Wednesday, September 14, 2011

B³ Pregame Report 9/15: Lincoln Stars vs. Tri-City Storm

The Lincoln Stars will open up their 2011-12 preseason schedule with a Thursday night matchup against the Tri-City Storm in Kearney, Nebraska.  Faceoff for the game, which will be held at the Viaero Event Center, will be at 7:05pm.  Tickets can be purchased ahead of time by calling the Viaero Event Center ticket office at (308) 338-8011.  You can also purchase tickets online at this link.  You could also wait until you get to the Viaero Event Center to purchase tickets in person, and save some $$ with online "processing fees."

If you can't make it to this game, you can pay $10 and watch it on your PC.  Click here to learn more about that.  It appears the game will also be covered by Pointstreak, so if you can't be at the game, and don't want to fork over the 10 bucks, click here to follow along online and watch the boxscore.  You can also listen to the game on your PC via "Storm Radio," but it will be the TC Storm radio announcer (Skip Berry).  Click here to go to the Storm website, and look for the "Listen Live" link.

The Storm have been practicing together for a few weeks now, while the Stars will have had only three on-ice practices before the game against TC on Thursday night.  It might not be the most technically sound game you've ever seen, but it will still be hockey.  Almost one year ago to the day, the Stars traveled to Kearney to play the Storm and were outshot 40-13, and lost in OT by a score of 3-2.  In that game, Lincoln looked a little lost and a step behind the Storm, which is understandable considering the amount of practice time each team had up until that point.  

These preseason games are more for the coaches than they are for the fans, although it will be nice to see the black and blue in action for the first time since mid-April.  The Stars will have to eventually cut down to 23 players, so these exhibition games are crucial for evaluating the talent the coaches have on the bench.  I would not expect some of the more veteran players to participate in these games since the coaches will want to assess some of the younger, rookie skaters.

As for the Storm, this will also be their first preseason game of the 2011-12 season.  The Storm are coming off a disappointing 2010-11 campaign which saw them struggle offensively, and in the standings.  The Storm finished in last place in the USHL Western Conference last season with a record of 19-30-11, and were second to last in goals scored with 137 in 60 games played.  However, this is a new year, and a brand new Storm team.  Just like the Stars.

I was planning on attending this game and reporting back to the blog with my thoughts and opinions, but a recent knee injury is going to keep me on the injured reserve list at home.  I'm thinking about spending the 10 bucks and watching the game online, but we'll see.  Not too happy about spending that kind of cash for a preseason game, and have to listen to the TC radio announcer on top of that.  I know a LOT of Stars fans are planning on making the trip out to Kearney tomorrow, so I'm hoping to get their opinions also after the game.

Go Stars.

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