Monday, March 8, 2010

B³ Pre-Game Report: Waterloo Blackhawks vs. Lincoln Stars 3/9

The Lincoln Stars will wrap up their eight game home-stand and hopefully snap their five game losing streak Tuesday night at the IceBox when the Stars host the Waterloo Blackhawks.  In their past seven home games, the Stars are 1-4-2 and have been outscored 23-9.  In their past four games, the Stars offense has only been able to generate a total of 2 goals.  The Stars have a record of 13-29-8 (34 points) and are in last place in the USHL West Division.  Faceoff for the game Tuesday night is at 7:05pm.    
The Waterloo Blackhawks occupy fourth place in the USHL East Division with a record of 26-22-2 (54 points).  Unless the Blackhawks completely fall apart in their final 10 games, Waterloo should make the playoffs, most likely as the fourth seed in the USHL East Division.  This will be the fourth and final time the Blackhawks and the Stars face each other this season with the 'Loo winners of two out of the previous three games.  The last time these two teams knocked heads at the IceBox this season, the Stars won 4-1 on 11/14/09. 

At the beginning of this season, the Blackhawks struggled much like the Stars.  In their first 10 games of the season, Waterloo was 2-8 and had all kinds of problems stopping the puck from finding the back of their net.  In fact, the 'Loo gave up a staggering 49 goals in those 10 games.  However, unlike the Stars, the Blackhawks have been able to pull it together defensively and have played much better since the x-mas break.  Since 12/29/09, the Blackhawks have a record of 17-7-1 and have climbed out of the West Division cellar into fourth place, and a probable Clark Cup playoff spot. 

The Blackhawks are led on offense by forwards J.T. Brown (63 points), Brock Montpetit (61 points), Tyler Barnes (55 points), and Derek Arnold (51 points).  As you can see, the Blackhawks have four players who have scored at least 50 points this season.  No other team in the USHL can match this.  In fact, there is no team currently in the USHL with three players on their roster with 50 or more points.  To put it in perspective, the leading scorer on the Stars roster is forward Brodie Reid, who has 36 points.  This 'Loo team can flat out put the biscuit in the basket.

Of course, this game will also mark the return of two former Stars players, forwards Jimmy Siers and Jonathan Puskar.  Two of the more popular players among the fans, Siers and Puskar were traded from Lincoln to Waterloo at different times this season for draft picks.  Siers missed two months due to an injury, but he is healthy now and playing very well.  One of my favorites, Puskar has scored 1 goal and 2 assists in 10 games with the Blackhawks this season.  Both of these players add so much to the Waterloo lineup that can't be seen on the scoresheet.  You won't find two more hard-working, energetic players in the USHL than Siers and Puskar.  I hope the Stars fans in attendance Tuesday night give them both a round of applause if they are in the starting lineup.

The Blackhawks have a lot to play for in this matchup as they start their playoff push with only 10 games remaining in the season.  The Stars can certainly play the role of spoiler Tuesday night, but they'll have to figure out very quickly how to score goals.  The Stars beat the Blackhawks at the IceBox back in November of '09, but the 'Loo are a MUCH different team right now.  Despite the losing streak and the struggles this season, the Stars lead the USHL in attendance with an average of 4,179 per game, which is encouraging.  The fans are still behind this team, and I hope that continues throughout these final five home games.

Go Stars.

Notes:  The official USHL website posted an article today highlighting the two recent college commitments of Stars defenseman Dax Lauwers and forward Jarrod MermisClick here to read the article.  Remember, you heard that news first here at the B³!  :)

The official USHL website has also posted an article in regards to former Stars defenseman Michael Sdao, who just completed his freshman season at Princeton University.  Sdao answers a number of questions related to his time with the Stars, and with Princeton.  Click here to read the article.  Thanks to "Starstuck" for the heads up.

8 comments:

MacAttack said...

I am really looking forward to seeing Jimmy Siers tomorrow night. Hope the Waterloo coach show the same class the Green Bay coach did and start Jimmy and Jon.

Yeti said...

Mac,

Considering this will be the last time Siers and Puskar will ever play at the IceBox, I sure hope you are correct.

starstruck said...

Off the subject - there is an interview with Michael Sdao posted on the USHL website about his first season at Princeton. Nice to hear he is doing well!

Yeti said...

Thanks for that, Starstuck. I just added it to this blog article. Great read! Glad to hear "The Big Doggy" is doing well at Princeton.

tzweeb said...

some more nice things i think i heard tonight on the radio... jimmy siers has a 4.0 GPA... wow what a great kid. good luck to both jimmy and jon.

Force Blogger said...

Come up to Fargo this weekend for the games...you guys could end up outnumbering us with the Univ. of North Dakota game against the Gophers and the MN state hockey tourney this weekend...there are gonna be a lot of fargo hockey lovers out of town im sure....hope we still get a good crowd to beat you guys :)

Gave up long ago said...

What can you say about this one? Good teams find ways to win, and vice versa.

tzweeb said...

ok i cant wait til friday and saturday to get on here and do a blog again!!!! whats it been now 8 games???