Thursday, October 14, 2010

B³ Pregame Report: Waterloo Blackhawks vs. Lincoln Stars 10/15

The Lincoln Stars will return to the comfy confines of the IceBox this Friday evening when they will look to get a little payback against the Waterloo Blackhawks.  The Stars (1-2) are coming off a 5-3 road loss last Saturday night against the Blackhawks (1-1) in Waterloo, which was Lincoln's first road loss of the season.  The Stars are 0-1 at home this season after losing their home opener on 10/8 against the Younstown Phantoms, 4-3.  The puck will drop Friday night at the IceBox at 7:05pm.  If you aren't one of the 4,000+ in attendance, you can listen to Mike Melbye call the game online at 1480 AM KLMS.  If you have money to burn, you can watch the game online via B2 Networks.  This will be the final time this season the Stars and Blackhawks face off against each other.

The game Friday night will be very special, as the Stars organization will honor the American Cancer Society by holding their annual "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Night."  Click here to read more about this event, and other events the Stars are hosting this weekend to benefit the ACS of Nebraska.  Here's a quote from the article posted on the official Lincoln Stars website:
Join us for a special night at the Ice Box on Friday, October 15th when the Stars host "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Night", sponsored by 92.9 The Eagle.  Commemorative Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts will be available to purchase for $10 at the game. For each t-shirt purchased, you will be entered into a raffle to win a prize from the American Cancer Society, the Lincoln Stars and Texas Roadhouse.

For this game, the Stars will wear specially-designed jerseys that will be auctioned off in a live auction after the game. The auction will be held in the Mutual of Omaha Bank Zone (formerly "The Stage").   Entrance into the Mutual of Omaha Bank Zone will be on the west side immediately following the conclusion of the game.  Winners will receive the signed jersey and a $50 gift certificate to FastFrame Lincoln.  Proceeds from the t-shirt and jersey auction sales will go to benefit the American Cancer Society.
Last season, in their game against Team USA on 3/20/10, the Stars raised over $28,000 for the American Cancer Society from the specially designed game-worn jerseys that were auctioned off after the game.  At that auction, the top jersey belonged to forward Brent Tate, which was auctioned off for $2,000.  This is always a very popular game for the fans, and a great way to show your support for a very good cause.  Come on out to the IceBox, buy some breast cancer awareness t-shirts, watch some hockey, and stick around afterwards to bid on some jerseys.  

Getting back to the action on the ice, the Stars will be looking for a little revenge against the Blackhawks in this game.  In Waterloo last weekend, the Stars came out very flat in the first period and fell behind 4-0 before responding in the second and third periods.  It was a little too late as the Stars played much better after the first period, but could not pull themselves out of the hole that was already dug.  As bad as the Stars have looked the last few years playing on the road in Waterloo, the Blackhawks haven't fared that much better at the IceBox.  Going back to the start of the 2006-07 season, the Blackhawks have played eight games at the IceBox in Lincoln, and sport a 2-6 record in those eight games.

It will be interesting to see how the Stars respond in this game, considering the loss to the Blackhawks will still be fresh on their minds.  Lincoln has shown that they can dominate teams, but have yet to put a complete game together against an opponent so far this season.  In particular, first periods have not been kind to the Stars.  In their first three games of the season, the Stars have been outscored 7-2 in the opening period.  That will have to change before the Stars can expect to start winning hockey games.  Staying out of the penalty box as been an issue also, which makes it that much difficult to climb back into games after a lackluster first period.  However, this team is full of talent, and it is only a matter of time before things start clicking.  When the Stars play their best for 60 full minutes, watch out.

Another positive is that the Stars are finally starting to get healthy as a team.  Captain Josh Berge returned to the ice last weekend after missing a few preseason games and the first regular season game, and it is rumored that forward Jared Hanson might be healthy enough to return this weekend.  Hanson was recuperating after having surgery on his right hand which was broke in a preseason fight against the Green Bay Gamblers.  If Hanson returns, that would leave forward Garrett Peterson as the only other Stars player out of the lineup due to injury.  Petey should return late this month, or early November, while he continues to heal from offseason shoulder surgery.

The Stars had a sellout crowd of 4,212 last weekend for the home opener against the Youngstown Phantoms, and I really hope to see just as many butts in seats this Friday night for the Waterloo game.  This will be a very fun night highlighting a great cause.  Hope to see you all there. 

Edit:  According to Brent Wagner of the Lincoln Journal Star, the University of Nebraska has decided to close the south entrance into the Innovation Campus area after re-evaluating their parking procedures.  I'm not sure what to think about this one.  So with the south entrance closing, there will now be only two entrances into the campus area.  I thought getting into area last weekend was a breeze, so I'm not sure why they would decide to close one entrance.  I would hope they consider opening up the south entrance during games when both the Stars and UNL basketball teams play at the same time.

 
Note:  I most likely will not be able to stick around after the game to watch the auction, so I would really appreciate it if one of the blog readers could jot down the prices of the jersey auction as it occurs.  If that is something you'd be willing to do, please send me an email at:  lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com

Thanks.  Go Stars.

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