Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pregame Report - Youngstown at Lincoln 10/16

The Lincoln Stars will look to get back in the winning column this Friday night when the expansion Youngstown Phantoms visit the Ice Box for the first time. The Stars are coming off a weekend in which they won their home opener against Des Moines, and then lost on the road against their rivals from Omaha. The Stars are currently 2-2 on the season, and are in a tie with two other teams for second place in the USHL West Division with a total of 4 points. The Youngstown Phantoms are coming off an impressive weekend road swing in which they defeated the Buccaneers in Des Moines by a score of 4-3, followed by a 5-3 victory in Chicago against the Steel. The Phantoms currently sport a 2-1 record, and are in fourth place in the USHL East Division with 4 points. As stated, this will be the first time these two teams have ever faced each other.

Formerly called the Mahoning Valley Phantoms of the NAHL (North American Hockey League – Tier II), the Youngstown, OH based team made the move up to the USHL this season after being awarded a USHL franchise. In the NAHL, the Phantoms were one of the more profitable and successful teams in that league. The Phantoms have a number of players with past USHL experience, including ex-Lincoln Stars forward Mike Henderson and ex-Omaha Lancers goaltender Jordan Tibbett. The Phantoms also have one of the biggest teams in the USHL in terms of overall size. Youngstown currently has 15 players who are at least 6’0” or taller, including 7 players who are at least 6’4” or taller. When you look up and down their roster, you just can’t help but notice how HUGE this team is. Initially when I first saw their roster, I thought Youngstown was going to make it a point to play physical hockey, and possibly attempt to intimidate their opponents with their size. After three regular season games played, the Phantoms really haven’t “gooned” it up like I thought they might. Leading the way on offense for the Phantoms so far this season has been forward Taylor Holmstrom, who played for the Omaha Lancers last season. Holmstrom was picked up by the Phantoms in their expansion draft this past Spring, and is the leading scorer on Youngstown with 5 points (1g, 4a) in three games.

When people hear “expansion team,” they normally think cupcake. This isn’t the case with the Phantoms. They have a number of players with past USHL experience, two quality goaltenders (even though their stats aren’t great right now), and they have proven already they have what it takes to win on the road. I expect the Stars to go with goaltender Steve Racine this Friday night against the Phantoms. The rookie netminder from Williamsville, NY hasn’t started for the Stars in the regular season thus far. Jared Coreau has started the past four games for Lincoln, but I think the coaches will turn to Racine to get Lincoln back on the winning track. That’s not to say Coreau didn’t play well last weekend against Omaha. If it wasn’t for Coreau, I believe the score in that game could have been a lot worse than 3-1. Having said that, I think Racine will get the nod in net against the Phantoms. For the Stars, I really hope to see Brett Chartier in the lineup. The Stars offense really needs a kick in the pants, and I think Chartier would help that, IF he’s healthy. I’d like to see players such as Kyle Gibbons, and Brodie Reid get more involved also, as both are specifically two of the better goal scorers on the team.

A side note, Youngstown sports the USHL's ugliest jerseys and team colors, in my opinion. It’s just horrid. Some folks might like them because they are different, but to me it looks nasty. I'm not a fan of vertical stripes on the socks, either. If you’re in attendance Friday night, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Also, this will be the only game the Stars play this weekend. The Stars will take Saturday night off, but will travel to Kearney, NE next Tuesday night (10/20) to battle the Tri-City Storm.

Faceoff is at 7:05pm.

Go Stars.



Justin said...

I still don't know about that whole Racine thing...but I think we have a physical game in store. Youngstown is pretty big and they have fighters so I wouldn't be suprised to see at least one fight on Friday. Can't wait for tomorrow.

Yeti said...


I agree that we'll probably see at least one fight. Ryan Jasinsky #13 is the guy who I would keep an eye on, if he plays. He has the reputation of not being afraid to drop the mitts. He has only played one game this season, so if he's in the lineup this Friday..look out. He's a big kid too: 6'3" 215 pounds.

James said...

I remember watching these kids play at the fall classic. We were at the IBP Ice center and I had to open the door to let them out. The only thing I could think as they walked by was WOW every dude on this team is like 7 feet tall with skates on! What the hell are they feeding these kids these days?

Norfolk Fan said...

Can't wait to see you all at the Ice Box Friday night! First game of the new season for me and I am real excited to see all the new faces on the team, and all the familiar faces up in Section L.
See you all tomorrow night!
Go Stars!

Yeti said...


Yeah, their roster is full of giants. Could be an interesting game tonight if they decide to play physical.

Norfolk Fan,

Good to know you'll be at the game tonight! Your seats aren't too far away from mine in Section J. I'll be wearing my white #2 Fouts jersey tonight, so if you see me walking around in the east hallway, stop me and say hi!

Anonymous said...

You'll be wearing my favorite jersey from my favorite all time player!

Yeti said...


You have good taste! Fouts is my all-time favorite player also. Loved watching him play back in the day. He was never the biggest, or the strongest player on the ice...but he never backed down from anyone.

Yeti said...

Stars win 7-6 in OT. Ben Lynch with the game winner. Crazy, crazy game. I'll write up a postgame report sometime on Saturday. Just too tired to do anything but crawl in bed right now.

Go Stars.

Anonymous said...


Actually according to Racine, he's been nursing a bruised groin(something to do with his protective cup)


tzweeb said...

guess i missed an exciting game. wish i could have been there.
its nice to see all the guys spreading around the points, but does it seem like a future problem if our defense has no points??
5 games in and only 1 point by any of our d men.
i know they dont usually get alot of action but if you look back at some of our better teams, they had guys on the d that had points.
08-09 newton-38, dahlzy-19, henry-13, hibbs-11..
07-08 bartowski-41, newton-25, messier-17, ...
06-07 cohen-60, langlais-46, stansik-17, lawson-12,...
05-06 eli v-57, raboin-29, langlais-22,...
04-05 raboin-16, carlise-14, eli v-12, sawatske-10,...
03-04 carlise-12, raboin-10,..
02-03 graham-29, eickamn-23, bina-13, lindberg-10, carlise-10...

08-09 div title
07-08 play-offs
06-07 play-offs
05-06 play-offs
04-05 play-offs
03-04 out
02-03 league champs

i only posted d men with over 10 points, but does any of this make sense??
am i just looking for something that doesnt exist?
let me hear what you all have to say about the d-men and how they effevt our teams play.
thanks all.

tzweeb said...

sorry more stats... play-offs...
08-09 4th 3 wins - 4 loss
07-08 3rd 5 wins - 3 loss
06-07 11th 0 wins - 4 loss
05-06 3rd 4 wins - 5 loss
04-05 7th 1 win - 3 loss
03-04 not in playoffs
02-03 1st 9 wins - 1 loss

by the way these are just what i can remember of the top of my head, but im kind of a numbers guy...LOL

so what do these stats mean to you??

tzweeb said...

how about a new blog topic???
what stat is the most telling as to how a team will do at the end of the season?
besides the obvious win/loss and total points.

starstruck said...

The USHL website has a photo gallery from last night's game - some good shots! Go Stars!

Brandon Anderson said...

for the few that im friends with on face book I also have photos up as well