Monday, April 4, 2011

B³ Pregame Report: Lincoln Stars vs. Sioux City Musketeers 4/5

The Lincoln Stars will begin the last week of the USHL 2010-11 regular season on the road this Tuesday night when they will face off against the Sioux City Musketeers for the second time in the last four days.  The puck will drop at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City at 7:00pm.  Lincoln is currently 31-21-5 (67 points), and in fifth place in the USHL Western Conference.  Click here to listen to Stars radio announcer Mike Melbye call the game on AM 1480 KLMS.  You can also watch the game via B2 Network by clicking here. If you want to follow the Pointstreak boxscore, click here.

This will be the eighth, and final time the Stars and Muskies will meet in the regular season.  Despite losing two straight to Sioux City, the Stars have a record of 4-3-0 in their previous seven head-to-head games.  The Stars have a record of 1-2-0 against Sioux City at the Tyson Events Center, and have not won there since 11/25/10.  Just a few days ago on Saturday April 2nd, the Muskies beat the Stars by a score of 4-3, thanks to a 5-on-3 powerplay goal late in the third period.

While the Stars have already clinched a spot in the USHL Clark Cup playoffs, the Muskies are still fighting for that last spot in the western conference.  Sioux City currently sits in sixth place in the west, just three points behind the fifth place Stars, and four points ahead of the seventh place Des Moines Buccaneers, who are also fighting for that last playoff spot in the west.  Click here to see the most up to date USHL standings.

The Stars will hope to put together a three-game winning streak this week and jump up to one of the top four positions in the western conference, and earn home-ice in the opening round of the playoffs.  Teams like Fargo (70 points), Omaha (71 points), and Sioux Falls (72 points) are still within reach.  Lincoln has a game in hand over those three teams, which makes the Tuesday night game against Sioux City so very important.  The western conference standings are very fluid, and it will come down until the very last day of the regular season (this Sunday) before we know where each team will end up.

I am unaware if Garrett Peterson and/or Brent Tate will be healthy enough to play Tuesday night, or this upcoming weekend for that matter, so we'll have to cross our fingers and hope they are both in the lineup.  Other than the two captains, the Stars are a healthy hockey club, which is good considering the playoffs are just around the corner. 

I plan on doing another live in-game chat for the Sioux City game tomorrow night, so check back here around 6:45pm Tuesday evening to join in on the fun.  Hope to see you all there.

Finish strong.  Go Stars.

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