Friday, December 18, 2009

Weekend Preview: Green Bay and Sioux Falls

I know Yeti's been busy living it up in New Orleans this week, so in case he doesn't have time, here is a short weekend preview of two games against very talented teams this weekend. Needless to say, this will be a big weekend in terms of seeing if the Stars are ready to make their move up the standings. Also, these are the last two games before Christmas break, so hitting the holidays on a high note is important.

On Friday night, the Green Bay Gamblers come to the Ice Box for the first time this season. The Stars and Gamblers met twice in Green Bay just before Thanksgiving. Green Bay beat Lincoln 3-2 in the Friday night game and Lincoln won in overtime 1-0 the following night. The latter game featured Matt Green in net for the Stars and Ryan McKay for the Gamblers. Since then, Green has started six consecutive games for Lincoln, while Green Bay continues to rotate McKay and Steve Summerhays.

The Gamblers (35 points, No. 1 in the East) are led by Anders Lee (13 g, 15 a) and high-scoring defenseman David Makowski, who has logged 20 points from his spot at the blue line. The Gamblers have won seven of their last eight, so this game will be a big test for Lincoln.

Strangely, the Stars have been lackluster at home this season (3-5) and OK on the road in tough games like against Green Bay a few weeks ago and in Indiana last week, but hopefully this Friday is the turning point for this team. I'm excited to see Andrew Ammon back in the lineup this weekend. He had six points in five games before going on the injured reserve list. I think Ammon's absence may have hurt more than people think and his return will be huge. Of course, good injury news around Stars camp can't come without bad news. Newly acquired Garrett Clement is out three to four weeks with an injury.

On Saturday, Lincoln travels to Sioux Falls to face the Stampede, who currently sit in second place in the West with 32 points. Sioux Falls lost to Waterloo, 8-7 in a shootout Wednesday night. The Stampede feature Michael Voran (13 g, 18 a) and Matt Lindblad (8 g, 19 a) up top.

The Stars and Herd met back on Oct. 30 in Sioux Falls, with the Stampede running away with a 4-0 win. Lino Chimienti got the shutout in net, but he has given up six and seven goals in his last two appearances, so Clay Witt may get the call on Saturday.

Sioux Falls is a team that can really light up the scoreboard if you aren't on top of your game defensively. Eight times this year they've scored five or more goals, including a 9-1 win, an 8-2 win, a 7-3 win and Wednesday's 7-8 loss.

Let's hope the boys get a win on Friday. I really miss the Choo Choo.

*Lincoln has an open roster spot because Patrick George has left the team. For a roster update, check out Brent Wagner's notes at the Journal Star Blue Line Blog.


Yeti said...

Great article, Nate. Thanks for the help. I wish I could say my stay in New Orleans was enjoyable. Too much work, not enough play. :(

Should be a VERY fun game to watch tonight as a fan. These two teams have some bad blood (going back to last season), so you never know if fireworks could occur. I just hope the Stars show up tonight and play an entire 60 minutes. I can imagine that a lot of the players are thinking about the x-mas hopefully they aren't already in "vacation-mode." Green Bay and Sioux Falls are two VERY good hockey teams, and the Stars can't afford to take a night off and expect to win.

A few more roster notes worth mentioning...related to former Stars players:

-former Stars forward Brett Chartier is now playing with his older brother Blake for the Winnipeg Saints of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Brett and his older brother are from the Winnipeg area. Charch was playing for the Green Bay Gamblers before asking to be released to play closer to home.

-former Stars goaltender Steven Racine was traded from the Waterloo Blackhawks to the St. Louis Bandits of the North American Hockey League.

BellTolls said...

well it appears our trade with Waterloo was a smart one by Jimmy. Racine had a couple nice games for Waterloo, but then he started struggling again like he did here. And Green has been solid for us. The Waterloo trade also allowed us to bring in Puskar, who has only become our most consistent scoring threat of late. Jimmy has taken a lot of heat from (anonymous) fans this year, but he has made good moves. Now, with Ammon's return, we just need Berge to step up, and this season could turn around soon.

StarsHcky said...

Just my opinion but im feeling a comeback coming on!!! I wouldnt count the team out yet, just think of Fargo last year.

Yeti said...

Well, that certainly wasn't a fun game to watch. GB is just a MUCH better hockey team than Lincoln is. It's frustrating to watch this team play uninspired at home. I just don't understand it.

Short season said...

It all starts with the easy goals our goalies are giving up. This team is almost unwatchable. It would be nice to get our money back for the rest of the season.

Anonymous said...

the Stars are on pace to score 142 goals this season, only 2 more than Tri City's awful team last year. We have scored 57 goals in 24 games. Omaha had 57 after game 13. What is going on here?

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if our defense/forwards standing in front of the net would even attempt to stop the puck before it reaches the goalie. Also all the turnovers last night that ended in goals didn't help. The whole team is at fault for losing if you've been watching the games, don't put the blame on the goalies. Over half the game we can't even get the puck in our zone, no control of the puck what so ever. You can't win games with 1 goal and a defensemen making it. Where in the world is our powerful forwards that Coach is always braging about???
Maybe Coach should concentrate on trading some of these players for someone that will use their bodies to try and stop shots because the route he is taking now trying to get guys that can put the puck in the net isn't working. Where are these guys during the game???????