Thursday, November 18, 2010

B³ Pregame Report: Sioux City Musketeers vs. Lincoln Stars 11/19

Hey everyone, either before or after you read Yeti's wonderful pregame story, check out the new USHL Power Rankings posted below to see how far up the Lincoln Stars have moved. - BT
Friday night at the IceBox, the Lincoln Stars will play host to the Sioux City Musketeers in what will be the first time these two teams have faced each other this season. The Stars are riding a five-game winning streak coming into this game, having outscored their last five opponents 21-6. Faceoff for the game Friday night will be at 7:05pm. This will be the only game the Stars play this weekend. You can listen to Mike Melbye call the game on AM 1480 KLMAS by clicking here. You can also watch the game via B2 Network by clicking here. If you want to follow the Pointstreak boxscore, click here.

The Sioux City Musketeers (9-5-0, 18 points, 2nd place in USHL Western Conference) have one of the better road records in the league at 4-1, although each of those four wins were by only one goal. The Muskies are very much reborn this season compared to last year, as evident by their overall record. New players this season such as Caleb Herbert (F), Max McCormick (F), and Jordan Schmaltz (D) are just three rookies who have stepped up and provided some excitement in Sioux City. The three players I just mentioned were all on the Team USA squad which won gold at the World Junior A Challenge in Canada. The Muskies have still struggled a bit at times this season in terms of scoring goals. Despite having played two more games than Lincoln so far this season, the Musketeers have scored 37 goals, as opposed to 42 for Lincoln. SC is averaging 2.6 goals scored through 14 games, while the Stars are averaging 3.5 goals scored through 12 games played. The Muskies have had a few games where they have been blown out, but for the most part, they are a team which relies more on team defense and goaltending than they do trying to outscore their opponents.

The Lincoln Stars (7-5-0, 14 points, 5th place in USHL Western Conference) are one of the hottest teams in the league right now, winners of five in a row and six out of their last seven games. Winning at home is something the Stars have done well also, as the black and blue have won four straight in front of the Lincoln fairthful at the IceBox. The Stars have combined great goaltending, solid defense, improving special teams, and timely offense in this recent winning streak to propel themselves out of the cellar in their conference. If the Stars can win Friday night against the Muskies, it will be six wins in a row, which has not happened since the 2008-09 season when Lincoln won six straight in November and December of 2008. Unlike last season at this time, the Stars are lucky to have a near 100% healthy roster at the moment, which has certainly helped the team gel on and off the ice. Stars goaltender Kevin Murdock has played lights-out the past month, as it seems like the Bradenton, Florida native has found his "groove" and is playing with much more confidence now than earlier in the season. In the last five games, Doc has faced 150 shots on net, and as only allowed 6 goals. Incredible.

This should be a very good test for the Stars' offense in this game. Defensively, the Muskies are one of the better teams in the league, so the Stars will have to keep generating shots on goal and hope that they'll eventually find the back of the net. Stars assistant captain Garrett Peterson played this past Tuesday night against the Tri-City Storm, so there is a good possibility he will rest against the Muskies on Friday night. Considering that the Stars don't play Saturday night, and won't play until next Wednesday night, there is a chance Petey could play against SC. In his two games back from off-season shoulder surgery, Petey has scored two goals, two assists, and is +3. Oh yeah, both goals scored by Peterson have been game winners. No big deal. It's nice to see him healthy, scoring points, and supplying toughness and swagger on the ice for Lincoln.

I'm not sure if this game is a sellout, but I've heard that tickets are selling briskly, so if you don't have tickets the Stars ticket office at 474-7827, or buy your tickets online by clicking here. It would be really great to see a full barn Friday night. Hope to see all of you there. Let's get six! Go Stars!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Very well played tonight guys ......keep it up.