Thursday, December 10, 2009

Weekend Preview - Lincoln at Indiana

The Lincoln Stars will be far away from snowy Lincoln, Nebraska this weekend, as the Stars take on the Indiana Ice in Indianapolis this Friday and Saturday night.  The Stars hope to continue their winning ways on the road.  Despite losing their last two games at home, the Stars have won their last three games in a row on the road.  The Ice are currently 13-8-1 (27 points), good enough for second place in the USHL East Division.  Meanwhile, the Stars are 8-13 (16 points) and in last place in the USHL West Division.

Even though the Stars recent struggles have them in the cellar, Lincoln is still only 5 points away from fourth place (playoff spot) in the West Division.  Yes, there is hope!  A good winning streak can put the Stars right back in the hunt.  Before that can happen, the Stars must figure out how to play consistent hockey on a regular basis.  One game the Stars play like their hair is on fire, the next game they play like they have cement feet.

I am hoping Stars forward Andrew Ammon is healthy, and back in the lineup this weekend.  Ammon has been out of the lineup due to injury since 10/16/09.  In five games with Lincoln this season, Ammon has 3 goals and 3 assists.  The Stars desperately need his scoring touch and quickness on the ice.  Defenseman Will Rayner was placed on another round of 45 day injured reserve, so it could be well into January or February until we see him back on the Stars blueline.

This will be the second and third times the Stars have faced off against the Ice this season.  In their first matchup on 11/25/09, the Ice squeeked past the Stars at the IceBox by a score of 3-2.  In that tilt, I thought the Stars outplayed the Ice for the majority of the game, but a couple of untimely bounces went Indiana's way, and they escaped the IceBox with a win.  The Ice have a very good record at home (6-1), so the Stars will have their work cut out for them this weekend.  The Stars have more road wins (5) than home wins (3), so they have shown they can outplay good teams in their own barns.  If the Stars can come away from this weekend with two points, I'll be happy.  They do have the talent to win two straight against Indy, but they'll have to play smart, consistent hockey.  We've seen this team beat the best in the USHL.  They are capable.  It would be nice to see the Stars put together a nice winning streak before the X-Mas break.

Important note for both games this weekend: Friday and Saturday night games will start at 6:05pm our time.

I hope to be blogging/chatting live for the Friday night game, but I could be a little late starting it up that night.  It all depends how fast I can get home and get it set up.  I will probably not be able to do the live blog/chat function Saturday night due to outside commitments.

Go Stars.

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