Saturday, December 27, 2014

B³ Pregame Report: Lincoln Stars vs. Omaha Lancers

The first game back from their 8-day holiday break for the Lincoln Stars will be a Saturday night road tilt in Ralston, NE against the Omaha Lancers.

Puck drops at 7:05pm CST.

If you can't make it up to Ralston tonight you can follow the boxscore online via Pointstreak, listen to Stars radio announcer Mike Melbye on 93.7 FM "The Ticket," or watch the game live on FASTHockey for a fee.

The Stars occupy seventh place in the USHL western conference with a record of 8-12-3 (19 points).  Lincoln is four points ahead of the last place Waterloo Blackhawks, and six points behind the sixth place Sioux Falls Stampede.  Click here to view the current USHL standings.

This will be the third of eight meetings between Lincoln and Omaha during the 2024-15 regular season.  The Stars are 0-2-0 in the two previous games against the Lancers this season.  In their last meeting, which took place in Ralston on December 6th, the Stars had a 3-1 second period lead which vanished when the Lancers scored four unanswered goals to win 5-3.

The Lancers have a record of 11-8-4 (26 points) which is good enough for fifth place in the USHL western conference.  After getting out to a very slow start, the Lancers are one of the hottest teams in the league right now.  Omaha is riding a four-game winning streak, and they are 7-1-1 in their last nine games played.

To say that Omaha has had Lincoln's number the past couple of seasons is an understatement, unfortunately.  Since the start of the 2011-12 season, Lincoln is 8-17-3 against Omaha.  Basically, Lincoln has 8 wins in the past 28 regular season meetings between the two teams.

The Stars are coming off another impressive win against the first-place Sioux City Musketeers last Friday in which they beat the Muskies on their ice by the score of 7-5.  Lincoln has 3 wins in their last 10 games played, and two of those three wins came against Sioux City.

Roster-wise, the Stars are pretty healthy, save for forward Chris Dodero who was placed on the  25-day IR on 12/10.  Forward Ludvig Hoff is back in Lincoln after participating for Team Norway in the U20 World Championships which were help in Italy last week.  Hoff scored 8 points (2g, 6a) in four games for Norway on their way to a silver medal.

Per his Twitter account, forward Jack Badini ('98) has been called up by the Stars to finish the regular season with the team.  Badini was selected by the Lincoln Stars in the 2014 USHL Futures Draft this past spring.  Through 13 games this season for the North Jersey Avalanche U18 team, Badini scored 8 points (2g, 6a).  Badini will be the youngest player on the Stars' team.

Badini tips the scales at 5'11", 185 pounds and plays with a ton of speed and skill.  Even though he was one of the youngest players at Lincoln's tryout camp this past June, I was really impressed with his play.  The addition of Badini should help with the losses of forwards Chris Klack and August Von Ungern-Sternberg who are no longer on the team.

I'm not going to be able to watch this game live, but I hope to watch a replay of it Sunday morning and will post a recap article here on the blog later that day.

Thanks for reading.  Go Stars.

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