Tuesday, December 28, 2010

B³ Pregame Report: Lincoln Stars vs. Green Bay Gamblers 12/29

Back to the regular season grind.

The Lincoln Stars will return to the ice Wednesday evening when they will take on the Green Bay Gamblers, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Faceoff will occur at 6:05pm central.  The Stars have a record of 11-11-1 (23 points), and are in seventh place in the USHL Western Conference.  Lincoln has lost four in a row, and have been outscored 19-4 in those four games.  Click here to listen to Mike Melbye call the game on AM 1480 KLMS.  If you have money to burn, you can also watch the game via B2 Network by clicking here. If you want to follow the Pointstreak boxscore, click here.

The Green Bay Gamblers are currently tied for first place in the USHL Eastern Conference with a record of 17-5-2 (36 points), and have a very impressive home record of 8-0-1.  Although the game against the Stars is considered a home game, this matchup will not take place at the Resch Center, where the Gamblers normally play all of their home games.  Because of a scheduling conflict, the game against the Stars and the Gamblers will take place at the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena, which is also located in Green Bay.  As I stated above, the puck will drop a little early Wednesday night, at 6:05pm.  

Stating the obvious here, but this is going to be a HUGE test for the Stars.  First game back from the long x-mas break, and the Stars will face arguably the best team in the USHL right now.  The Stars have had some issues of late scoring goals, and the Gamblers are the best defensive team in the league.  There really isn't a lot of weaknesses on the GB roster.  Compared to the Dubuque Fighting Saints and the Cedar Rapids Roughriders (the other two USHL teams with 36 points), the Gamblers aren't as high-scoring, but that hasn't hurt them at all.  This is still a very dangerous hockey club, and they aren't gooning it up this season as opposed to previous seasons now that former head coach Jon Cooper has left for the AHL.  Believe it or not, the Gamblers are one of the least penalized teams in the USHL right now, which is shocking when you consider how rough and tumble they used to play the past few seasons under Cooper.

No reason to look past this game, but the Stars will travel to Iowa later this week on Friday to take on the Cedar Rapids Roughriders, another very good hockey team.  This is a short two game road trip, but the two teams the Stars will face have a combined record of 34-9-4.  Wow.  Hopefully the players on the Stars roster have their heads back in hockey-mode, and are ready to get back on the ice and prove they are capable of competing (and beating) the top teams in the USHL.  

Hopefully players such as Josh Berge and Matt Prapavessis are healthy enough to return to the lineup this week.  It will be interesting to see if the healthy players head coach Chad Johnson scratched against Omaha on 12/18 are back in the lineup against the Gamblers on Wednesday.  Johnson was obviously sending a message to some of the players, so we'll have to see if they respond.

We will be chatting live for this game, so make sure you check back here around 5:45pm Wednesday evening to join in on the fun.  Hope to see a lot of you there.

Go Stars.

Edit:  According to the Pointstreak transaction page, Stars captain Josh Berge has been placed on the 45-day injured reserve list, effective 12/28/10.  Crappy news.  I was hoping Josh would be healthy enough to return to the lineup after the holiday break.  I assume he is still suffering from symptoms related to the concussion he suffered earlier this month.  I wonder now if the coaches will bring in a player to fill the empty roster spot....maybe an affiliate player??


imadragon said...

Steve Johnson did not scratch any of our players against in the Omaha game. Don't you mean Chad Johnson and not Steve Johnson?

Yeti said...

My bad. It's been corrected. Thanks for the comment.