Thursday, January 12, 2012

B³ Weekend Preview: Sioux City and Omaha

The Lincoln Stars will be looking for a little payback this weekend when they host back-to-back games at the IceBox against two teams that have had their number as of late.  On Friday night, the Stars will take on the Sioux City Musketeers.  On Saturday night, the Stars will battle the Omaha Lancers.  Faceoff for both matches will take place at 7:05pm CST.

If you can't make to the games this weekend in Lincoln, 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 home weekend with a record of 18-10-2 (38 points), and are tied for first place in the USHL Western Conference with the Omaha Lancers who have an identical record of 18-10-2.  Click here to see the current USHL standings.

First up this weekend for the Stars will be the visiting Sioux City Musketeers (12-18-0, 24 points, 6th place in the USHL Western Conference).  This will be the fifth time the Stars and Muskies will face each other this season with each team holding an identical 2-2-0 record in those four previous games.

After winning their first two games against the Musketeers this season, the Stars have dropped their last two games which includes a disappointing 5-0 shutout loss on New Years Eve just a few weeks ago in Sioux City.  The last time these two teams faced each other at the IceBox, the Muskies edged the Stars by a score of 4-3 on 12/3/11.  Hopefully these recently losses, especially the 5-0 blowout a few weeks ago, are fresh on the mind of the Stars.

On Saturday evening at the IceBox, the Stars will play host to their main rival, the Omaha Lancers (18-10-2, 38 points, tied for first place in the USHL Western Conference).  This will be the fourth time the Stars and Lancers will face each other this season.

After winning their first meeting on 11/12/11 at the IceBox by a score of 2-1, the Stars have lost two straight to the Lancers.  In fact, Omaha has outscored Lincoln 12-4 in their last two meetings.  The last time these two teams knocked heads at the IceBox, the Lancers embarrassed the hometown Stars by a score of 7-2 on 12/2/11.

I mentioned this last weekend, but the bad news out of the Stars camp is that defenseman Colton Saucerman tore the ACL in his left knee and is out for the season.  He will return to Colorado to have surgery on his knee but will later return to Lincoln and root on his teammates.  Tough loss for the Stars considering how important Saucerman was to the team, especially as one of the top PP quarterbacks in the lineup.

The good news is that forward Dominik Shine is close to returning to the lineup after missing the last 3 months due to knee surgery.  Getting Shine back in the lineup will be huge, and will help an already potent Stars offense.  From what I have heard, Shine was cleared to play but may sit some of the upcoming games out while he continues to strengthen his knee and build endurance.

Sorry for the short weekend preview.  I ran out of time to get this article up along with the halfway point article.  I'm not sure about you guys, but I'm ready for my Stars fix!  A full weekend of hockey at the IceBox!  7:00pm Friday night can't come soon enough.

Go Stars.

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