Thursday, December 29, 2011

B³ Weekend Preview: Des Moines and Sioux City

The Lincoln Stars will break in the new year on the road where they will take on the Des Moines Buccaneers on Friday, December 30th, and the Sioux City Musketeers on Saturday, December 31st.  Faceoff for the Friday night game in Des Moines will take place at 7:05pm CST.  Puck drops in Sioux City on New Year's Eve at 7:00pm CST.

If you are unable to attend any of the two weekend road games, you can follow the boxscores online via Pointstreak, listen to Stars radio announcer Mike Melbye on KLMS 1480 AM, or watch the games on FASTHockey for a fee.

Lincoln enters this weekend with a record of 16-8-2 (34 points), and are all alone in first place in the USHL Western Conference.  The Stars are 4-1-1 in their last six games, and have impressive road record of 9-4-1 on the season.  Click here to see the current USHL standings.

Surprisingly, the Des Moines Buccaneers (11-11-1, 23 points, fourth place in the USHL Western Conference) are a team that the Lincoln Stars have not yet faced this season.  Friday's nights game will be the first of six meetings between the Bucs and Stars in the 2011-12 regular season.

The Bucs have been and up-and-down team so far this year, and have yet to really find their identity.  For the most part, they are a .500 club both at home and on the road.  Through 23 games, they've scored 74 goals and have surrendered 71.  The have the second-worst powerplay percentage in the league, and the fifth worst penalty kill percentage.  But like Stars head coach Chad Johnson often says, there are no easy games in the USHL.  The Bucs will be ready Friday night, and a rowdy Bucs home crowd will inevitably be fired up.

On Saturday night, the Stars will ring in the new year with a road tilt against the Sioux City Musketeers (11-15-0, 22 points, fifth place in the USHL Western Conference).  This will be the fourth time these two teams will fave each other this season.  Lincoln is 2-1-0 against the Muskies in those three previous games, although in their last matchup, Sioux City beat the Stars by a score of 4-3 at the IceBox on 12/3/11.

Like the Bucs, the Musketeers are a team that have been "Jekyll and Hyde" for most of the season.  It's hard to guess which SC team will show up each night.  Some games they play like world-beaters.  Other nights, they play like a last place team.  One of the areas the Muskies have had issues with this season has been keeping the puck out of their own net.  Through 26 games, Sioux City has given up 96 goals, which is most in the USHL.  They also haven't played well at home, as their 5-9-0 record at the Tyson Events Center indicates.

This should be another good test for the Stars this weekend against two teams looking to work their way up in the western conference standings.  Other than Dominik Shine, the Stars are a 100% healthy team, which is a pleasant surprise.  The Stars looked very good this past Wednesday night in Fargo, so lets hope the boys can keep it going this weekend and bring four more points back to Lincoln.  After these two road games this weekend, the Stars come back to Lincoln where they will play seven of their next nine games at the IceBox.

I know a lot of Stars fans are making the trip up to Sioux City for the NYE game, so I hope to get some comments from them afterwards.  I'm planning on watching the Des Moines game on FASTHockey tomorrow night, so check back here after the game to read my recap article.  Thanks for reading.

Go Stars.

Edit:  I forgot to mention a recent article written by Ryan S. Clark of the Fargo, ND Inforum newspaper in which Ryan talks to Kevin Roy about his recent dealings with the Quebec Major Junior League.  Click here to read the article.  Good stuff as always from Ryan.  It's too bad we can't get him to report on the Stars since the local paper doesn't have a clue.  It's pretty sad when a North Dakota newspaper gives us the scoop before the local rag.


Ryan said...

Sioux City hasn't won on NYE in many years. They usually have a large crowd and fail to show up. One of these years I hope they can win, but don't see it happening this NYE.

Yeti said...

It depends on which SC team shows up, Ryan. Should be a good game, nonetheless.

Ryan said...

I don't think it matters which team shows up lol. Good teams, bad teams, great efforts...they always find a way to end up on the losing end in the NYE game. Dating back to available stats from pointstreak, they have not won a NYE game. Been outscored 32-10. 04-05 team was one of the best and they were shutout.

There may be a riot in SC if they ever do win lol

nutz4puckz said...

Thanks for the notes on the two games Yeti. Go get em boys!!