Friday, April 2, 2010

B³ Weekend Preview - Sioux Falls and Sioux City

The Lincoln Stars will wrap up the 2010-11 season on the road this weekend when they travel north to face the Sioux Falls Stampede on Friday night, and the Sioux City Musketeers on Saturday night.  With only two games remaining, the Stars still find themselves in last place overall in the USHL with a record of 16-34-8 (40 points).  The Stars have a road record of 8-16-4, and a home record of 8-18-4.  With a win this weekend, the Stars could finish the season with a better record on the road than at home.

First up for the Stars Friday night will be the Sioux Falls Stampede.  The Stampede sport a record of 32-14-12 (76 points) and are in third place in the USHL West Division.  This will be the fifth and final time these two teams face each other, with the 'Pede winning three of the previous four games.  In their last meeting on 2/9/10, the Stars surprised many with a complete 5-2 blowout win against the Stampede at the IceBox.  In that particular game, Stars forward Dominick Shine recorded a hat-trick, and goaltender Jared Coreau stopped 36 of 38 shots to record the win.  Up until that 2/9/10 game, the 'Pede had pretty much dominated the Stars.  In those three previous games, the Stampede were 3-0 against the Stars, and had outscored them 8-0.  Faceoff for the game Friday night will be at 7:05pm.

The Stampede have already clinched a playoff spot, so it will be interesting to see how well they play in this game.  They are still only four points behind second place Fargo in the USHL West Division, so there is a possibility the 'Pede could jump up into that second place spot with two wins this weekend, and two Fargo losses.  Sioux Falls went 4-3 against the Fargo Force this season, so if both teams end up tied in points, the 'Pede would get the second seed in the West.  There is still a lot for the 'Pede to play for these final two games, regardless if they have a playoff spot wrapped up already.

On Saturday night, the Stars will take on the Sioux City Musketeers for the final time this season.  The Muskies have a record of 25-24-9 (59 points) and are in fifth place (one point behind fourth place Tri-City) in the USHL West Division.  This will be the fifth time this season the Muskies and Stars battle each other, with each team winning two of the previous four games.  The last time the Muskies and Stars knocked heads, it was Sioux City who proved victorious with a 2-1 win at the IceBox on 3/9/10.  The Stars haven't played at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City since way back on 10/3/09 (second game of the season for Lincoln), when Jared Coreau and the Stars shutout the Muskies, 2-0.  The puck will drop at 7:00pm Saturday night.

This could end up being a very interesting game.  Like I mentioned, the Muskies are only one point behind the Tri-City Storm for the last playoff spot in the USHL West Division.  Both teams (Storm and Muskies) have two games remaining, all at home.  Friday night, the Storm host the Des Moines Buccaneers, while the Muskies host the Waterloo Blackhawks.  On Saturday night, the Storm host the Sioux Falls Stampede, while the Muskies host the Stars.  The Stars can certainly play the role of spoiler this weekend with a win against Sioux City.  Personally, I'd like to see Tri-City lose both games, and then have Sioux City win their Friday night game against Waterloo.  That way, the Stars could beat the Muskies Saturday night and Sioux City would still jump Tri-City for that final playoff spot.

Well folks, it's hard to believe this season is just about over.  To quote the Grateful Dead, "what long strange trip it's been."  Despite the Stars record this season, I am encouraged to hear that so many Stars fans will be traveling north this weekend to root on the "Black and Blue" these final two road games.  I'll be up in Sioux City for the Saturday night game, and I am very much looking forward to that.  I hope to see a lot of Stars fans there.  Let's do what we can to let the boys know we appreciate all their hard work this season.

Go Stars.

News and Notes:  

Article in the Lincoln Journal Star yesterday about the future of the IceBox.  Brent Wagner of the LJS interviews Stars president Jim Pflug.  Pretty good read.  Click here for the article.

Neat little "get to know" article on Stars forward John McCarron on the USHL website.  Click here to read the article

 Article today in the Lincoln Journal Star about Stars forward Ryan Dzingel and his other passion (baseball).  Click here to read the article.

Former Stars forward Brandon Bollig recently signed an amateur tryout contract with the Rockford (IL) IceHogs of the American Hockey League.  The IceHogs are the AHL affiliate for the NHL Chicago Blackhawks.  Click here to read the article.  Thanks to blog reader "Kayleigh" for the tip.

Former Stars forward Trevor Frischmon was recently called up from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL) to the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL.  Frischmon has played three games so far with the Blue Jackets.  Click here to read the article.

I hope to have a live chat/blog going tonight for the Sioux Falls game.  If I am able to run it tonight, check back here around 6:45pm and we should be chatting then.  This will probably be the last time we'll blog live this season, as a number of us from the blog will be in Sioux City Saturday night.  Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Looks like another star has signed a contract! The Ice Hogs are the affiliate team for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Congratulations Brandon!!


Yeti said...

Thanks for the tip, Kayleigh. I'm going to edit this article and include this news, along with some other Stars alumni happenings.

Anonymous said...

Hey Yeti you should try and see if someone could run the live chat saturday it would be really cool for all of us that can't make it to the Sioux City game!

Anonymous said...

What a long strange trip it has been! Every team has injuries and some teams make trades throughout the season but looking at our line up since the beginning of the season, we have got rid of more players than our current line up. Argueably, some pretty good players.

Chartier Peterson Siers
Puskar Reid Brockett
Tate Gerths

Raynor Clement

It might be nice to have some of those guys.Finally, diidn't the coach say we never work on powerplays? Brent mentioned last weekend we were 0-18 on the power play. I hope we worked on that this week.

Yeti said...

I've also included a link to a LJS article about the future of the IceBox. You can find a link to that story under the "News and Notes" section of this blog article.

Also, as rumored, Stars forward Garrett Peterson will be back in the lineup this weekend...per Brent Wagner of the LJS. You can read that article here:

According to the link above, Jarrod Mermis and Steve West are questionable this weekend with injuries.