Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weekend Preview - Cedar Rapids and Fargo

The Lincoln Stars return to the IceBox this weekend where they will host the Cedar Rapids Roughriders on Friday night, and the Fargo Force on Saturday night.  The Stars are coming off two home games last weekend in which they were outscored 8-0.  Lincoln has a record of 11-21-4 (26 points), and are in last place in the USHL West Division.  The Stars are 4-10-1 at home this season, yet they lead the USHL in average attendance (4,183 per game).

First up for the Stars are the Cedar Rapids Roughriders.  The 'Riders are currently 21-15-2 (44 points), and are in second place in the USHL East Division.  Cedar Rapids sport a 11-7-1 road record, and have beaten the Stars at the IceBox already once this season, a 3-2 victory on 1/9.  This will be the third time these two teams have faced each other.  Back on 10/25/09, the Stars beat the Roughriders in Cedar Rapids by a score of 3-1.  The Roughriders play a very disciplined, up-tempo game.  They rely on a number of small, speedy forwards and top-notch goaltending to win games.  The 'Riders roster recently received a shot in the arm when forward David Boehm left the University of Massachusetts after one and a half seasons to come back to Cedar Rapids and play one more season in the USHL.  In just two games with Cedar Rapids, Boehm has recorded 2 goals and 3 assists.  Goaltender Troy Grosenick is one of the top goaltender in the league, so I would expect him to start against the Stars Friday night.

The Fargo Force and former Stars head coach Steve Johnson will invade the IceBox Saturday night.  This will be the second time these two teams have faced each other this season, but it will be the first time Steve Johnson will coach at the IceBox since retiring from the Stars in May of 2007.  The Force have quietly moved up the standings and should be considered one of the hottest teams in the USHL right now.  Fargo currently has a record of 24-9-3 (51 points) and are in second place in the USHL West Division.  Steve Johnson has his team playing extremely well right now, and they have proven they can win away from their own barn with a 12-5-1 road record.  The Force are a very deep scoring scoring team, with a total of six players who have 25 points or more this season.  Conversely, the Stars only have one player (Brodie Reid) who has 25 or more points scored this season.

The schedule certainly isn't getting any easier for the Stars.  CR and Fargo are two very good teams.  In terms of styles, Cedar Rapids and Fargo follow two different paths.  CR is one of the least penalized teams in the league, while the Force are one of top penalized teams in the league.  Each of these two teams find a way to win games, despite the amount of penalties they don't or do commit.  Both teams can also put up goals in bunches, so they do have that in common.  I thought the Stars outplayed the Roughriders the last time they played on 1/9, but Lincoln could not overcome a couple of costly mistakes which led to the loss.  Lincoln will hopefully get out of their goal-scoring drought this weekend, but they will have to do it without one of their top scorers.  Stars forward Josh Berge is rumored to have injured his knee in the game against Sioux Falls last Saturday night, and will miss up to 8 weeks.  Forward Brent Tate will also be out out of the lineup due to a pelvis injury.  However, defenseman Garrett Clement should be back in the lineup this weekend after missing the last month with a hand injury. 

Should be two very exciting games this weekend at the IceBox.  Despite the recent home losses, I hope the fans show up for these two games and show the players that we still have their back.  Win or lose, we will always support the players on the ice.

Go Stars.

What say you, loyal Stars fan?

Update:  Per Pointstreak, Stars forward Jarrod Mermis has been placed on the 45 day injured reserve list, while defenseman Garrett Clement has been removed from the 45 day injured reserve list.  It appears for the time being that the Stars will be without the services of Josh Berge, Brent Tate, and Jarrod Mermis.


injured reserve said...

another 0-2 weekend.

Davvolun said...

It'll be interesting to see how "McGroarty's team" matches up against "Johnson's team" (though it's still got a few Blais players, I'm sure...just guessing, I don't have the time right now for that footwork). Let's hope the boys are as disappointed in last weekend as we all are, and come out fired up to show they can win at home.

Moody said...

I say we win !! Here comes the "TRAIN" !!!

BellTolls said...

45-day IR for Mermis!? What the heck kind of nasty ankle injury is he dealing with? Well, that effectively puts Mermis and Berge out for February and March, Berge probably for the season. Two open roster spots for awhile, who will come in and try to turn this thing around? Affiliate list time? Speaking of, does anyone know where I can find a copy of the affiliate list? Is it online anywhere?

Yeti said...


I actually emailed the USHL a few days ago, and asked that same question. Where can I find the protected list of players for each USHL team? I received a response back from Brian Werger of the USHL and he stated, "That is internal information and not something that is shared to the public."

So your guess is as good as mine. The Stars have three forwards out, two of which could miss significant time. I don't know the extent of Tate's injury. The guy I'd like to see the Stars bring back is forward Jeff McMinimy. Lincoln brought him up for one game back in November. He's tearing it up right now in the MWEHL. 46 points in 38 games, with 138 PIM's.

Chris Delmauro and Will Suter are two more fowards the Stars have brought up previously that could see more time. We'll have to wait and see.

Justin said...

On an unrelated note, I was just reading Sports Illustrated and there is a good story about former Stars goalie Phillipe Lamoureux and his family. If you don't get SI and can't read it, here is the online story:

Anonymous said...

Hope we win this weekend!

BellTolls said...

Looks like Tyler Deresky got the call-up tonight. Plays in the MJHL for the NJ Rockets, 18 goals, 16 assists in 29 games this year.

Interesting about the protected lists not being made public. Ryan always had that information available via spreadsheet up until this year.

Force Blogger said...