The 2009 USHL Fall Classic will be held on September 24-26 in Sioux City, Iowa. Each USHL team will play three games. The games will be played at two venues in Sioux City: the Tyson Events Center (where the USHL Sioux City Musketeers play), and the IBP Ice Center.
September 24, 2009 10:00 AM - Tysons Events Center Indiana Ice vs. Lincoln Stars
September 25, 2009 10:00 AM - Tysons Events Center Green Bay Gamblers vs. Lincoln Stars
September 26, 2009 5:30pm - IBP Ice Center Cedar Rapids Roughriders vs. Lincoln Stars
I'm not a big fan of this schedule, but what can you do. From a fans perspective, having the first two games start at 10am kind of sucks. I was hoping for a late afternoon or evening game for at least two of the three games, to make it easier for fans from Lincoln to make the drive up to Sioux City. I'm sure the players aren't too excited about playing two of the three games at 10am either.
It would be nice to play a team from the West division also. Seems like the last two trips up to SC for the Fall Classic, the Stars have only played teams from the East. However, all three opposing teams this time around were VERY good last season, so in that regard it will be a good test early on for the Stars.
Thanks to "Puckhead" on the Lincoln Stargazing message board for pointing this out to me. Once again, the Stars organization is late with this info...as it is not on their main website. Big surprise (sarcasm). This info was found on the Tri-City Storm website.
Date: Sunday, September 20, 2009 Time: 7:05pm - 10:05pm Location: The Ice Box
This exhibition game will occur before the Fall Classic, which is held from Sept. 24-26 in Sioux City, Iowa. It will be nice to see the team perform at home before the Fall Classic. If I recall correctly, the Stars did not have anything like this last season. We had the intra-squad game/skills competition last year, but that was it.
Stars will open with two games on the road before opening at home on October, 9th against the Des Moines Buccaneers. Some schedule highlights:
* 10/31 (Sat.) - Halloween home game against the Tri-City Storm * 11/25 (Wed.) - Day before Thanksgiving home game against the Indiana Ice * 3/17 (Wed.)- St. Patrick's Day home game against the Des Moines Buccaneers * 8 straight home games in Feb/March * Of the first 30 games on the schedule, only 11 are at home...19 are on the road. * Of the last 30 games on the schedule, 19 are at home...11 are on the road.
I like this schedule a lot. Obviously, the Stars will be challenged during the first part of the season with so many games on the road. I think once the team gels, and starts playing better....having all those home games to end the season will be very beneficial. I thought it was interesting that the Stars don't play the Omaha Lancers in Lincoln until January, 22nd 2010. No Sunday home games...three Tuesday home games, and two Wednesday home games.
Well, here it is. Just two hours after I posted my roster predictions, Brent Wagner of the Lincoln Journal Star Blueline Blog posted the 25 player protected roster after talking to Coach Jimmy McGroarty. Nice to finally see who is, and who isn't part of the team.
F - Andrew Ammon ('90)
F - William Brockett ('90)
F – Corey Chakeen (’89)
F – Brett Chartier (’91)
F - David Gerths ('90)
F - Jared Hanson ('93)
F - John McCarron ('92)
F – Jarrod Mermis (’90) F – James McNulty ('91)
F - Garrett Peterson ('91)
F – Brodie Reid (’89)
F – Jimmy Siers (’89)
F - Brent Tate ('91)
F - Matt White ('91)
F - Tyler Underhill ('91)
D - Nate Baumbick ('91)
D - Matt Bruneteau ('90)
D - Cory Hibbeler ('89)
D - Dax Lauwers ('91)
D - Dakota Mermis ('94)
D - Will Rayner ('90)
D - Dan Weissenhofer ('91)
D – Steve West (’90)
G - Jared Coreau ('91)
G - Steven Racine ('91)
Futures roster (expected to be on preseason roster)
F - Dominic Shine ('93)
F - Kyle Gibbons ('91)
The first thing that stands out to me is Kyle Gibbons on the futures roster, and not on the main roster. In my opinion, Gibbons was one of the best forwards at camp. I thought for sure he was a lock for the team. He could still move up to the main roster after the Fall Classic...and I expect that to happen.
James McNulty tried out for the Stars last season...as a defenseman. He wasn't at the tryouts this year, and was dropped from the Stars affiliate list last season. He was drafted again by the Sioux Falls Stampede this past Spring, so I am surprised to see him on the roster. He impressed me at tryouts last year, and was always a player I hoped to see in the future for the Stars. BIG body...and good hands. Glad to see him on the team.
Dakota Mermis was the youngest player at tryouts, but I had heard he was going to play closer to home, and not play for Lincoln this season. Surprised to see him on the roster, but again...this could be the case where he plays in the Fall Classic, and then is put on the affiliate list before the season starts.
Brodie Reid is a pleasant surprise...IF he reports. I heard during tryouts that he did not show up to Omaha to try out at the last minute, so I assumed he was staying in the BCHL. Having him on the team would help with losing Corban Knight, but again...I don't know for sure if the Stars expect him to report, or if the Stars are just protecting him....hoping he might report.
Thoughts on the roster? Are there players you are surprised to see on it? On paper, what is the strong point of this team...offense, defense, or goaltending?
...for the release of the Stars 25 player protected roster. Okay, maybe not "patiently." :)
From what I gather, the Stars had until 7/1 to send in the 25 player roster to the USHL. Normally, the roster is released to the public soon after the 7/1 deadline. I'm not sure what the delay is, but I really thought we would have seen it by now. Regardless, I thought I'd throw an "educated" guess out there and post my prediction for the 25 player protected roster.
Here we go.
G - Steve Racine G - Jared Coreau D - Cory Hibbeler D - Matt Bruneteau D - Dax Lauwers D - Dan Weissenhofer D - Will Rayner D - Nate Baumbick D - Steve West F - Garrett Peterson F - David Gerths F - Brett Chartier F - Corey Chakeen F - Jimmy Siers F - John McCarron F - Kyle Gibbons F - William Brockett F - Jarrod Mermis F - Jared Hanson F - Tyler Underhill F - Brent Tate F - Matt White F - Andrew Ammon F - Michael Ambrosia F - Corban Knight
I think the two players on that list that are most doubtful to be on that roster are Steve West, and Corban Knight. West was an early draft pick, but was not present at the June tryouts in Omaha. He played for Ohio State last season, and I have not heard anything in regards to him leaving school. Corban Knight was a player I just recently blogged about, but it appears he could be staying in Canada to play his last year of junior hockey closer to home.
Hopefully we'll get to see the real roster soon. As always, as soon as I am made aware of it...I'll post it here. Go Stars.