Friday, October 2, 2009

Pregame Report - Opening Weekend 10/2 & 10/3

The Lincoln Stars will open the 2009-10 USHL regular season on the road, when they take on the Fargo Force on Friday (10/2) night, and the Sioux City Musketeers on Saturday (10/3) night. This will be the Lincoln Stars 14th season in the USHL. Jimmy McGroarty will start his third season as head coach of the Stars, having compiled a 68-39-10 in the past two seasons with Lincoln. The Stars are coming off a 37-17-6 2008-09 season in which they captured the USHL West Division Regular Season Championship. The Stars return seven players from last season: forwards Garrett Peterson, David Gerths, John McCarron, Jimmy Siers, Brett Chartier, and defensemen Matt Buneteau, and Cory Hibbeler.

On Friday night, the Stars will travel to Fargo, ND to battle the Fargo Force. The Stars will be looking for a little revenge against the team that swept them in the playoffs last season. The big story in this game is the return of Fargo Head Coach Steve Johnson. As many know, Steve Johnson was the head coach of the Lincoln Stars for their first 11 seasons in the USHL. Johnson has been out of coaching the past two years, but was recently hired by the Force after their old head coach Dean Blais left Fargo to become the head coach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Fargo returns a number of players on offense and defense, but the real question mark is in net. Standout goaltender Mike Lee left Fargo for the college ranks, so the Force will rely on two goaltenders with very little USHL experience. Also gone from Fargo is forward Andy Taranto, who was one of the best goal scorers in the USHL last season.

On Saturday night, the Stars will travel south from Fargo to faceoff against the Sioux City Musketeers. The Muskies also have a new head coach in Luke Strand. Strand has coaching experience in both the AHL, and the USHL. Sioux City will rely on the scoring touch of forward Stephan Vigier, who scored 48 points in 51 games last season. Like the Stars, the Muskies will start the season with two goaltenders (Willie Yanakeff, Matt Skoff) with no USHL experience. Of note, former Stars forward Tyler Brickler will be playing for Sioux City this season.

I think if the Stars can come out of this opening weekend with 2 points, it will be considered a successful road trip. Both games will be difficult, as they will be the opening night games for both Fargo and Sioux City. The Stars will have to deal with loud, rowdy crowds in both barns. It will be interesting to see if Coach McGroarty gives playing time to both goaltenders this weekend, or if he sticks with just one for both games. If I had to guess, I would say that Jared Coreau starts tonight against Fargo. Forward Jared Hanson is nursing an injury, and will be out 4-6 weeks.

Both games are available to watch on B2 Networks. However, buyer be warned…as many have been burned by bad B2 connections in the past.

Faceoff for the Fargo game on Friday night is 7:35pm.

Faceoff for the Sioux City game on Saturday night is 7:00pm.

Go Stars.


Anonymous said...

b2 does suck, your better off just listing to the game and saving your 6 or 7 bucks...

Anonymous said...

ok so this is off topic, but does anyone know a number to call to get tickets for next weeks game @ Omaha? Apparently, you cant call the Civic or Qwest Centers to get tickets and there isn't a number to call for single game tickets on the Lancer website. It says you either have to go through ticketmaster (which charges like almost $10) or go to the ticket office in person. Well I want to get them in advance but don't want to drive to Omaha to get them... any ideas? Thanks

Anonymous said...

ticketmaster was the only place to get them last year

Anonymous said...

Actually Ticketmaster is NOT the only way to get Lancer tickets!!! The Blueline Booster Club sells them also. Go to their website... and click on the link to get the form to fill out!!! It is a big section of Stars fans!!

Anonymous said...

watched b2 tonight after 6 e-mails about the terrible service we received the response we got was Unfortunately we are unable to provide telephone support. 'We can submit your ticket response to review for a refund for today's game. We are hoping to have the technical difficulties fixed as soon as possible, however, we are unable to provide an exact date and time when the resolution will take place. Again we apologize for the inconvenience.' Think twice before ordering this serice!!!!
I will post this to every USHL site after the disaster we witnessed tonight

Anonymous said...

THEY WILL NOT REFUND YOU. I had problems several times in the past, and was told my account would be credited. Not once was my account credited.

Stars Fan

Travis said...

Got the game as well. Absolutely terrible. Last time for me!!!

Yeti said...

I've been burned enough the past couple of season by B2 not to ever give them my money. Very rarely do you not have some kind of problem with their broadcast.

For $7 a game, it just isn't worth it to me. I really wish the Stars could organize B2 watch parties for road games. I've blogged about this previously, but I don't understand why it isn't done here. They do it in some other USHL cities. Have Heidelberg's north host it, and advertise it at the Stars home games. I'd go, and I don't even drink alcohol. Charge $5 at the door, and I'd still go. The revenue in drinks and food alone would cover the cost of buying the game. I know that a bar would have to pay a lot more than $7 to broadcast the game, but I know they'd make a killing on drinks and food. Stars fans would go for sure.

Anyway, for some reason it doesn't happen in this town. I don't understand it. The Stars marketing department is really dropping the ball, imo. I think it would be a hit.