Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Weekend Preview - Team USA and Des Moines

The Lincoln Stars will go back on the road this weekend to take on Team USA, and the Des Moines Buccaneers.  In a rare Thursday night game, the Stars will face the U-17 Team USA squad.  The next afternoon, the Stars will battle the U-18 Team USA squad in a matchup that will start at 2pm central.  Lincoln will wrap up their brief road trip Saturday night in Des Moines against the Buccaneers.  The Stars have a record of 11-22-5 (27 points) and are in last place in the USHL.

Before we get to the match-ups,  the big news this week was trade of Stars forward David Gerths to the Green Bay Gamblers for forward Sam Alfieri and a first round draft pick.  Gerths has struggled this season to score goals, so hopefully this trade will allow him to thrive on a very good Green Bay team that should compete for both the Anderson and Clark Cups.  It seems as if Coach McGroarty is looking to next season with this trade, as Alfieri should play for the Stars this season and next, and the first round draft pick should help Lincoln build for the 2010-'11 season.  Good luck to David in Green Bay.

Up first for the Stars this weekend is Team USA, based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The casual USHL fan might not know this, but the Team USA organization that is competing in the USHL this season is actually two teams.  First we have the U-17 team, which consists of players under 17 years of age.  I don't know the exact numbers, but this specific team has played the majority of games in the USHL this season.  Obviously, this team is VERY young but very skilled, considering their young age.  At the beginning of the season, this team was consistently getting blown out by USHL competition.  As the season progressed, this team has gotten much better, although they still lose more games than they win.  Players to watch for Team USA U-17 are forward Rocco Grimaldi, defenseman Robbie Russo, and goaltender John Gibson.

The other Team USA squad playing in the USHL this season is the U-18 team, which are players under the age of 18.  Now this team is the real deal, as they frequently beat collegiate hockey teams around the nation.  There is a huge disparity in talent between the two USA squads, so the Stars will certainly have their hands full with the U-18 squad.  Just last weekend, the U-18 Team USA squad beat the Waterloo Blackhawks by a score of 10-2.  I expect the Stars to play well and win against the U-17 team, but they could struggle against the U-18 squad.  Players to watch for Team USA U-18 are forwards Brandon Saad, Austin Czarnik, and goaltender Jack Campbell.  Team USA has a record of 12-21-4 (28 points), good enough for last place in the USHL East Division.

Saturday night the Stars will travel to Des Moines, Iowa to take on the Buccaneers.  The Bucs have a record of 15-21-3 (33 points) and are in sixth place in the USHL West Division.  Des Moines has struggled this season, but this is a team that can be very dangerous at home.  The Bucs are an offense first type of team and are well equipped to score goals in bunches.  However, Des Moines has struggled on the defensive side of the ice.  The Bucs have surrendered 166 goals so far this season, which is tops in the USHL.  Des Moines is led by forwards T.J. Tynan, Ryan Walters, and H.T. Lenz.  The Bucs trio have combined for 134 points in 39 games played this season.  The Stars can't afford to get into a shootout with a team like Des Moines.

Of the six points up for grabs this weekend, I think the Stars have a good chance of getting four if they play like they have of late.  I'm hopeful that the roster events of this week don't interfere with the psyche of this team, but that's why they play the game.  Goaltender Jared Coreau is playing his best hockey of the season, but he hasn't received any help.  Let's hope the Stars find a way to bury some biscuits this weekend against two teams who have had trouble stopping pucks.

Go Stars.

**Note:  The Thursday night game against Team USA will start at 6:05pm central.  We will be blogging live for that game, so make sure you drop by the blog tomorrow night to chat with other Stars fans during the game.  The Friday afternoon game against Team USA will start at 2:05pm central.  Because of the start time, we will not be blogging live for that game.  The Saturday night game in Des Moines will start at 7:05pm, and I hope to be blogging live for that game.  Stay tuned.


tzweeb said...

thursday night sounds great and i hope we can set a new record for posts!!
yeti and B T do a great job here and we can show them how much we like what they are doing. maybe we will even get some other teams fans to join us... lol
and as said from brent... atleast i get paid to do this. lol

tzweeb said...

hey guys i like the new live activity feed area.
there were 2 people on here watching from "AK". alaska i believe. wasilla, ak. elmendorf AFB, ak. and lawrence, ks.
i believe this post site has reached the top of the charts when you can get people from around the globe and our troups as well.. a follower from the troups is the best fan we can have!!!
thanks to the people who are following and to our troups, i hope you sleep well tonight and have safe days and nights in the future.

StarsHcky said...

So off topic but some former player news. It looks like last night Ryan Potulny scored the only goal for Edmonton to beat the Flyers and David Backes scored 2 goals in his game for St. Louis to beat Chicago 3-2. Looks like some of our ex- players are doing pretty good in the NHL. Cant wait to watch Backes play in the Olympics.