Friday, October 8, 2010

B³ Weekend Preview - Youngstown and Waterloo

The 2010-11 Lincoln Stars will play their home opener this Friday night when the undefeated (2-0) Youngstown Phantoms invade the IceBox.  On Saturday night, the Stars will travel east to Iowa to take on the Waterloo Blackhawks.  The Stars have an early 1-0 record after earning a win in the first game of the regular season last Friday night on the road against the Tri-City Storm.  Faceoff for the game against the Phantoms at the IceBox Friday night will be at 7:05pm.  On Saturday night in Waterloo, the puck will drop at 7:05pm also.

As stated above, the Phantoms are a surprising 2-0 so far this season after winning both of their games on the road last weekend.  On Friday, October 1st, the Phantoms earned a 3-2 OT win in Des Moines against the Buccaneers.  On Saturday, October 2nd, the Phantoms were road warriors once again with a hard fought 2-1 victory over the Steel in Chicago.  In those two games, Phantoms goaltender Matthew O'Conner stopped 54 of 57 shots and recorded two wins.  For his efforts, O'Conner was named USHL Goaltender of the Week.  The native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is 6'6", 186 pounds.  I would assume the Youngstown coaches will stick with the hot goaltender against the Stars, but I wouldn't be surprised if Phantoms goaltender Matt Green gets the starting nod also.  Green, who appeared in 31 games as a member of the Lincoln Stars last season, earned a spot on the Youngstown roster after playing very well in a number of preseason games.  Which goaltender gets the start against the Stars?  Another Phantoms player to keep your eye on is Scott Mayfield.  The 6'4", 200 pound defenseman from St. Louis, MO has been turning heads in the scouting world.  Many draft experts think Mayfield will be a first round NHL draft pick next spring.  Mayfield was named USHL Defenseman of the Week after scoring the game winning goal against the Steel last weekend.

The Waterloo Blackhawks are currently sporting a 0-1 record after losing their home opener last Friday night to the Cedar Rapids Roughriders.  In that game, the Blackhawks could only manage a meager 19 shots on goal against the Roughriders and lost, 1-0.  The Blackhawks will not play Friday night, so they'll be rested and hungry when they battle the Stars Saturday night.  In recent games in Waterloo, the Stars haven't performed all that well.  Young Arena in Waterloo can be a very intimidating, and loud, place to play for opposing teams.  Their fans ring cowbells incessantly.  Just say no to cowbell.  We'll be blogging/chatting live for this game, so make sure you check us out Saturday night.

Much like the Stars, the Phantoms are coming off a very disappointing season in the USHL in which they finished with a 20-36-4 record.  Only the Stars finished the 2009-10 regular season with a worse record.  It's a little early to say how the Phantoms will end up this season, but they've shown already that they can win games on the road.  They'll be walking into a crazy environment Friday night at the IceBox, so who knows how they'll respond when the light show starts, and 4,000+ screaming Lincoln fans blow the roof off.  

Speaking of the pregame festivities, the Stars will be inducting a number of former players into their Hall of Fame.  We've blogged about this already, but it will be interesting to see who gets inducted, and how many of those players will be in attendance.  Make sure you get to the IceBox early Friday night, because you will not want to miss any of the pregame videos. 

Lincoln forwards Garrett Peterson and Jared Hanson will be out of the lineup this weekend due to injuries.  Forward Brad Wilhelm is officially off the roster, but will be playing for the New Mexico Mustangs of the NAHL until the Stars decide to recall him sometime in the future.  Brad Hawkinson, who was an emergency call-up last Friday night in the Tri-City game, will also be in the lineup Friday night against Youngstown.  Josh Berge and Cole Martin, who were out of the lineup against Tri-City due to injuries, are reportedly healthy again and could play this weekend.

Well, does it get any better than a Lincoln Stars home opener?  I'm not sure about you all, but I'm going to be useless at work tomorrow.  My mind will be at the IceBox with 4,000+ of my favorite people in the world.  Let's do this, Lincoln.  Cheer your ass off Friday night.  Let the players know we appreciate their efforts, and will always stand behind them.  Be loud.  Be proud.  Go Stars.

And to get you in the mood....


Anonymous said...

Awesome preview yeti! I cant sleep tonite, wish it was Friday night already!! Gooooo Stars!

Yeti said...

Thanks. Definitely not one of my best blog articles. Watched the Husker game last night, so I wrote this up quickly late last night when I was dead-dog tired. Like many in Lincoln, I'm dragging ass this morning. :)

Looking forward to tonight! Less than 11 hours to go!