Thursday, January 21, 2010

Weekend Preview - Omaha and Sioux Falls


The Lincoln Stars will begin a four game home-stand this Friday night when rival Omaha Lancers infiltrate the IceBox.  This will be the fourth time the Stars and Lancers have met this season, with Omaha winning all three previous meetings.  The last time these two teams met at the Icebox on 1/8, the Lancers scored four powerplay goals to propel themselves to a 5-4 victory.  In my opinion, I thought the Stars outplayed the Lancers 5-on-5 in that contest, but Lincoln had no answer to Omaha's potent powerplay unit.  The Stars are currently 11-20-3 (25 points) and are in last place in the USHL West Division.  The Lancers are currently 25-8-1 (52 points) and are in first place in the USHL West Division.

The Lancers find themselves in a bit of a funk right now, losers of 3 of their last 4 games.  Despite their inconsistent play as of late, this is still a VERY dangerous team.  Forwards Matt White and Erik Haula are two of the top forwards in the entire league.  In the game on 1/8 at the IceBox, the Stars did a very good job shutting those two down, but the Lancers have plenty of scorers behind White and Haula who are well equipped to put the biscuit in the basket.  The key in this game, the Stars cannot commit stupid penalties against the Lancers.  What a shocker, eh?  The Stars have proven they can play with the Lancers, but they can't give Omaha any free chances on the PP to score goals.  The Stars are playing better the last couple of games, so I'm hopeful they'll come out strong against the Lancers on Friday night.  Playing catch-up against Omaha is damn near impossible.  Get the early lead, protect it, play smart hockey, and finish strong.  Should be a great environment at the IceBox as usual when these two teams meet.  I can't wait.

Saturday night, the Sioux Falls Stampede will visit the IceBox for the first time this season to battle the Lincoln Stars.  This will be another tough test for the Stars as they will be facing yet another team they have not been able to beat this season.  The Stars are 0-2 against the 'Pede, and have not been able to score a goal in either game.  On 10/30/09, the Stampede shutout the Stars by a score of 4-0.  On 12/19/09, the 'Pede blanked the Stars yet again by a score of 3-0.  The Stampede have an overall record of 18-7-8 (44 points) and are in third place in the USHL West Division.  Forward Michael Voran is the leading scorer on the 'Pede squad with 40 points (15g, 25a) in 33 games played.  Goaltender Clay Witt has established himself as the clear-cut starter for Sioux Falls with a 12-4-4 record in 21 games played.  This is yet another tough team for the Stars.  The 'Pede had the advantage earlier on in the two previous contests against the Stars, as Lincoln was decimated with injuries at the time.  The Stampede sport the third best powerplay unit in the USHL, so the Stars penalty kill unit will again be tested. 

Should be a fun weekend at the IceBox.  The Stars are for the most part, healthy and playing much better as a team.  This will be a good test to see where the team is.  Are they ready to sacrifice everything they have on the ice to make that playoff drive?  Is the hunger there?  It's gut-check time.  In order to make the playoffs, the Stars are going to have to figure out how to beat good teams at home.  They proved it last Friday night against Indiana.  Now it's time to do it against teams in their own division.

Go Stars.

Note:  According to Brent Wagner of the Lincoln Journal Star, defenseman Garrett Clement will not be traded, as previously reported.  Clement is recovering from hand surgery, and should be in the lineup sometime next weekend.  There were reports recently that Clement requested a trade, but it appears he has had a change of heart and wants to stick it out with the Stars.

What do the fans think of the two weekend games?  Can the Stars win both?

23 comments:

the dude said...

I predict us going 0-2 this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hey Whadda Ya Say
LETS GO STARS !!!

Looks like a great weekend for Hockey.
Lets make the Icebox Loud 'n' Rowdy !!!

I'm ready for some more CHOO CHOO...

nutz4puckz said...

Time to get them at home. We are due!!

Moody said...

All I have to say is......... Let's go STARS !!

tzweeb said...

i think this weekend will make alot of stars fans very happy.
a sold out ice box tonight and hopefully a full house on saturday should help the team.
get there early and lets pound on them walls!!!
GO STARS

9 year season ticket holder said...

Good luck down the road stars. You'll be going on with out me and my 6 season tickets next year.

Anonymous said...

9 year season ticket holder,

That's great news. Those are 6 seats that can be given to fans will support the team through the thick and thin. You won't be missed.

James said...

Amen- Be gone!

tzweeb said...

i can only say there are alot of people that need to turn in their stars appearal. i saw so many people who had some type of item with a stars logo that were leaving after the 2nd, and you know who you are.
turn in your tickets, dont show up, or what ever. the players dont need you.
us true fans of hockey and the stars will be there win or lose to support the team.

tzweeb said...

i have a long question.. i saw tonight omaha doing a 2-1-2 power play, they put 2 guys behind the end line and they were passing the puck behind the goal, waiting for a chance to get the puck in front of the net or just a rebound.
i dont think i've ever seen that before.
also our penalty kill was great, 2 times on a 5 on 3 we did well.
i would like to find something else that we did well tonight, but....lol it was bad!!

StarsHcky said...

I cant believe that ppl would give up their season tickets just b/c one season isnt going how we wanted it to. Like really?? I go to the games to watch my Stars and to watch hockey... win or lose i will continue to go to the games to watch hockey and to keep supporting my team that i have been watching for 10 years now. I dont understand how ppl can say some of these things if they are and have been Stars fans for so long. These guys havent given up for the season, so why should some ppl give up on them?

BellTolls said...

I wouldn't turn in my season tickets for next year. I don't think the hockey can go anywhere but up next year. I do understand with the struggling economy why someone would not want to pay all that money for entertainment that usually results in an L, but it's tough for some folks to understand the thick and THIN part. Stars fans need to be commended for all the turnout right now. It's pretty unheard of for a last place team in any league, let alone the USHL to nearly sellout every game.

I thought we were playing really well in the first period. Really well. Until we gave up the first goal, a soft one. And then with 1:30 left on the clock I turned to the person next to me and said, "Watch them score in the last minute." Sure enough like most teams do, Omaha did. Going down 2-0 before the intermission is a psychological killer. And then the last two periods were brutal. We really missed Peterson in the 1st on the APB line. I think he sat out the whole first after his first shift.

tzweeb said...

i didnt see it but the people around me saw petey get hurt during the first period. so thats probably why he didnt get back out right away.

BellTolls said...

Yeah, he got hurt on his first shift. He was really favoring his arm/shoulder.

Anonymous said...

No morale victories with this one. The team played a GREAT first period and once again Omaha's goalie was the difference and Lincoln's gives up a soft one. You are not going to beat a team like Omaha when you are on the PK a good percentage of the game. Regardless of how you perceive the officiating is, it's tough to generate scoring opportunities when you are a man down. Kudos to all the guys on the PK on their great effort but we can't rely on this and it's not going to win games. We need to be smarter and more disciplined. Should be an interesting game on Saturday night. I hope the boys can regroup and play good 5 on 5 hockey and get a win. Go Stars!

Anonymous said...

Green Bay had a similar Season, They Finished Bottom and look how that Turned around for the Next. It was a Good Game and Omaha Took the Chancers. Teglia had the right amount of skill and luck in the Cage.
Real Fans Stick it out till the end of the Game, regardless of the Outcome. It saddens me to see ppl running for the exits, sing loud and proud.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more! I believe if last night's game was played even strength and we could maintain the intensity and solid play of the first period, the outcome would've been different. I don't want to watch any more short-handed hockey. I also think our goaltenders need to be a difference maker sometimes. Let tonight's game be a game of redemption and rack up some goals! Look forward to going to the Ice Box tonight!

MSgt. said...

Maybe the Stars management needs to shell out some of the profit they make and hire a FULL time goalie coach?!

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does this team seem to pay the price with officials for our past team's reputations? I'm not ripping on the officials or blaming officiating for our struggles this season, but it seems we don't get the benefit of the calls very often and I certainly don't think this team is what you would call cheap or even overly aggressive/physical like we have had in the past. Oh well...onward and upward! We will have better results tonight - looking forward to a great game.

StarsHcky said...

I think another thing fans forget is that in our entire franchise history we have been very lucky. Everyone seems to have a bad year and we havent really had one yet. Sports teams usually go in cycles of the good and the bad and right now things arent going out way, but like i said we have been very lucky in the past. The thing is, when your down, the only way to go is up so lets keep supporting our team b/c this is when they need us!

travis said...

tzweeb,

How can you insult and ridicule someone for leaving early in a 6-0 nothing game? I was one of them, and heck no, I will not turn in my Stars apparrel. I did not leave because I am not a fan. I left because I am sick and tired of watching the team that I go to root for get their a$$ kicked on the ass. I am sure that is why the rest of the fans (yes they are fans) got the heck out of there and went on to do whatever else they had to do for the evening. If you don't like that, well you are really not a sports fan. Welcome to the business of sports. People do not go to any sport to watch their team get killed and pounded on a daily basis. If the score was close and the game was a good one to watch, I and the rest that had better things to do would have stayed. People do not buy season tickets to watch a losing team. If you like rooting for a loser, good for you. I personally will put up with this anomaly of a season, but if it continues many people will throw in their tickets and who the heck could blame them. I do not throw out $700.00 a ticket to see 3 or 4 wins a season. If you do, great, keep supporting, but do not call others loyalty into question for getting on with their weekend.

Anonymous said...

Trust me, it will be OK for all who decide to stay and for the few who decide to abandon. Settle down, gain some perspective, and move on. Tough seasons can really shake a team to its very fiber but really shows where a team's true support comes from no matter the final score or record or where a team ends up in the final standings.

The world still spins, the sun rises and sets, and life will go as it has for quite sometime now. Hang in there true fans knowing these kids play their very best for the fans that come out to support them.

Yeti said...

Anonymous at 11:36am,

Great comment. Very well said. Thank you for that.