Tuesday, March 1, 2011

B³ Pregame Report: Lincoln Stars vs. Sioux Falls Stampede 3/2

The Lincoln Stars (22-18-4, 48 points, fifth place in the USHL Western Conference) will look to snap out of their current two-game losing streak Wednesday evening when the black and blue go on the road to Sioux Falls once again to battle the Stampede.  Puck drops at the Sioux Falls Arena at 7:05pm.  This will be the middle game of three straight matchups pitting the Stars against the Stampede.  Click here to listen to Stars radio announcer Mike Melbye call the games on AM 1480 KLMS.  If you have money to burn, you can also watch the games via B2 Network by clicking here.  If you want to follow the Pointstreak boxscore, click here.

As I stated above, this will be the second of three straight games in which the Stars will face the Sioux Falls Stampede (26-14-5, 57 points, fourth place in the USHL Western Conference).  This past Sunday evening in Sioux Falls, the Stampede put a whuppin' on the Stars by a score of 6-2.  In that game, the 'Pede chased Stars goaltender Kevin Murdock from the net in the second period after scoring five goals against Lincoln.  The Stars will look to get a little payback again in Sioux Falls on Wednesday night, before the Stampede travel to Lincoln to face the Stars at the IceBox this Friday night.  Got all of that?  Very odd scheduling for sure.  The Stars have faced the Stampede a total of six times so far this season, with Lincoln sporting an impressive 4-2-0 record in those six previous games.  The Stampede are arguably the hottest team in the USHL right now, having won seven straight games overall, and eight straight in a row at home.  

The Stars are coming off two disappointing losses in which they surrendered a total of 12 goals.  There's certainly no reason to panic, but the Stars have to tighten up defensively as a team to get back into the winning column.  With the Stampede sitting nine points ahead of Lincoln in the standings, getting four points from the Stampede in these next two games would be huge.  Luckily for the Stars, the teams below them in the standings (Des Moines, Tri-City, Sioux City) haven't exactly been playing lights-out hockey as of late, but each of those three teams are definitely within striking distance.  Only three points separates Lincoln from the last place teams (Tri-City, Sioux City) in the western conference.  

Sorry for the short pregame report.  Busy week, and I ran out of time tonight.  I want to quickly mention that I attended the Lincoln Stars Blueline Booster Club meeting tonight and was treated to a very informative presentation by USHL Director of Operations Scott Brand, who also brought along three USHL officials with him.  Brand and the three officials answered a number of questions from Stars fans regarding a variety of topics.  I learned a lot, and have a new found appreciation for the job and duties of a USHL official.  For those who missed it, join the BLBC and become a member!  What are you waiting for?  Good group of people who do a LOT of positive things for the Stars.  I'll get off my soapbox now.

We'll be doing another live in-game chat for the Sioux Falls game Wednesday night, so check back here around 6:45pm to join in on the fun.  Hope to see you then!

Go Stars.

No comments: