Thursday, December 12, 2013

B³ Weekend Preview: Sioux Falls and Omaha

The Lincoln Stars will play their last two games before the holiday break this weekend when they battle the Sioux Falls Stampede on Friday night, and the Omaha Lancers on Saturday.  Friday's game will take place in Sioux Falls, while the tilt against the Lancers on Saturday evening will occur at the IceBox in Lincoln.  Puck drops at 7:05pm CST for each game.

If you are unable to make it to any of the games this weekend, you can follow the boxscores online via Pointstreak, listen to Stars radio announcer Mike Melbye on 93.7 FM "The Ticket," or watch the games live on FASTHockey for a fee.

The Lincoln Stars currently have a record of 5-12-5 (15 points) and are in sixth place the USHL western conference.  Click here to view the current USHL standings.

Friday's opponent, the Sioux Falls Stampede, have a record of 16-6-2 (34 points) and are currently in second place in the USHL western conference.  

Sioux Falls is 6-1-1 in their last 8 games at home.  They have outscored their competition 34-19 in those eight home games. This will be the third time the Stars and 'Pede will play one another.  Sioux Falls is 2-0-0 in the two prior games against Lincoln this season.

Saturday's opponent, the Omaha Lancers, have an impressive record of 20-3-2 (42 points) and are currently in first place in the USHL western conference.  

This is hard to say without wanting to punch the closest thing colored orange, but the Lancers have the best win-loss record in the USHL, and it's not even close.  Their winning percentage is .840, while the second best is .750 (Dubuque Fighting Saints).

Omaha is 6-1-1 in their last 8 games on the road. They have outscored their competition 33-21 in those eight road games.  This will be the third time the Stars and the Lancers will play one another.  Omaha is 2-0-0 in the two prior games against Lincoln this season.

Needless to say, the Stars have their hands full this weekend with the Stampede and the Lancers.  Both opponents are playing outstanding hockey right now, so the Stars will need to play their best in order to get some much needed points this weekend before they head home for the holiday break.  It would be nice to head into the break with some momentum after a big win or two this weekend.  Fingers crossed.

Some roster news was announced today as the Stars traded forward Jason Stephanik to the Sioux Falls Stampede.  In return for Stephanik (and a 6th round Phase I Futures pick), the Stars received a 3rd round Phase I Futures draft pick, a 6th round Phase II Entry draft pick, and "future considerations."  Click here and here to read the tweets announcing the trade by the USHL's Hockey Ops Twitter account.

Stephanik got out to a quick start for the Stars when he was initially acquired by the team after he left Quinnipiac University this past fall.  In his first 8 games in a Stars uniform, Stephanik scored 5 points (2g, 3a).  However, he only scored 1 point in his last 10 games for Lincoln.  Hopefully the change of venue gives him the jumpstart he needs to get back on track and obtain a college scholarship offer.  Best of luck to him (just not against the Stars).

The loss of Stephanik should open up a spot on the Stars' roster, which I would assume the team will want to fill with a forward.  It will be interesting to see who the coaches decide to call up or obtain to fill that open spot.

Be prepared for another parking mess this Saturday night for the Omaha Lancers game.  If the Huskers volleyball team wins their playoff game Friday night, they will play again Saturday night at "The Bob" starting at 8:00pm.  So it may not be too bad of a mess for Stars fans heading to the game, but if the volleyball game and the hockey game release at the same time, it might not be fun getting out of the fairgrounds area.

Go Stars.


Anonymous said...

Ryan-buddy-time to stop the bleeding! Does anybody really see signs of improvement on this team? Hell we played SF better the 1st of the year than we have the last 2 games.

Anonymous said...

Embarrassing. I feel sorry for the players. A change is needed, ASAP.