Muahahahahahahahaha! It's Halloween night at the Ice Box!
The Tri-City Storm will invade the haunted confines of the Ice Box tonight, as the Stars look to rebound from Friday night's shutout loss to the Sioux Falls Stampede, and exact some revenge against the Storm. This will be the second time the Stars and Storm have faced off against each other, with Tri-City winning the first matchup in Kearney back on 10/20. In that game, the Storm skated past the Stars by a score of 4-1. Coach McGroarty was so upset about the effort in that game that he held a midnight practice at the Ice Box when the players got back into town.
The Stars again will be shorthanded tonight, with injuries to Steven Racine, Andrew Ammon, Jared Hanson, Brent Tate, and Will Rayner. Also, forward David Gerths will not be in the lineup as he is participating in the Junior A Tournament in Canada for Team USA. It will be a skeleton crew lineup tonight, so expect to see some defensemen playing forward. With Racine out, Jared Coreau will be in net for Lincoln tonight. The backup goaltender will be Nick Degarmo (sp?), who is on the Junior Stars hockey club. Stars forward Will Suter played last night for Lincoln, and I assume he'll play again tonight. The forward from Omaha, NE is a '92 forward for the Russell Stover U-18 hockey club.
I wish I had more time to devote to this pregame report, but I have a million things to do before the game tonight. I hope to see all my Stars friends at the Ice Box tonight! Halloween night at the Ice Box is always a big party. Make sure you stay in your seat during the second intermission so you can watch the costume contest held on the ice.
The Stars continued their inconsistent play on the road Friday night when Lincoln dropped a goose egg on the road, and lost 4-0 to the Sioux Falls Stampede. 'Pede goaltender Lino Chimienti stopped all 23 shots taken by the Stars to record his first shutout of the season. Lincoln's penalty kill woes continued, as Sioux Falls scored two powerplay goals in seven opportunities against the Stars. With the loss, the Stars dropped to 4-6 (8 points) on the season, good enough for fifth place in the USHL West Division. Through the first ten games of the season, the Stars are only averaging 2.6 goals per game.
Not much to say about this loss. Ugly, ugly effort. Sioux Falls wanted it more, and it showed. This team is just very inconsistent right now. Last Sunday they go on the road and beat one of the best USHL teams in their own barn, and then they lay a good egg against the 'Pede last night. It's frustrating, but we have to be patient with this bunch.
I'm excited to say that we're going to try something new for this game here at the "Black and Blue." I recently discovered a free application I can use to blog live during the game, instead of using the "Comments" section of the blog article. This is something very new to me, so I will be using it as another trial run.
With this new feature, our comments will stream live during the game like an instant message. No more checking for new comments, 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.
Give it a try! The live blog will begin at 7pm Friday night. I hope to see you all there!
The Lincoln Stars will travel north on Interstate 29 on Friday to take on the Sioux Falls Stampede at the Sioux Falls Arena. This will be the first time the Stars and the ‘Pede have faced off against each other this season. Lincoln is coming off a very impressive 3-1 road win against the Roughriders in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Stars will be looking to win their second straight road game against a very good Sioux Falls hockey team. The Stampede got off to a hot start by winning four of their first five games of the season, while outscoring their opponents 23-11 during that five game stretch. Included in that five game stretch was a 9-1 drubbing of the Waterloo Blackhawks. The ‘Pede are struggling a bit as of late, having lost two straight at home. Sioux Falls is currently 4-1-2 on the season (10 points), good enough for third place in the USHL West Division. Lincoln is currently 4-5 on the season (8 points), good enough for fifth place in the USHL West Division.
This should be another good road test for the Stars, as the Stampede always seem to play well against Lincoln (excluding recent playoff matchups). Gone from the ‘Pede is goaltender Eric “Where’s my pacifier?” Hartzell, who has moved on to stopping pucks throwing tantrums at the collegiate level. Goaltenders Clay Witt (returning vet) and Lino Chimienti have performed relatively well for SF so far this seaon. Chimienti, a native of Laval, Quebec Canada, has done very well early on in his time between the pipes for Sioux Falls. Chiemienti is currently 3-0 on the season, with a 2.00 goals against average, and a .914 save percentage. Offensively, the ‘Pede are led by forwards Michael Voran (8 points) and Matt Bailey (7 points). Tough guy Marcus Perrier is a guy who is not afraid to drop the mitts and bang. The native from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Perrier recorded 128 penalty minutes last season in 48 games. The Stampede play on a smaller ice surface than most teams in the USHL, so it’s a rink the Stars have had recent success at due to their overall size and physicality.
The Stars continue to have a number of players out with injury, so it could be a bare bones lineup tonight against the Stampede. Forwards Brent Tate, Jared Hanson, and Andrew Ammon will all be sidelined, while defenseman Will Rayner is also out. As reported a few days ago, forward Brett Chartier was traded to the Green Bay Gamblers for a draft pick, while forward Andrew O’Leary was traded to the EJHL to be closer to home. The Stars did pick up a forward in return for O’Leary, and his name is Pat George. Because of all the injuries affecting the Stars, George will be in the lineup this weekend for Lincoln. Affiliate player Ryan Dzingel was sent home after a very impressive weekend with the Stars last week, but I have been told that he will return to Lincoln to play for the Stars in January.
Note: Make sure you stop by the blog tonight as I am going to be testing out a new way for all of us to communicate with each other during the game. I’m pretty pumped about this, so it should be a good time. I’ll post that article around 4 or 5pm tonight.
I know nothing about George, nor do I know a lot about the league (EJHL) he was playing in. The EJHL is a Tier III organization, while the USHL is a Tier I organization. So in terms of overall talent, you could probably say the EJHL is a few steps below the USHL.
Just noticed on the Pointstreak transaction page that Brett Chartier was traded to the Green Bay Gamblers. There is no indication that a player is coming to Lincoln in return, so I am so assume the trade was for a draft pick.
Good luck to Brett! Sorry that it couldn't work out in Lincoln. I think he would have been an important part of the Stars offense if he had stayed, but apparently he was unhappy in Lincoln.
Ben Lynch scored two goals against his former team, including the game winning goal, as the Lincoln Stars broke a three game losing streak Sunday afternoon in Cedar Rapids, Iowa against the Roughriders. Lincoln opened the scoring on the road when Stars affiliate forward Ryan Dzingel scored his first USHL goal (unassisted) six minutes into the first period to put Lincoln up 1-0. Ben Lynch scored his fourth goal of the season eleven minutes into the first period, on the powerplay, to increase the lead over the Roughriders, 2-0. Tucker Brockett and Brodie Reid assisted on Lynch's first goal. The Stars came out very strong in this game, as Lincoln out shot the Roughriders 13-6 in the first period. Cedar Rapids responded 47 seconds into the second period when Zach Lehrke scored for the Roughriders to bring CR within one goal at 2-1. After that goal, it was all Lincoln. Lynch added the insurance goal late in the second period (assisted by Cory Hibbeler), his fifth of the season, to increase the Stars lead over Cedar Rapids, 3-1. The Stars shutdown the powerful Cedar Rapids offense in the third period, limiting them to only 7 shots on goal, to secure the 3-1 road victory. Equally impressive, the Stars shutdown the Cedar Rapids powerplay, as the Roughriders went 0-7 with the man advantage. Win the win, the Stars improved to 4-5 (8 points) on the season, good enough for fifth place in the USHL West Division.
1ST STAR: Lynch, Ben (LIN) 2ND STAR: Dzingel, Ryan (LIN) 3RD STAR: Lehrke, Zach (CR)
Quality road win against one of the top teams in the USHL right now, in their barn. There aren’t enough positive adjectives to describe this win. With their backs against the wall having lost three in a row, the Stars came out very strong in the first period and sent a message. Jared Coreau was solid between the pipes for Lincoln, stopping 24 of 25 shots to earn his fourth win of the season. Ryan Dzingel had an impressive debut for the Stars this past weekend, as the affiliate forward from Wheaton, IL scored one goal, recorded four shots on goal, and was +2 in two games for Lincoln. Mike Melbye mentioned on the radio Friday night that Dzingel will probably go back to Illinois to finish the season playing baseball and hockey for his high school team, but I’m sure the Stars will have other opportunities this season to bring him back up for a game or two. Dzingel is a player who just missed making the team after tryouts, so it’s encouraging to see him perform well in the spotlight.
It’s nice to see the team perform so well after the three tough losses in a row. This squad is still very green, but it’s great to see them perform to the best of their abilities. Just like the last couple of seasons, the Stars start off a bit slow, but we have to be patient. The first year players need some time to gain experience and confidence, but make no mistake…the talent is there. The defensive core is especially young, and somewhat inexperienced, but I believe we’ll see them improve a little bit every game. This win against a VERY good Cedar Rapids team will give the Stars locker room a much needed morale boost after the three straight losses. As fans, we just have to be patient with this group, and support them through these early tough times, knowing that by the end of the season, this squad will be a well-oiled black and blue machine.
The Stars will faceoff against another top team in the USHL this Friday night on the road against the Sioux Falls Stampede. More on that matchup later in the week.
I wish I had time, but I've got WAY too much stuff going on today to write up a postgame report for the Des Moines game from last night, and a pregame report for this game. Just too busy. My apologies. I'm not used to these Sunday games. Stars lost 3-2 to the Bucs last night in Des Moines. It was Lincoln's third loss in a row. The Stars are now 3-5 on the season, and in a tie with two other teams for last place in the USHL West Division. :(
This afternoon, the Stars will take on one of the top teams in the USHL, the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. The 'Riders play smart, disciplined hockey...especially at home, so the Stars cannot fall back into "stupid penalty mode" and expect to win this game. CR plays a european-style of hockey, and they aren't afraid to dive to draw a penalty. Lincoln has to play smart today if they want to give themselves a chance to win this one. Faceoff is at 4:05pm.
Use this article to comment throughout the game if you wish. I doubt I'll be around to blog live. I hope to see another good turnout.
We had a good turnout last time we did this, so let's try it again. Feel free to comment here while listening to, or watching, the game tonight. Hopefully the Stars will play better than the Huskers did today. Yikes. :(
I don't have time to write up a pregame report for the Bucs game, so this will be it. This will be the second time these two teams have faced each other this season, with Lincoln winning 3-2 at the Ice Box on 10/9. I have no idea who will be in net tonight for Lincoln. Both goaltenders for the Stars have struggled as of late, so it's anyone's guess who will start.
Much thanks to Brandon Anderson for providing the "Snapshot of the Game." I picked a great photo of David Gerths and Dominick Shine celebrating Shine's third period goal. You gotta love the expressions on the faces of all the fans. Great shot, Brandon.
The Chicago Steel made the most of their chances Friday night at the Ice Box, as the Lincoln Stars lost their first home game of the season, 7-5 to the Steel. Leading the way for the Steel were forwards Sahir Gill (2g, 1a) and Alex Krushelnyski (1g, 2a). The Steel started strong and finished strong, scoring three goals in both the first and third periods. Scoring goals for Lincoln was Dominick Shine (2), Ben Lynch, Tucker Brockett, and Matt Bruneteau. The Stars outshot the Steel, 45-30.
I'm not sure what to think about this game. Coach McGroarty was quoted in the Lincoln Journal Star as saying it was Lincoln's best game so far this season. Uhhh, not from where I was sitting at the Ice Box. I'd also argue that the Stars did not outplay the Steel for most of the game, which is what the author of that LJS article stated. Obviously there are some concerns on defense right now. Losing guys like Mike Sdao, Jake Newton, Ross Henry, and Mike Dalhuisen was huge, and it's starting to show now. I think we forget how spoiled we were last season as fans to watch those four guys shut down the competition. The inexperience on the blueline right now is showing, but I have faith it will get better as the d-men get more experience and become more comfortable on the ice.
I didn't see a sense of urgency last night from the Stars, UNTIL they were behind a few goals. This is something Lincoln struggled with at times last season...that killer instinct. To come out strong, and finish teams in the first two periods. Instead, we've seen Lincoln let teams hang around, and hang around until it was too late. Giving up 18 goals in the last three games is something you usually never see with a McGroarty coached team. Giving up 13 goals in the last two home games is equally baffling. Also, I never thought I'd see teams like the expansion Youngstown Phantoms, and the Chicago Steel actually out-hit and push the Stars around. That's just sad. The bright spot right now is that the team seems to be finding the back of the net on offense. Guys like Dominick Shine and Tucker Brockett continue to be the go-to guys with the puck. I can't say enough good things about those two players. Two of the smallest, and youngest players on the ice...and they play with a TON of heart. Fun to watch. Once vets like David Gerths, Garrett Peterson, and John McCarron start burying the puck, I think you'll see this offense explode. Petey and Gerths are playing great, but the stats don't show it. Both have been snake-bit in terms of points, but they'll turn it around soon.
The Lincoln Stars return to the comfy confines of the Ice Box this Friday night, where they will faceoff against the high-powered offense of the Chicago Steel. This will be the first time these two teams have played each other this season. The Stars are coming off a disappointing Tuesday night loss against the Tri-City Storm in Kearney. The Stars are currently 3-3 (6 points) on the season, good enough for fifth place in the USHL West Division. The Steel were on the road last night (Thu) against the Omaha Lancers, a game in which they lost, 5-1. With that loss against the Lancers, the Steel are currently 4-2 (8 points), good enough for second place in the USHL East Division.
I’m not sure what it is about Chicago, but it seems like they always give Lincoln a good fight, regardless of how good or bad their teams are. The Steel have one of the top offenses in the USHL, although those offensive stats have been padded a bit with two blowout wins against the U-17 Team USA squad. Leading the Steel on offense are forwards Sahir Gill, Andrei Kuchin, Greg Wolfe, and Mark Anthoine. Those four players have combined for 12 goals and 23 assists in only six games played. Greg Wolfe is one of those players who ALWAYS seems to play his best against the Stars. In four games against Lincoln last season, Wolfe scored five goals. Racking up the majority of minutes in net for the Steel has been goaltender Nick Pisellini. Pisellini is a name some Lincoln fans should be familiar with. Although he has calmed down quite a bit, Nick has a reputation for being a bit of a hot-head. I remember one particular game two seasons ago in Lincoln when Pisellini tried numerous times to goad Stars goaltender David Reekie into a fight. Pisellini is currently 4-1 on the young season, with a 3.00 goals against average, and a .898 save percentage. Pisellini was between the pipes for Chicago in the loss to Omaha last night, so there is a good possibility the Steel will counter with goaltender Connor Wilson against the Stars tonight. However, if I were a betting man, I'd put money on the Steel starting Pisellini...only because Wilson has only played one USHL game. I doubt the Chicago coaches want to throw Wilson to the wolves at the Ice Box in just his second USHL game.
Considering how well he played in relief of Jared Coreau in Lincoln’s blowout loss to Tri-City this past Tuesday night, I expect goaltender Steven Racine to start in net for the Stars. I’m really hoping that by Friday night, some of players recently hit with the injury bug will be healthy. Brent Tate, Jared Hanson, Andrew O’Leary, Will Rayner, and Andrew Ammon all sat out Tuesday night against the Storm. Rayner and Tate are on the 45-day injured list, so those two will be out of the lineup for some time. I believe the Stars will really want to come out strong in this game, especially after being embarrassed on the road against Tri-City. The Steel love to play up-tempo hockey, so Lincoln will have to be cognizant of playing smart, mistake-free hockey early on. Give the Steel a number of early powerplay opportunities, and it could be a long night for the Stars.
Edit: I heard through the grapevine that the Stars had a 1 1/2 hour practice late Tuesday night at the Ice Box after they returned from the game in Kearney. Me thinks Coach McGroarty wasn't too happy about the loss to the Storm. It should be interesting to see how the Stars respond Friday night against Chicago.
Well, there's not too much that needs to be said about the Tri-City game on Tuesday night. The Stars lost 4-1 in Kearney, giving up three goals in the first period and never rebounding from that.
Penalties killed Lincoln in the first period, even though there were only two. Jimmy Siers got a five-minute major for charging and Jimmy McGroarty received a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, so the Stars went down two men late in the period. The Storm scored two power-play goals and went into the locker room with a 3-0 lead.
Steven Racine replaced Jared Coreau in net in the second period and allowed a goal on the first shot he saw. With the Stars down 4-0, it would have been easy to throw in the towel. But the team showed a lot of grit and determination in not allowing another Tri-City goal, while also notching one in the third period, thanks to Tucker Brockett in a goal-mouth scramble. Brockett now has three goals in his last two games and is doing everything McGroarty wants from his players, crashing the net and paying the price.
Racine settled in nicely after giving up a goal and stayed square to the puck for the rest of the game. It was a pretty impressive performance by the young goalie in his first game, and hopefully it continues, because the goalies need to push each other for playing time.
Overall, the team came out of the gate with a lot of energy and was really having one of its better periods of the season until the Stars surrendered a goal 6:35 into the game. After that, the Stars got a little deflated and couldn't regroup. I think the team just needs to learn how to get a lead on the road and then play with a lead. It's tough when you're playing from behind all the time.
Tuesday's Three Stars 1st Star: Jaden Schwartz, TC 2nd Star: Carsen Chubak, TC 3rd Star: Luke McManus, TC
Well, we'll see how this goes. We'll call it a "trial run."
If you feel like it, you can use this blog article to comment during the game tonight. I'm not sure if I'll be online to blog live during the game, but I will try. If you're listening to the game on the radio, or watching it on B2, and you want to interact with any other Lincoln fans here, feel free to click "Comments" link below and type away.
This is something we'll try for road games, and see how many folks actually participate. If enough fans join in and comment throughout the game, I'll continue doing it for road games.
The FirsTier Events Center Viaero Events Center in Kearney, NE will be the scene Tuesday night when the Lincoln Stars drop in to battle the hometown Tri-City Storm. This will be the first time the Storm and Stars have met in the 2009-’10 regular season. The Stars are coming off an emotional OT win against the Youngstown Phantoms this past Friday night, which saw both teams combine for 13 goals. Similarly, the Storm are coming off a heartbreaking OT loss to the Fargo Force at home, in which both teams combined for 11 goals. The Stars currently hold a 3-2 record (6 points), while the Storm have a 2-1-1 record (5 points). The Stars are 1-2 on the road this season, while the Storm are 2-0-1 at home. Faceoff for the game on Tuesday night is 7:05pm.
Last season, the Storm were by far the worst team in the USHL. First year coach Tom Rudrud began the season with the cupboard bare of talent, and little to no support from upper management. Enter Kirk Brooks, the millionaire businessman from Las Vegas, NV. Brooks bought the Storm from banking investor Joel Weins (who had owned the organization since 2006), and immediately dumped a ton of money into building the franchise back up from the depths it had sunk to. The entire coaching staff was fired, and a new group was brought in led by head coach Drew Schoneck. From a Storm fans perspective, Brooks is the messiah. He has given the hockey fans in that area something it hasn’t had in awhile….hope. It isn’t going to happen overnight, but it appears early on that Brooks is doing everything right to improve the Storm’s place in the USHL. How long Brooks will stay in Kearney to right the ship, is unknown. His son, Kenny Brooks, is a forward on the team…so one has to wonder if the elder Brooks will sell the team and split when his son has moved on. In the meantime, Storm fans are very excited about this new regime, and they should be. The Storm have played much improved this season, although it is early. There is a question mark in terms of goaltending and team defense, but the Storm seem to have a good core of offensive talent. Forwards like Anthony DeCenzo, Radoslav Illo, Josh Berge, and Jaden Schwartz will be tasked with shouldering the weight of generating offense this season. Illo is a guy who always seems to play his best again the Stars, so Lincoln will really need to put a body on him every time he’s on the ice.
For the Stars, the news coming out this week was the addition of defensemen Steven Hoshaw. Hoshaw was traded from the Waterloo Blackhawks to Lincoln for a 2010 entry draft pick. Defenseman James McNulty was released by the Stars to make room for Hoshaw, who was in attendance this past Friday night at the Ice Box. As I’ve stated before, I saw Hoshaw walking around with the other Lincoln scratches Friday night, and this guy is solid. 6’1”, 215 pounds…and he looks larger than that. Hoshaw has shown that he is not afraid to drop the mitts and crack skulls. On the goaltending side of things, I’ve heard some rumors that Steven Racine is nursing a groin injury, which would explain why he hasn’t played in the regular season so far. Unless he’s 100%, I suppose we’ll see Jared Coreau again Tuesday night. Coreau is coming off his worst performance of the season (even though it was a win), so if he does start…I’d expect him to rebound and play well against the Storm.
I really wish I could make it to this game, but work gets in the way. I would really appreciate it someone could report back here with a game recap. It would be much appreciated.
Beginning with the game against the Storm on Tuesday, the Stars will play four games in six days. Tuesday night against the Storm in Kearney, Friday night at the Ice Box against the Chicago Steel, Saturday night at Des Moines, and Sunday afternoon at Cedar Rapids. That’s a very busy week for the Stars. If they can come out of that four game stretch with at least 5 points earned, I’d be happy.
Note: Stars defenseman Will Rayner was placed on the 45 day injured reserve list today, according to Pointstreak. Not good news at all. Rayner was a guy who I thought had played very well so far this season. Luckily, the Stars seem to have good depth at defense right now. Rayner joins Stars forward Brent Tate on the injured reserve list. Tate is recovering from a knee injury suffered at the Fall Classic.
Lost in the excitement of Friday night's game against Youngstown, the Stars picked up a defenseman from the Waterloo Blackhawks. The transaction hasn't been posted on Pointstreak yet, but according to a Waterloo newspaper article, the Stars traded a 2010 USHL Entry Draft pick to the Blackhaws for defenseman Steven Hoshaw.
Hoshaw is a 6'1" 215 pound defenseman ('90) from Vista, CA. Like current Stars players David Gerths and Corey Hibbeler, Hoshaw is a graduate of Culver Military Academy ('08). I saw Hoshaw walking around with the scratches last night, and this guy is built like a truck. During the pregame announcements, Hoshaw was listed as wearing #6. James McNulty wore #6 before last night, so I am to assume McNulty was released from the Stars to make room for Hoshaw.
It appears the coaches want to add some size and grit to the Stars blueline with the addition of Hoshaw. We'll have to wait to find out if Hoshaw can provide just that.
What a crazy, crazy game. This one deserves two thumbs up.
The Lincoln Stars and the Youngstown Phantoms combined for 13 goals at the Ice Box Friday night, but it was Ben Lynch of the Stars who scored the most important goal of the night, the game winning PP goal in OT to give the Stars a 7-6 come from behind victory over the visiting Phantoms. Both teams came out of the gate fast, as the Stars and Phantoms combined for a total of seven goals scored in the first period. Youngstown struck first in the beginning stanza, but Lincoln answered with three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead. After a line brawl late in the third period in which Stars defenseman Nate Baumbick was ejected from the game for fighting, the Phantoms stormed back by scoring three goals in less than three minutes to take a 4-3 lead at the first intermission. Scoring goals for Lincoln in the first period was Brodie Reid, Tucker Brockett, and Ben Lynch. Whew. That was just the first period!
In the second period, both teams scored once as Youngstown took a 5-4 lead going into the final period. Four minutes into the third period, Phantoms forward Taylor Holmstrom scored his second goal of the game, on the PP, to extend the Youngstown lead over the Stars to 6-4. For some in attendance at the Ice Box, the Stars looked to be finished. However, just a little over a minute after the Holmstrom goal, Stars forward Garrett Peterson scored his first goal of the season to bring Lincoln back to within one goal at 6-5. At about the halfway point of the third period, Stars forward Andrew Ammon scored his third goal of the season to even the score at 6-6. The Ice Box was rockin'. At the end of regulation, the Stars and Phantoms were tied at 6-6. After the Stars killed a Phantoms powerplay opportunity in the OT period, Youngstown defenseman Daniel Senkbeil was whistled for a high sticking minor, and the Stars went on the PP. In dramatic fashion, Ben Lynch scored the game winning goal, his second PP goal on the night, when he blindly batted the puck past the defenseless Youngstown goaltender Matthew Mahalak to complete the come from behind victory for Lincoln. Wow. What a game.
This game was almost like watching a tennis match with both teams scoring so much. Probably not the best game in terms of goaltending and overall team defense, but as a fan it was fun to watch. I can assume these are the types of games that gives coaches grey hairs. Gotta give some credit to Youngstown for playing a good game, at least on offense. Their powerplay unit was VERY good, and they passed the puck extremely well with the man advantage. Like I stated in the pregame report, Youngstown is not your typical expansion team. They have a good balance of size and speed, although they seem to be lacking in overall defense and goaltending. Jared Coreau started his fifth game of the season for the Stars, and stopped 20 of 26 shots on goal. Not his best effort for sure, but he made some huge saves late in the third period and in overtime to allow the Stars to win this game.
I have to say, it really is fun to watch Tucker Brockett on the ice. I know I've stated this before, but he reminds me a lot of Ryan Krezter. For a small guy, he's fearless. It seemed like Brockett was in the mix all night. It was also nice to see Brett Chartier in the lineup, but I wonder if he injured himself late in the game because I saw him walking around in street clothes during the third period. Dominick Shine was a surprising scratch, and the Stars added a new player to the roster (more on that later). After being held scoreless in his first four games with Lincoln, Ben Lynch arrived in a big way with two goals, including the game winner. Despite not scoring any goals, Stars forwards David Gerths and Jarrod Mermis both played very well and collected three assists a piece. The Stars went a surprising 3-for-8 on the PP, while the Phantoms were 2-for-7 with the man advantage.
1ST STAR: Lynch, Ben (LIN) 2ND STAR: Brockett, Tucker (LIN) 3RD STAR: Holstrom, Taylor (YNG)
With the win, the Stars improved to 3-2 on the season (6 points), good enough for a second place tie in the USHL West Division. The Stars will take Saturday night off to rest, and will travel to Kearney to take on the Tri-City Storm on Tuesday, October 20th.
Go Stars. Edit: USHL photographer RJ Meyer was in attendance last night, and took some great photos of the action. You can view his pictures here.
Thanks to "Michelle D" for the video of the line brawl from last night.
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.
He's the youngest player on the team, and there are only five players younger than him in the USHL (not counting the Team USA pool) and none of those younger than him have scored a point yet, but Dominik Shine had one of the most impressive weekends for the Stars this past weekend.
To recap, Shine had 2 goals this weekend to go with his 1 assist from opening weekend. The Pinckney, Mich., native earned praise from Coach Jimmy McGroarty after the home opener on Friday night. McGroarty said Shine has been one of the Stars' best players early in the season not just in games, but also in practice. My pal, Yeti, mentioned in a previous post that Shine was very impressive in the game against Omaha the following night.
Not bad for a guy who was going to be on the affiliate list until a couple preseason injuries kept him around. To put his age in perspective, just two months before Stars' tryouts, Shine needed a ride from his parents or friends to go look at hockey equipment.
Shine comes from the Compuware program in the Tier 1 Elite league. He put up 17 goals and 15 assists in 36 games last season, and was drafted by the Stars in the 3rd round of the 2009 Futures Draft. At tryouts, Shine was one of the leading scorers. Despite his age, Shine has taken advantage of his opportunity to play and is earning more and more ice time every game.
As is the case for all young players, Shine will likely experience some rough spots this season, but his work ethic this early in the season and the ability to "get" McGroarty's style of play gives him a good chance at a successful few years in Lincoln.
Any thoughts on Mr. Shine? Anyone know anything about the youngest player on the Stars?
In my attempt to generate exposure, I recently created a Facebook group for the Black and Blue blog. If you are interested in joining, please do so! It's just another avenue for me to help get the word out about this blog. I know a LOT of folks out there use Facebook, so I thought this would be a good way to reach out even further to help build interest. If you have friends on Facebook who are Stars fans, you can let them know about his group also.
Also, while you are on Facebook, check out the "Chuck Norris Cannot Score on David Reekie" Facebook group I created a few years ago. I had so much fun creating news stories for that group, it made me think of starting this blog.
I am very excited to say that the "Snapshot of the Game" will be a regular feature on the "Black and Blue Blog." After each home game, I will pick one picture taken by Brandon Anderson (official photographer of the Lincoln Stars), and post it here. Brandon is a friend of mine, and I appreciate the opportunity to use some of his outstanding photographs on the B&B Blog.
I would encourage you to take a look at Brandon's website, and peruse through his many photographs of the Stars.
In their first matchup of the season, the Lincoln Stars lost to the Omaha Lancers at the Civic Auditorium, 3-1. The Stars fell behind 2-0 early when Troy Power of the Lancers scored two goals in the first period. The Stars answered in the second period when forward Dominik Shine scored his second goal of the season on the powerplay, to bring Lincoln within one goal at 2-1. Omaha forward Dakota Everland scored late in the second period to put the Lancers up 3-1. Omaha held on in the third period, as neither team scored. The Stars went 1-for-6 on the powerplay, while Omaha was 0-for-4 with the man advantage. Both teams put an equal amount of shots on goal: 26 to 26. The Stars fell to 2-2 on the season, while the Lancers improved to 2-0.
Well, the night didn't start off well for me when I was pulled over by the State Patrol on my way up to Omaha. Luckily for me, I only received a warning. Maybe it was the Lincoln Stars decal on my car that saved me. Anyway, the Civic Auditorium is a fantastic venue for hockey. The steep steps can create havoc for some, especially those who have had too much to drink, but there really isn't a bad seat in the place. I could do without the two air horns in the one end of the rink (overkill), and the incessant plastic horn blowing by fans, but overall I was very impressed with the Lancers new digs. I sat in Section 32, which was in the corner, and it allowed for some great views of the ice. I was a little disappointed in the crowd, as Pointstreak reported a total of 3,430 in attendance, which was 1,000 less than what the Lancers pulled in their home opener the week before. The cold weather, and the UNO Mavericks game going on at the same time might have had something to do with the decrease in fans. Regardless, there was a good number of Lincoln fans who made the trek up I-80.
Getting back to the game, I thought the Stars didn't play great, but didn't play bad either. It was a back and forth game, and the two early goals by Troy Power were set-up very well. Both times, Power was left alone right in front of Coreau, so it's hard to blame the Lincoln goaltender for those. Lincoln came out flat, and the Lancers made the most of their early opportunities. The Stars came out in the second period playing much better, but just couldn't get the bounces Omaha was getting early on. Dominik Shine continues to impress the hell out of me. I really didn't expect much from him at all this season, considering he's the youngest player on the team. But he was in the mix all night against Omaha, creating chances, and just getting his nose dirty. His PP goal gave Lincoln some life, but the Stars just couldn't solve Omaha goaltender Jeff Teglia. For the most part, the Stars played smart hockey, but two late penalties by Siers and Baumbick really hurt the Stars chances of getting back in the game. The undisciplined penalties are frustrating to watch as a fan. I'm all for sticking up for your teammates, but you have to pick your battles.
Next up for the stars will be the expansion Youngstown Phantoms. Formerly of the NAHL, the Phantoms sport a very big, physical team. When you look at their roster, it's filled with players larger than 6'0", 200 pounds. Should make for an interesting game this Friday night at the Ice Box. More on that matchup later in the week. Stay tuned.
Edit: Anyone else notice that David Gerths wasn't penalized for getting into a fight? First time I've ever seen that happen. Gerths dropped the mitts with a Lancer player, and the refs completely missed it. After the fight, Gerths went right to the bench, and never received a penalty. Crazy.
Well, I'm just about to head out the door and drive on up to Omaha for the big game tonight. So this will be VERY short.
This will be the first time the Stars and Lancers have met this season, and the two teams will not meet again until January of 2010. Like every game with Omaha, I expect this game to be very intense, with a lot of hitting.
I hope the little bit of snow we got this morning won't scare away the Lincoln fans. I expect to see a lot of us up there at the Civic tonight.
Andrew Ammon scored his second goal of the game six minutes into the the third period to propel the Lincoln Stars over the Des Moines Buccaneers at the Ice Box, 3-2. Ammon's game winning goal came less than 30 seconds after Ammon finished serving a two minute minor for roughing. Once he was released from the penalty box, Ammon blocked a Bucs shot and used his fresh legs to out skate a couple of Des Moines defenders, and wristed a shot past Bucs netminder Eric Mihalik in what turned out to be the game winning goal. Ammon opened the scoring for the Stars when he slapped an unassisted PP shot past Mihalik seven minutes into the first period. Stars youngster Dominik Shine potted his first goal of the season late in the second period to tie the game at 2-2. After Ammon's second goal, the Stars shutdown the Bucs in the third period to secure the Lincoln victory. Lincoln is now 4-0 against the Bucs at the Ice Box in home openers.
Fun game to watch tonight. From the opening night video, all the way through to the three star selections....just a great night for hockey. Where to start. Early on, I was VERY impressed with the Stars powerplay unit. Players such as Brodie Reid and Ben Lynch looked really comfortable out there, and were generating quality chances with the man advantage. Ammon's first goal seemed to surprise Mihalik, because of the angle he shot it from, but those are the kind of shots you need to make. The Stars fell into a little bit of a slump in the second period, as the Bucs stormed back to take the lead, 2-1. Mike Melbye mentioned this in his postgame radio show, but these are NOT the same Des Moines Buccaneers as last season. The Bucs will battle every night, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they end up fighting for a playoff spot at the end of the season. Getting back to the game, I was very impressed with the play of the Stars "rookies" out there on the ice. Coach McGroarty mentioned him on the radio after the game, but Dominick Shine really stood out to me tonight. The kid is all hustle, and his timely goal at the end of the second period gave the Stars the boost it needed to get back into the game.
Considering how late the Stars began practicing as a team, I was pleasantly surprised at the level of hockey on display tonight. Both teams played very well. The Stars defense played especially well in the third period, limiting the Bucs to only 2 total shots in the period. I can't count how many DM shots that were blocked in that third period. I don't know if Coach McGroarty specifically coaches blocking shots, but it really seems like his teams take pride in sacrificing the body to block shots. It really is fun to watch. For the game, the Stars outshot the Buccaneers, 37-20. Jared Coreau stopped 18 of 20 shots to record his second straight win. A sellout crows of 4,642 watched Lincoln win their ninth home opener in fourteen tries.
1ST STAR: Ammon, Andrew (LIN) 2ND STAR: Shine, Dominik (LIN) 3RD STAR: McCarron, John (LIN)
It was nice to talk to a number of folks who ran into me at the game tonight. I had a really nice conversation before the game with someone who will remain nameless, but she knows who she is. I was very surprised this person actually reads this blog, so it was a treat to actually learn she's a fan. Her kids read the blog too. :)
Tomorrow night, the Stars will travel north up Interstate 80 to knock skulls with the Omaha Lancers. The game will be played at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, which from what I have heard, is a terrific venue for hockey. I will be in attendance, so I hope to see a LOT of my fellow Lincoln fans on hand to cheer on the players wearing the black and blue. I hope to write up a quick pregame report for that game sometime tomorrow.
Go Stars. Support the players in Omaha tomorrow night. Pack the Civic.
Does is get any better than a Lincoln Stars home opener on a Friday night?
The Lincoln Stars will open the 2009-10 season at home this Friday evening when the Des Moines Buccaneers invade the Ice Box to knock heads with the Stars. The Stars and Bucs are both 1-1 on the season. The Stars opened the season on the road, with a loss to Fargo, and then a shutout win at Sioux City. The Bucs beat the Sioux Falls Stampede on the road in OT Shootout last weekend, 4-3. They also were trampled at home by the Cedar Rapids Roughriders by a score of 7-4 last weekend as well.
The Stars are coming off a very "Jekyll and Hyde" kind of road weekend. On Friday 10/2, the Stars were embarrassed by Steve Johnson and the Fargo Force by a score of 5-2. The Stars played sloppy, undisciplined hockey and were sent packing by the upstart Force. However, the Stars rebounded quite nicely Saturday (10/3) night in Sioux City against the Muskies. Lincoln netminder Jared Coreau stopped all 25 shots he faced, and the Stars shutout the hometown Musketeers, 2-0. Unlike Friday night, the Stars played much smarter, and stayed out of the box for the most part. The defense, down to just four positional players after Matt Bruneteau left the game with an injury, played very well in front of Coreau. Stars defenseman Steve West scored the game winning goal late in the second period, and forward Brodie Reid scored an empty-net insurance goal late in the game to give Lincoln the win.
Although they've only played two games, the Bucs have shown they can put the biscuit in the basket, having scored 8 goals in those two games. They've also shown they've had a difficult time on defense keeping the biscuit OUT of the of the basket, giving up 10 goals in two games. Des Moines is coming off a miserable 2008-09 season, when the Bucs finished in last place in the USHL East Division with a 12-43-5 record. The Buccaneers have a new head coach in Mike Guentzel, and apparently a new "run and gun" style of hockey. Jared Coreau started both games between the pipes for Lincoln last weekend, and finished strong with that shutout win against the Muskies. Steven Racine has yet to play a minute of regular season hockey for the Stars, but I think Coreau will get the nod again this Friday night because of his play last Saturday night against Sioux City.
As a die-hard Stars fan, it really doesn't get any better than a home opener at the Ice Box. A packed house, the new music and player introductions, the light show, the unbelievably loud crowd, and then the best part....Lincoln Stars hockey. One of my favorite sayings: Hockey is my religion, and the Ice Box is my church. For a hockey nut like myself, Friday night will be hockey nirvana. I wouldn't want to be anywhere on earth than the Ice Box on Friday night. Okay, can I be any more dramatic?
I hope to see you all there Friday night! I will be in my normal spot, standing on my seat in the last row of Section J, seat 15. Feel free to stop by and say hi if you have time. I'll be the tall guy with glasses yelling at the refs. I'd love to meet more of my readers.
Go Stars. BE LOUD AND PROUD!!
Edit: According to Brent Wagner's Blueline Blog, there is a chance Stars defenseman and Captain Matt Bruneteau might not play in the home opener because of an injury suffered against Sioux City last weekend. In that game, Matt caught a puck to the side of the face and required stitches. Also, Stars forwards Brent Tate and Jared Hanson are both out with injuries.
I know this isn't related to the Stars, but it is hockey related. Wouldn't it be great to have this kid talk to the Lincoln players before the big home game this Friday night? :) What a memory on this kid! Thought you folks might like this.
You'll have to register to join the Blueline Blog group, but the registration process only takes a few minutes. Brent Wagner of the LJS does a terrific job with his blog, and it's nice to see him back online again.
I know we've added some recent viewers here because of the Blueline Blog being offline, and I hope those folks continue to visit here. Writing these articles and keeping up to date with all the info out there is a lot of work, but the reward is knowing that fellow Lincoln Stars fans out there enjoy stopping by to read our inane ramblings. I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of really good people because of this blog, and I'm continually amazed whenever someone sends me a message to tell me how much they enjoy reading the articles we post. I never really thought it would become that big, but I appreciate the blog hits and the support.
So bookmark Brent's site, and enjoy reading both of our blogs.
Go Stars. Note: I'll be posting a pregame report for the home opener against Des Moines very soon, so keep checking back for that.
I thought I'd post this for the folks out there looking to buy tickets to the Lincoln vs. Omaha game this Friday (10/10) at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha. The Blueline Booster Club is selling tickets to the Omaha game via their website.
Stars rookie goaltender Jared Coreau stopped all 25 shots he faced, as the Lincoln Stars shutout the Sioux City Musketeers on the road, 2-0. The win was the first of the regular season for Lincoln. Stars defenseman Steve West scored the game-winning goal late in the second period, with an assist from Tucker Brockett. Forward Brodie Reid added icing on the cake with an empty net goal with 50 seconds remaining in the game to seal the victory. The Muskies outshot the Stars, 25-21. Lincoln went 0-4 on the powerplay, while Sioux City went 0-5 with the man advantage.
Big road win for the Stars, especially after the dismal game last night against Fargo. It was nice to see the guys play disciplined hockey for the most part. In the third period, the Stars did not commit one single penalty. Very impressive. Jared Coreau rebounded nicely after the loss, and made some huge saves in the third period to secure the win. One thing I noticed listening to the game on the radio, was that Mike Melbye mentioned Dominick Shine's name quite often, even during the last few minutes of the game when it was 1-0. Shine is the youngest player on the team, so for Shine to be on the ice at such a critical time of the game, shows that the coaches have a lot of faith in his abilities.
1ST STAR: Coreau, Jared (LIN) 2ND STAR: West, Steve (LIN) 3RD STAR: Brockett, Tucker (LIN)
The Stars will play their first home game of the season next Friday (10/9) at the Ice Box against the Des Moines Buccaneers. Radio announcer Mike Melbye said numerous times during the broadcast tonight that there are only a few tickets left for the home opener, so if you don't have your tickets yet...call the Stars ticket office as soon as you can Monday morning. 474-STAR.
Go Stars. Edit: Post game articles from the Lincoln Journal Star, and the Sioux City Journal.
The Lincoln Stars lost the first game of the 2009-'10 season on the road, when the Fargo Force skated past the Stars by a score of 5-2. Fargo started the scoring early on in the first period when forward Nate Schmidt re-directed a powerplay shot past Stars goaltender Jared Coreau to give the Force a 1-0 lead. Just 27 seconds later, newly acquired Stars forward Andrew O'Leary collected the puck after it was misplayed by Fargo goaltender Cody Campbell, and scored to even the game at 1-1. Assisting on the goal by O'Leary was Andrew Ammon. In the second period, Stars forward Kyle Gibbons scored just 12 seconds after Fargo's second goal to tie the game at 2-2. Assisting on the goal by Gibbons was John McCarron. After that, it was all Fargo. The Force scored three straight goals in route to the victory, thanks to some undisciplined play by the Stars.
The Stars were outshot by the Force, 25-14. With only 14 shots on goal, the Stars offense was obviously anemic. You aren't going to win too many games with that few shots on goal. It doesn't help when your team commits 13 infractions for 26 penalty minutes, and spends most of the game on the penalty kill. I know it's early, so I am hoping this game is easily forgotten by the players, and they rebound tonight in Sioux City. Having said that, we have seen the Stars play undisciplined hockey at times the past couple of years, and as a fan it's really frustrating to watch. The team obviously has the talent to compete with the best in the league, but you can't showcase those skills when the team is always sending a player to the penalty box. You have to play smart hockey. Unfortunatly in this game, once the Stars fell behind two goals, their undisciplined play got even worse. You can't come back from a two goal deficit if you constantly have to kill penalties.
It was great to hear the voice of Mike Melbye again on the radio. I'm a big fan of Melbye, and believe he's one of the best play-by-play announcers in the USHL. Yeah, I'm biased...so what. :)
The Lincoln Stars will open the 2009-10 USHL regular season on the road, when they take on the Fargo Force on Friday (10/2) night, and the Sioux City Musketeers on Saturday (10/3) night. This will be the Lincoln Stars 14th season in the USHL. Jimmy McGroarty will start his third season as head coach of the Stars, having compiled a 68-39-10 in the past two seasons with Lincoln. The Stars are coming off a 37-17-6 2008-09 season in which they captured the USHL West Division Regular Season Championship. The Stars return seven players from last season: forwards Garrett Peterson, David Gerths, John McCarron, Jimmy Siers, Brett Chartier, and defensemen Matt Buneteau, and Cory Hibbeler.
On Friday night, the Stars will travel to Fargo, ND to battle the Fargo Force. The Stars will be looking for a little revenge against the team that swept them in the playoffs last season. The big story in this game is the return of Fargo Head Coach Steve Johnson. As many know, Steve Johnson was the head coach of the Lincoln Stars for their first 11 seasons in the USHL. Johnson has been out of coaching the past two years, but was recently hired by the Force after their old head coach Dean Blais left Fargo to become the head coach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Fargo returns a number of players on offense and defense, but the real question mark is in net. Standout goaltender Mike Lee left Fargo for the college ranks, so the Force will rely on two goaltenders with very little USHL experience. Also gone from Fargo is forward Andy Taranto, who was one of the best goal scorers in the USHL last season.
On Saturday night, the Stars will travel south from Fargo to faceoff against the Sioux City Musketeers. The Muskies also have a new head coach in Luke Strand. Strand has coaching experience in both the AHL, and the USHL. Sioux City will rely on the scoring touch of forward Stephan Vigier, who scored 48 points in 51 games last season. Like the Stars, the Muskies will start the season with two goaltenders (Willie Yanakeff, Matt Skoff) with no USHL experience. Of note, former Stars forward Tyler Brickler will be playing for Sioux City this season.
I think if the Stars can come out of this opening weekend with 2 points, it will be considered a successful road trip. Both games will be difficult, as they will be the opening night games for both Fargo and Sioux City. The Stars will have to deal with loud, rowdy crowds in both barns. It will be interesting to see if Coach McGroarty gives playing time to both goaltenders this weekend, or if he sticks with just one for both games. If I had to guess, I would say that Jared Coreau starts tonight against Fargo. Forward Jared Hanson is nursing an injury, and will be out 4-6 weeks.
The Lincoln Stars picked up former Cedar Rapids Rough Riders forward Andrew O'Leary ('91) this week, in addition to the already mentioned acquisition of Ben Lynch.
O'Leary is listed as #12 on the Lincoln Stars roster page. The Hanover, N.H., native checks in at 6-0, 194 pounds. Last year, he scored 12 goals and had 10 assists in 54 games with Shattuck St. Mary's.
Of note: Ben Lynch took Tyler Underhill's number of 11. Dominik Shine is still listed on the Stars' web site, while Underhill is not. By my count, the Stars are at 25 players right now (I'm not counting Shine, but I am including Ryan Dzingel who is supposedly still with the team). Wonder if we'll hear some roster news later tonight or tomorrow......