Sunday, November 29, 2009

Game Recap: Lincoln Stars at Youngstown Phantoms 11/29

Final Score:  Lincoln 3, Youngstown 2

Can you say, "two game winning streak"? "Three game road winning streak"? I knew you could.

Defenseman Alec Rush scored his second goal of the season with less than eight minutes remaining in the third period to propel the Lincoln Stars to a 3-2 victory over the Youngstown Phantoms.  As stated before, it was Lincoln's second straight win, and third straight win on the road.  The Stars opened the scoring a little over three minutes into the game, when forward Jon Puskar scored to give Lincoln an early 1-0 lead.  The Phantoms, obviously upset with their effort the night before, scored less than twenty seconds after Puskar's goal to even up the game at 1-1.  Early in the second period, forward Ben "The Youngstown Killer" Lynch scored on a breakaway to give the Stars a 2-1 lead.  Lynch has scored four goals in three games against Youngstown this season.  The Stars entered the third period with a one goal lead, but that quickly disappeared when Youngstown scored just one minute into the third period to bring the Phantoms back in the game, tied at 2-2.  After a back-and-forth third period that only saw one penalty (against the Phantoms), Stars defenseman Alec Rush intercepted a Youngstown pass, skated in to the top of the circle in the Phantoms defensive end, and slapped a shot past Phantoms goaltender Matthew Mahalak to give Lincoln the 3-2 lead.  The Stars held on the final seven minutes of the game to secure their eighth victory of the season.

Goaltender Matt Green continued his good play as of late, as he stopped 22 of 24 shots for his third win of the season, second straight against the Youngstown Phantoms.  It is early, but it appears the Stars may have found their #1 goaltender.  Forward Jonathan Puskar had 1 goal and 1 assist on the night, while forward John McCarron potted 2 assists, and 3 shots on goal.  Brodie Reid assisted on Ben Lynch's breakaway goal in the second period, which was Reid's sixth point in the last three games for Lincoln.  Reid is now the leading scorer on the Stars with 16 points (8g, 8a) in 17 games played.  Defenseman Alec Rush scored the game winning goal and was an impressive +3 on the night.

Another gutsy road win against a quality opponent.  What is really impressive is that the Stars limited the Phantoms to a total of only 44 shots in two games, in their own barn.  That's great team defense, folks.  I think we are seeing this team finally getting comfortable playing with one another, and comfortable with the system Coach McGroarty is utilizing.  Not having 8 players injured helps also.  That young, inexperienced defense that struggled early on in the season are coming together as a unit, which is exciting.  The defense will only get better as the season goes along, so hopefully the scoring picks up a bit also.  Goaltender Matt Green, who mishandled the puck in his own zone, leading to the second Youngstown goal, settled down and shut out the Phantoms the rest of the game.  Green has had some ups and downs so far for the Stars, but I believe he is getting more and more comfortable playing with his teammates, and his confidence is showing.

Also, it was nice to see the Stars stay out of the penalty box for the majority of the game. In fact, the Stars were not whistled for a penalty for the final 35 minutes of the game. Two minors against Lincoln for the entire game...that's it. Credit referee Zachary Blazic for letting the boys play, and letting the players determine who wins the game. Speaking of special teams, the Stars penalty kill unit is playing much better, while the powerplay is doing better also. The PP still needs a little help, but the PK unit has been playing lights-out the past six games. The Stars penalty kill unit as killed 34 of 35 PP opportunities against in the past six games. That's impressive.

Three stars of the game, per Pointstreak:
1ST STAR: Puskar, Jon (LIN)
2ND STAR: Green, Matt (LIN)
3RD STAR: McCarron, John (LIN)

The Stars will take the week off and return to the Ice Box this Friday night to battle the Tri-City Storm. The Storm are winless in 10 straight games, and seem to be reverting to their disastrous season of 2008-'09. With the win Saturday night, the Stars are now only two points behind the Storm in the USHL West Division, and only one point behind the Des Moines Buccaneers. The game Friday night at the Ice Box against the Storm is teddy bear toss night, which is always fun. More on that game later in the week.

Go Stars.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Stars win second straight, and third in a row on the road!

Stars beat Youngstown, 3-2. Game recap to follow tomorrow.

Go Stars.

Live Chat - Lincoln Stars at Youngstown Phantoms 11/28

After four straight losses while using this new chat feature, we were able to break the chat curse last night when the Stars rallied for the big win against the Phantoms.  We had a total of 934 comments posted during the game Friday night, which is a new record for this blog!  The previous record was 905 comments posted during the Lincoln/Waterloo game on 11/7.  We had some new "faces" show up to chat last night, which is always good!  I hope to see even more new faces there tonight when the Stars look to sweep the weekend series against the Youngstown Phantoms.

A brief reminder, the game tonight starts at 6:15pm Central.  We will be chatting live starting at 6pm.  See you all there.

Go Stars.

Game Recap: Lincoln Stars at Youngstown Phantoms 11/28

Final Score: Lincoln 5, Youngstown 4 OT Shootout

Main Entry: gutsy
Pronunciation: \ˈgət-sē\
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): guts·i·er; guts·i·est
Date: circa 1893
1 : marked by courage, pluck, or determination

The Lincoln Stars used a gutsy effort in the third period against the Youngstown Phantoms last night to rally late from a two goal deficit to send the game into overtime, and then beat the hometown Phantoms, 5-4 in overtime shootout. It was Lincoln's second straight road victory. With less than four minutes left in the third period Friday night, the Stars found themselves behind, 4-2 against the Phantoms. The comeback started with Brodie Reid's second goal of the game with less than three minutes remaining to bring Lincoln within one goal at 4-3. Ben "The Youngstown Killer" Lynch scored the game tying goal with only 12 seconds left on the clock to bring the Stars all the way back, and send the game into oooooovertime. Both goals scored by Reid and Lynch came on the powerplay, with Stars goaltender Matt Green pulled to give Lincoln a two-man advantage.  The game went to a shootout after neither team scored in the five minute overtime session. Stars forwards Dominik Shine and John McCarron both scored in the shootout, while goaltender Matt Green stopped four of five shooters to secure the comeback win for Lincoln. Whew! What a game!

Brodie Reid finished the game with two goals, 1 assist, and 6 shots on goal. Defenseman Cory Hibbeler was an apple away from the Gordie Howe hat trick, as Hibbs scored a goal, and got into a fight early in the period while sticking up for David Gerths who received an elbow from a Youngstown player. Coach McGroarty specifically mentioned Hibbs after the game, in regards to how he really like how the players stood up for each other against a very big, physical Phantoms squad.

Great to see the players not quit, and keep fighting to win this hockey game. This team, despite their record, will not quit...and that is admirable. They could have packed it in after being down 4-2, but they played smart hockey, and battled back. They should all be proud of their effort. Youngstown may be an expansion team, but they had been playing very good hockey recently. The Stars are now 2-0 against the Phantoms, with both wins coming in overtime.

The Stars had a new face in the lineup, who I found out later was the mystery player I saw walking around with the scratches this past Wednesday night during the Indiana game. His name is Jeff McMinimy, and he's a '92 forward from Flower Mound, Texas. Jeff was picked by the Stars in the seventh round of the '09 USHL Entry Draft. Before being called up by the Stars, Jeff was playing for the Dallas Stars Midget Major AAA hockey club. In 23 games with the MM Dallas Stars this season, Jeff has 27 points (10g, 17a) and 64 PIM's. McMinimy was in the lineup last night for the Stars against Youngstown, and he was -1 with 2 shots on net. I am not certain if McMinimy is a permanent player on the Stars roster, or if he was just called up for these two weekend road games.

Here are the three stars from last night's game, according to Youngstown:

1ST STAR: McCarron, John (LIN)
2ND STAR: Eibler, Luke (YNG)
3RD STAR: Reid, Brodie (LIN)

The Stars will faceoff against the Phantoms again Saturday night at 6:15pm Central. Some of the folks we had in the chat room last night were watching the Friday night game on B2, and they all agreed that the picture quality was excellent. So if you are thinking of staying at home tonight and watching the Stars on B2, I'd pull the trigger.

We'll be chatting online during the game also, so feel free to drop by and join us! I'll be posting the chat article soon.

Go Stars.

Video Time!

I noticed today that the USHL is putting B2 highlights of certain games on Youtube for people to view. If you have a Youtube account, I would suggest subscribing to the "USHLinteractive" account so that you'll be sent updates as soon as they are posted. I will post videos related to the Stars here on this blog when I see them.

First off is Garrett Peterson's OT winning goal against the Green Bay Gamblers on 11/21/09. Great individual effort by Petey. It's too bad the radio call isn't from Mike Melbye, although it is kind of funny to hear how dejected the GB radio guy is after Petey wins it.

The second video is taken from the night Brodie Reid scored a hat trick at the Ice Box on 11/13/09 against the Des Moines Buccaneers. This time, the audio is from Mike Melbye.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Live Chat - Lincoln Stars at Youngstown Phantoms 11/27

Check back at 6pm to join in the chat.

Go Stars.

According to Pointstreak, faceoff is at 6:15pm central.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Quick roster update - Thanksgiving edition

Much thanks go out to the folks who contacted me with this information.  I always appreciate a "heads up."

It appears the Stars have traded defenseman Daniel Weissenhofer to the Bismark Bobcats of the NAHL.  Weissenhofer played in 14 games with the Stars, and recorded 3 points and 26 PIM's.  Honestly, I thought Daniel played pretty solid the times I saw him in person.  Due to the fact that Coach McGroarty has brought in so many defensemen this year, I think this was a case of Daniel being the odd man out in terms of experience.  He'll get a ton of playing time in the NAHL, and as a '91, he'll be ready for the USHL next season for sure.  Good luck to him.

At the Indiana game last night, I saw a new player walking around with the scratches (Ammon and Hoshaw).  I did not recognize the player at all, so I am clueless who he could be.  If I had to guess, I'd say it could have been Garrett Clement, the defenseman from South Kent Prep School.  I also was informed that Michael Pereira, the highly touted forward also from South Kent Prep School, is no longer listed on the Lincoln Stars roster on Pointstreak.  It is still unknown whether or not Pereira will leave the east coast and play for the Stars. 

I'm hoping to have time tomorrow to do a quick recap of the Indiana/Lincoln game from last night.  Tough loss, considering the Stars played very well, in my opinion.  I thought the Ice had better team speed, but the Stars battled with them all night, and save for a few lucky bounces, they outplayed the Ice for the majority of the game.  Anyway, more on that game later.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Go Stars.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Postgame Report - Lincoln at Green Bay

That's more like it. Finally, the Lincoln Stars got a bounce to go their way. The Stars pulled off a win Saturday night in Green Bay against the number one team in the East right now, the Green Bay Gamblers, 1-0. Garrett Peterson netted the game-winner with 2:29 remaining in overtime.

I did not listen to or view the game last night, so I am not the most qualified person to write a postgame report, but I'll do my best by studying the box score.

The Gamblers put 29 shots on Lincoln's net, but goaltender Matt Green, playing in just his second game as a Star, was up to the challenge, stopping every shot he faced. It marked the first career shutout for Green, and the first since Oct. 3 when the Stars beat Sioux City, 2-0. I mentioned Lincoln got a lucky bounce in this game, and that came on a Gambler breakaway that ricocheted off the post and out. This team has been due for some time to get a break.

Speaking of due, how about Garrett Peterson? He brings energy and hustle to the lineup every night, but has been snake-bit this season with 1 goal on 28 shots coming into Saturday's game. He buried an unassisted goal though in the 4-on-4 overtime session and sent the Stars back to Lincoln on a happy bus ride.

Both teams were 0-for-5 on the power play in the game, which had no fights, no delay of game penalties and no goals through three periods, which is rare for a Stars-Gamblers game.

Like a few other USHL teams, the Gamblers decide to award their 3 Star Selections only to Gambler players. So the Black and Blue Blog will select its own 3 Stars, since the award is actually meant for the top three players on the ice during the game.

3 Star Selection
1. Matt Green, LIN - 29 saves on 29 shots, first career shutout.
2. Garrett Peterson, LIN - game-winning goal with 2:29 left in overtime
3. Ryan McKay, GB - 16 saves on 17 shots

The Stars are still in last place in the West with 12 points, but trail Des Moines and Sioux City by just three points and Fargo and Tri-City (seven losses in a row) by four points. So in a nutshell, a couple good weekends could put the Stars right back in the top four in the West.

The Thanksgiving game is Wednesday against Indiana at the Ice Box. Always a fun one and tickets will sell fast, so hurry and purchase yours now if you haven't! It's always a good time to bring relatives to a game who are coming into town as well!

It's a busy week for the Stars. They got back from Green Bay today, turn around and play on Wednesday, and then leave for Youngstown, Ohio for games against the Phantoms on Friday and Saturday. Youngstown is the longest trip of the season for the Stars at 14 hours.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Postgame Report - Lincoln at Green Bay

The Lincoln Stars lost their fourth straight road game in Green Bay Friday night, as the Gamblers squeaked by the Stars, 3-2.  All five goals scored in this game occurred in the second period.  The Gamblers jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the second stanza, scoring three goals in a three minute span.  The Stars battled back late in the second period when forwards Jon Puskar and Kyle Gibbons each scored to bring Lincoln within one goal.  The Gamblers kept the Stars off the scoresheet in the third period to secure the 3-2 win.  With the loss, the Stars dropped to 5-11 (10 points) and are in last place in the USHL West Division.

I only listened to the game on the radio, so I can't really say how the Stars looked.  I mentioned this during the in-game chat, but it seems like the opposing goals come in bunches against the Stars, which happened in this game.  It sounded like the Gamblers caught the Stars sleeping a bit in the second period, and were able to capitalize on their chances.  Lincoln had plenty of opportunities to even the game up in the third period, but they just couldn't solve Gamblers goaltender Steve Summerhays.  The Stars powerplay woes continued, as Lincoln went 0-for-7 with the man advantage.  On a positive note, the Stars penalty kill unit shutdown Green Bay as the Gamblers went 0-for-8 with the man advantage.  For the game, the Stars out shot the Gamblers 24-22.

The Stars will faceoff against the Gamblers again Saturday night when Lincoln will look for a little revenge, and hopefully a big road win.  I am not sure if I am going to do the live blog/chat again tonight.  We have done the live chat for 4 road games so far, and all have been losses for the Stars.  I'm a pretty superstitious person, so I'm thinking it might be a good time to take a break.  We'll see.  If I do decide to do another in-game chat, check back here at 7pm to join in.

Go Stars.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Live Blog/Chat - Lincoln Stars at Green Bay Gamblers 11/20

I'm happy to say we'll be doing a live blog/chat again tonight for the Stars game against the Green Bay Gamblers. I continue to receive a lot of positive feedback from folks who really enjoy this new feature. We've seen this grow as well every time we've used it. The first time we tested it out against the Sioux Falls Stampede on 10/30, we had 550 comments posted. On 11/3 against the Tri-City Storm, we had 736 comments posted. The last time we used this for the Waterloo game on 11/7, we had 905 comments posted. So we are growing in visitors and comments each week, which is encouraging. I'm glad so many people like it. In the Waterloo game, we actually had Stars fans chatting from as far away as San Diego, California and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. David Reekie's father was nice enough to stop by and chat with us a bit also.

It doesn't look like I'll have time to write up a pregame report for the two weekend games against the Gamblers. If the Stars can get at least 2 points out of the two games, I will be happy. I'm sure the win against Waterloo last Saturday night gave the team a much needed boost of confidence, which hopefully will carry on into this big weekend series against the Gamblers. Faceoff for the game tonight is at 7:05pm.

Check back here at 7pm tonight to join in the conversation.

Go Stars!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jimmy Siers: Class Act

Much has been made about Jimmy Siers' fighting ability, and rightfully so. But for such a tough guy on the ice, Siers seems like a great person off the ice. Not only has Melbye often talked about Siers' 4.0 GPA in high school, but now Siers sent a note to the Journal Star's Brent Wagner for Stars fans to read. Here's what Siers wrote Brent:

"I'd just like to say thank you to all the Stars fans and people from Lincoln, particularly Rod and Connie Schwindt, for supporting me and our team. The players, coaches, staff, and fans in Lincoln have been unbelievable. I had the time of my life while here. Coach McGroarty and his staff are great coaches and truly dedicated to this team and have always done what is best for the Stars. Trades are a part of hockey, my trade being no different. I was upset about leaving Lincoln, but the people and players at Waterloo have also made me feel welcomed. I wish best of luck to all the players and coaches in Lincoln and thanks for such a great experience!"

- Jimmy Siers

Monday, November 16, 2009

Brodie Reid: USHL Offensive Player of the Week

Congrats to Brodie! Great to see him finally break out and have a huge weekend. Reid hasn't had a lot of puck luck go his way so far this season, so it was a just a matter of time before he started finding the back of the net. It was nice to see him wearing the "A" this weekend also, so the coaches must think enough of his leadership abilities to let him wear the "A" temporarily. Reid has proven he can score goals in bunches in the BCHL, so hopefully he'll keep his hot streak going this weekend on the road against Green Bay.

Click here to read the USHL article.

Reid registered five points (4g, 1a) and a plus-four rating as the Lincoln Stars earned a split of two games during the weekend. The 20-year-old forward recorded a hat trick scoring three goals in a span of 11:15 in the third period of Friday’s 8-4 loss to Des Moines. On Saturday, the native of Delta, British Columbia scored the first goal of the game and dished out an assist in the 4-1 win over Waterloo. All four goals scored by Reid were even strength tallies. He is playing in his first USHL season and currently leads the Stars with six goals.

Note: I apologize for the lack of articles this past weekend. I've been extremely busy with stuff, so I haven't had time to sit down and write up any articles. It was great to see the Stars rebound Saturday night with their best, most complete home game so far this season. Props to Jared Coreau for playing a fantastic game against Waterloo. I was really impressed with his play Saturday night, as I thought he looked very calm and collected between the pipes.

I still plan on posting a "Snapshot of the Game" for the two home games this past weekend, so stay tuned for that. I hope to get that done tonight sometime. Again, I apologize for the lack of articles as of late. Work and real life stuff have been keeping me very busy.

Go Stars.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stars Weekend Preview - Bucs and Blackhawks

The Lincoln Stars will return to the Ice Box this weekend for back-to-back home games against the Des Moines Buccaneers and the Waterloo Blackhawks. The Stars have struggled as of late, having lost four straight games, and seven of their last eight games. A rash of injuries did not help matters at all, but it appears the Stars are slowly on the mend. Brent Tate returned from the 45 day injured reserve list last weekend, while Brodie Reid and Steve West are back in the lineup after being out a few games. However, Jared Hanson, Will Rayner, and Andrew Ammon are still out of the lineup due to injuries. Forwards Garrett Peterson and Kyle Gibbons will both miss the Friday night game against the Bucs due to league suspension, but will return Saturday night against the Blackhawks. The Stars are currently 4-9 (8 points) on the season, two points behind Des Moines in sixth place in the USHL West Division.

As we have seen this past week, the Stars organization were not satisfied with the personnel on the ice, so numerous roster changes have been made. Goaltender Steven Racine and forward Jimmy Siers were traded to the Waterloo Blackhawks for draft picks. Jonathan Puskar was acquired from the BCHL, while goaltender Matt Green was also acquired from the BCHL to replace Racine. Defenseman Alec Rush was acquired from the Sioux Falls Stampede to help solidify the Lincoln blueline. Lincoln also hired a new assistant coach by the name of Jon Bellonio, who was an old college teammate of current assistant coach Nick Fouts. Bellonio was formerly the assistant coach at South Kent Prep School in Connecticut, where defenseman Will Rayner played last season. It was reported this week that the Stars put two players on their protected list that used to play at South Kent, forward Michael Pereira and defenseman Garrett Clement. If both players report to Lincoln, it will probably be after Thanksgiving.

Despite the recent losing streak and bad play, I really believe that the Stars can beat both of these teams this weekend. Des Moines is an offensive heavy squad, but lack defensive and goaltending depth. It is imperative that the Stars come out strong and physical in both games. As fragile as the team mindset is right now, they can't afford to fall behind at home to these two teams. Surprisingly, the penalty kill this season has been below average, so it has to be stressed that the players play smart out there. There's nothing wrong with playing physical hockey, but you have to eliminate the stupid, retaliatory penalties if you expect to win.

I really, really hope we see a good crowd turnout this weekend. Those players out there need our support right now, so drag anyone you can think of to these two games this weekend. Yell your ass off. Show the players we still have their back, no matter what.

Faceoff for both games this weekend is 7:05pm.

Go Stars.

Note: A reminder, the UNL women’s and men’s basketball teams will be playing this weekend at the Devaney Center. Friday night at 7pm the women’s team will be playing, while the men will be playing Saturday night at the same time. Traffic and parking won't be too bad Friday night, but it could get nasty Saturday night. Plan accordingly.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Roster update mania

Brent Wagner of the Lincoln Journal Star has posted some very good info this morning about some of the recent roster changes made by the Stars. You can read his blog article here. Brent states:

--Lincoln has added forward Michael Pereria to the roster, but he hasn’t committed to coming to Lincoln just yet. He is a top player at South Kent, a prep school in Connecticut. He’s committed to UMass. The head coach at South Kent is reported to have been fired, and Pereria may be looking to make a move. More on South Kent later. Pereria is supposed to be a high-skilled guy with speed. Again, he’s on the roster so if he wants to come to the USHL Lincoln has his rights.

--Another South Kent guy, defensemen Garrett Clement has been added to the roster. I guess the college guys like him, as well. He’s not committed to Lincoln yet either, but it sounds more promising. If/when Pereria and Clement decide they want to be a Star, it likely won’t happen until after Thanksgiving (which is coming quick, I guess.)

--One guy for sure is coming from South Kent School. It’s Jon Bellonio, and he’ll join Nick Fouts as an assistant coach for the rest of the year. He was on the staff at South Kent, and played with Fouts in New England. He was expected to arrive in town Wednesday night. With a young team, coach wants some more help. He probably hopes that helps get Clement and Pereria, too.

--There is a goalie coach in town this week helping out. It’s not uncommon in the USHL to have a guy who knows goalies to stop in for a brief time. A lot of coaches will admit they don’t always know what to tell goalies.

--After trading backup goalie Steve Racine to Waterloo last week, the Stars have added goalie Matt Green. He’s from Buffalo, New York and had pretty good numbers in the British Columbia League this year (think the Anthony Borelli story). He was at the Stars tryout camp this summer, but didn’t have a great camp. Coach is glad to have him now, and is hoping for a good competition between Green and Jared Coreau. Green was a good goalie in midgets playing with Brent Tate and John McCarron.

--Jared Hanson, Will Rayner and Andrew Ammon will still be out with injuries this weekend, but that should be it. There are no fill-in players expected this weekend.

--Kyle Gibbons and Garrett Peterson are still on league suspension for Friday, but will play Saturday.

--With adding Green, Clement and Pereria the roster spots are full for now. “We added some players that are going to help us down the stretch,” McGroarty says.

I really like the fact that the Stars organization is being proactice by hiring an another full-time assistant coach, as well as bringing in a goaltender coach part-time. Doing that can only help this team.

Garrett Clement was someone I had heard about a few weeks ago, possibly coming to the Stars. Both Clement and Mike Pereira both played with Stars defenseman Will Rayner at South Kent Prep Schol. Hopefully both players report to Lincoln after Thanksgiving. Interesting that Brent states that Jared Hanson is still on the team, even though he is not listed on the Stars Pointstreak roster.

Edit: Boy, things are really changing with this team. I almost can't keep up with all these roster updates. I just noticed another new name on the Pointstreak roster page for the Stars. His name is Alec Rush ('90), who is a defenseman from Sioux Falls. Rush played 9 games for the Stampede this season, and played 46 games for the Tri-City Storm last season. He is 6'1" 205 pounds, and hails from Eden Prarie, MN. Stars forward Patrick George is x'ed out on the roster page, so I am assuming he has been released. However, you never know what to trust on the absense of George and Jared Hanson could be a mistake. If any of my readers has more specific information to share in regards to this, please feel free to comment.

Go Stars.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New goaltender: Matt Green

Thanks go out to a friend who was nice enough to send me this info. We all knew this was going to happen this week...and here it is. The Lincoln Stars have acquired goaltender Matt Green from the BCHL. Matt ('90) played in 10 games for the Langley Chiefs, and posted a 4-3-1 record with a 2.67 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. He's 6'1" 175 pounds from Buffalo, NY. Sound familiar? A very similar background to former Stars goaltender Anthony Borelli, who was also from the Buffalo area, and played in the BCHL before being acquired by the Stars.

Matt was a someone the Stars coaches were familiar with, as he participated at the Lincoln Stars tryout camp this past June, which were held in Omaha. He played on the red team, and made it to the camp all-star game as well.

I don't know much more about Green other than what I found on the BCHL website, and what I remember of him at camp. If any of my readers know anything more, please leave a comment below. Thanks.

Go Stars.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Congrats to David Gerths!

Lost in all the Lincoln Stars gloom and doom this past weekend, Stars forward David Gerths helped the Team USA Junior Select Team win the gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge in P.E.I. Canada. This was the second straight year that David has helped Team USA win the gold medal. This past Sunday afternoon, Team USA defeated Canada West by a score of 2-1 to clinch the championship. David (who was captain of the team) assisted on the first Team USA goal in that game.

Congrats to David on winning his second gold medal!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Live Blog/Chat - Stars at Blackhawks 11/7

I decided to give this another shot this weekend, but I will be late starting this up. The game starts at 7:05pm, but I will not be able to make it to a computer until later. I hope to start the chat up around the first intermission. I know the Huskers are playing Okalahoma at the same time tonight, so I don't expect the great turnout we had for the Tri-City game this past Tuesday. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from folks who really like this new feature, so we'll be doing it throughout the season for most, if not all, away games.

So if you are around tonight, and want to chat with other Lincoln fans during the game, stop by around the first intermission...and I should have things going.

Go Stars.

Pregame Report - Lincoln at Waterloo 11/7

The Lincoln Stars will look to snap their three game losing streak, as the Black and Blue travel to Waterloo, Iowa to take on the Blackhawks. The Stars have struggled mightily as of late, having lost six out of their last seven games. Like the Stars, Waterloo have not played well at all this season. These two teams are used to being on top of their respective divisions, but recently both squads have been very inconsistent. The Blackhawks have given up 49 goals in 9 games this season, which is tops in the USHL. Whether it is goaltending or team defense, the Blackhawks have had issues keeping the puck out of the net. Like Waterloo, the Stars have been plagued with injuries, sickness, and inconsistent play. Two teams who are trying to find a spark to get things rolling again. Two teams that are not used to being at the bottom of the pile, looking up. The Stars are currently 4-8 (8 points) on the season, good enough for sixth place in the USHL West Division. The Blackhawks are 2-7 (4 points) on the season, and are in sixth place in the USHL East Division.

The big news this past week was the trade of Jimmy Siers and Steven Racine to the Waterloo Blackhawks. Both players will get a lot more ice time in Waterloo, so I think it's a good deal all around for both teams. Both Siers and Racine were in the lineup for Waterloo last night on the road against the Lancers, so I'd expect both to be in the lineup tonight against the Stars. In fact, I'd be very surprised if Racine isn't starting tonight, as I'm sure the Waterloo coaches hope he'll want some revenge against his former team. We'll have to wait and see if Siers tries to challenge anyone on the Stars roster, and if so...which player from Lincoln will step up to take him on.

In terms of the Stars roster, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that forward Brent Tate has been taken off the 45 day injured reserve list, and will be playing tonight. Also, forward Brodie Reid and defenseman Steve West will return to the lineup as well, after missing games with injuries. The bad news is that forwards Garrett Peterson and Kyle Gibbons will miss the next two games due to suspension, for their participation in a line brawl against Tri-City on 11/3 late in the game.

I'm optimistic that the players will come out strong in this game, and get back on track. I'm not guaranteeing a win, but I think the Stars will have a lot to prove tonight after losing a very close game against Tri-City this past Tuesday. The Stars dominated the third period against TC in that game, but just couldn't put the biscuit in the basket to tie the game. The Stars battled shorthanded due to the injries, and outplayed a healthy TC team for the most part. Stars radio announcer Mike Melbye stated after the game that the Stars played their hearts out, and that they should be very proud of their effort. Something to build on. Baby steps. Keep the faith.

Go Stars.

Faceoff is at 7:05pm.

Note: I just noticed on the Pointstreak pregame notes link that the backup goaltender tonight for Lincoln will be Kyle Shemek, who is on the Jr. Stars team. Until Coach McGroarty officially fills the backup position, I assume that they will use goaltenders from the Jr. Stars to backup Jared Coreau.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Siers and Racine traded to Waterloo; Puskar returns

Wow. Talk about a stunner.

Thanks to an anonymous post, I checked the Pointstreak transactions page and discovered that forward Jimmy Siers, and goaltender Steven Racine have been traded to Waterloo. No word yet on who is coming to Lincoln in return, although I would have to assume that one of the two Waterloo goaltenders (C.J. Motte and Dayn Belfour) could be coming to the Stars, since Racine was sent to the Blackhawks. Both Motte and Belfour have terrible numbers on the season, so I will be a bit puzzled if one of those two ends up on the Stars. Dayn Belfour is the son of longtime NHL goaltender Ed Belfour. I wouldn't be surprised if two or even three Waterloo players end up on Lincoln's roster after this trade has been made public.

Edit: Our good friend Brent Wagner of the Lincoln Journal Star has posted an update in regards to the roster movement today. Click here to read the article.

In summary: No players will be coming to Lincoln in this trade, only draft picks. Jon Puskar ('89) will be returning from the BCHL to play for Lincoln. Puskar was traded to the NAHL last season, and then attempted to join the Stars during the offseason. He was cut after the tryouts this past June. Puskar was playing with Burnaby in the BCHL this season, and accumulated 24 points in 20 games. Affiliate forward Ryan Dzingel will be joining the team full-time very soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Live Blog: Lincoln Stars at Tri-City Storm 11/3

This new comment/chat feature worked really well last week for the Sioux Falls game, so I decided to give it another shot. For the game against the Stampede, we recorded over 550 individual messages during the game!

With this chat feature, our comments will stream live during the game like an instant message. No more checking for new comments, or hiting refresh a million times, it all happens live on this page. You won't need to sign up for anything, or even provide your email address to comment. Just type in a name, and post your comment.

Hope to see even more fans here than we had last week. I'll open up the comments at 7:00pm.

Go Stars.

Edit: I might be a little late starting this tonight, so if it is not up and running at patient. I'll start it up as soon as I can. Thanks.

Pregame Report - Lincoln at Tri-City 11/3

Tonight the Stars will faceoff against the Tri-City Storm for the second time in four days, as Lincoln travels to Kearney for a mid-week game against the Storm. This will be the third time the Stars and Storm have met in the regular season, with the Storm winning the first two games handily; 4-1 in Kearney on 10/20, and 5-1 in Lincoln on 10/31. The Stars have lost five out of their last six games, and are only two points removed from last place in the USHL West Division. On the opposite side of the coin, the Tri-City Storm, coming off a miserable 2008-’09 season, are currently 6-1-1, and are in third place in the West Division. The Stars have multiple players out with injuries or sickness, while the Storm are confident, healthy, and loaded with fast, skilled forwards.

These are strange times for the Stars. In the past two years under McGroarty, I’m not sure I remember a time when they had so many players out due to injury. Also, I can’t remember a time when they had lost five of six games. We’ve all talked about it here a million times before, but this is a very inexperienced team compared to the first two teams under Coach McGroarty. So when you factor in the rash of injuries, you’ve got a team that is struggling right now to keep it all together. The important thing right now is to support the players just as strongly as we do when they are winning. It’s easy to sit anonymously behind a computer screen and bitch and moan about how this player isn’t playing well, or how this coach isn’t coaching as well as he should. We’re fans, and we have no idea what goes on in practice, or in the locker room. What we can do is continue to be the best fans in the USHL, support the players and the coaches through these tough times, knowing that they will eventually turn it around. The season is still VERY young.

Faceoff is at 7:05pm.

Go Stars.

Note: Make sure you stop by the blog tonight as we will be blogging live during the game. We had a very good turnout last Friday for the Sioux Falls game, so I am hoping we’ll see even more people participate and comment throughout the game.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Snapshot of the Game - Storm at Stars 10/31

I have time to post a quick picture from last nights game, courtesy of Brandon Anderson (photographer of the Lincoln Stars). Make sure you check out Brandon's website for more Stars pictures. He does a fantastic job.

Great shot of Patrick George of the Stars and Andrew Panzarella of the Storm throwing bombs from the fight last night. Even though George got the wrong end of the fight, you have to give him credit for dropping the mitts to try to get his teammates fired up. Takes guts to do that, especially against a guy who is known for fighting.

Go Stars.