Thursday, February 11, 2010

B³ Weekend Preview - Tri-City and Youngstown


The Lincoln Stars will look to build upon their 5-2 victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede this past Tuesday with an away game against the Tri-City Storm on Friday night, and a home game against the Youngstown Phantoms on Saturday night.  As mentioned, the Stars are coming off an impressive home win against the 'Pede which snapped Lincoln's seven game losing streak.  With the win Tuesday night at the IceBox, the Stars improved to 12-24-6 (30 points), and are still in last place in the USHL West Division.  

The Stars will travel to Kearney this Friday night to take on the Tri-City Storm.  The Storm sport a 20-17-6 (46 points) record, and are in fourth place in the USHL West Division.  The Storm are coming off an impressive road swing last weekend in which they shutout league-leading Green Bay 2-0, and then beat the Cedar Rapids Roughriders in OT, 3-2.  The last time the Stars and Storm faced-off against each other, it was the Stars who proved victorious with a 6-2 thumping of the Storm on their home ice on 1/20.  In that contest, the Stars line of Ammon-Peterson-Berge combined for 4 goals and 3 assists to power the Stars over the Storm.  Since that game, former Tri-City captain Josh Berge has been sidelined with a knee injury, and will not play against his former team.  With that home loss fresh on their minds, and the fact that the Storm are fighting for a playoff spot in the USHL West Division, I expect the Storm to play like their hair was on fire in this game.  The Stars will need to play smart hockey early on if they want to win this game.  Get the early lead, play smart hockey, and finish strong.

On Saturday night, the Stars will host the USHL East Division Youngstown Phantoms.  This match-up will feature two last place teams looking to fight their way out of the cellar.  The struggling Phantoms have a record of 14-24-2 (30 points), and have lost 12 out of their last 14 games.  Youngstown made a splash early on this season with tons of offense and penalty minutes, but as the season progressed, the Phantoms found themselves scoring less, losing more, and consequently fell in the standings.  The Stars are 3-0 against the Phantoms this season, with one win in Lincoln, and two wins in Youngstown.  The last time these two teams faced each other in Lincoln on 10/16/09, the Stars won a wild back-and-forth game by a score of 7-6 in overtime.  In that contest, the two teams combined for 13 goals and 131 penalty minutes.  The two teams certainly gave the fans a show that night, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same kind of game transpires Saturday night.  Youngstown leads the USHL in penalty minutes with 1180, but Lincoln is right behind them in second place with 1076.  Don't blink Saturday night, you might miss something.

A team fighting like mad to keep their head above water, and a team sinking like a rock.  Can the Stars put together two wins against these two teams going in opposite directions?  Will the "Young Guns" on the Lincoln roster continue to impress?  Will the game Saturday night turn into a gong-show?  Can Jared Coreau continue to stand on his head?  Did Stars Head Coach Jimmy McGroarty find a warm body before the USHL roster freeze to replace Garrett Clement on the roster?  Will I lose another hat this Saturday night?  Why am I asking so many questions?  Stay tuned, faithful reader.

Go Stars.

Note:  We will be blogging live here at the Friday night for the game against the Storm.  We will be online and chatting around 6:45pm.  Please join us if you can!  I will post the live blog article sometime tomorrow afternoon.


Road Trip said...

Is anyone going to the game. I am going to head out that way in a couple of hours.

James said...

Not I ...Instead I plann to watch the Vancouver opening ceremony, chat and listen to the game...Gonna be a crazy night of multi tasking for me.

BA Photos said...

I will be leaving here in a few minutes plan on arriving with the team at 5pm

StarsHcky said...

Im going!!!