backes (Black)
    On the strength of four 2nd-half goals, Team Bollig cruised to a 5-3 victory over Team Backes.  With the win, Team Bollig improved to 2-1, while Team Backes lost their first tryout camp game and fell to 2-1.

    Scoring goals for Team Bollig was Luke Voltin (2), Endre Medby, James Ladouce, and Dominick Sacco.

    Scoring goals for Team Backes was Michael Miller, Angus Scott, and Wes Michaud..

    Team Bollig goaltender Peyton Jones played the first half of this game and pitched a shutout.  Team Bollig netminder Jake Berger played the second half of the game and also gave up one goal.

    Team  Backes goaltender Jacob Nehama played the first half and gave up one goal.  Team Backes netminder Holden Kurtz started the second half and gave up four goals.

    Players from Team Bollig who stood out to me were Peyton Jones, Will Scherer, Chris Klack, Luke Voltin, Dominick Sacco, and Endre Medby.  My MVP of Team Bollig goes to forward Luke Voltin, who played most of last season with the Stars before he was sent to Minot of the NAHL.  Voltin has size, speed, and great hands, all of which was on display in this particular game.

    Players from Team Backes who stood out to me were Jacob Nehama, Ryan Jones, Angus Scott, and Wes Michaud.  My MVP of Team Backes goes to forward Wes Michaud who has come out of nowhere as a free agent to really have a great camp.  He's a bit on the small size, but plays with no fear and manufactured a ton of offensive chances in this game.