Tuesday, December 30, 2014

B³ Pregame Report: Lincoln Stars vs. Waterloo Blackhawks

The Stars will once again ring in the new year in Waterloo, IA on New Year's Even when they take on the Waterloo Blackhawks on Wednesday evening.

Puck drops at 7:05pm CST.

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.

I'm running out of time tonight to get this article posted, so it will be a short one.

The Stars are 8-12-4 (20 points) and are in seventh place in the USHL western conference, one point ahead of the eighth place Waterloo Blackhawks who are 8-15-3 (19 points).  Lincoln does have two games in hand over Waterloo.

This will be the fourth and final meeting between these two teams during the 2014-15 season.  Lincoln is 1-2-0 in their three previous games against Waterloo.  In their last meeting, which was on December 13th, the Stars beat the Blackhawks in Waterloo by the score of 3-2 in an overtime shootout.

New Year's Eve has not been kind at all to the Lincoln Stars in the recent past  In their last five games on New Year's Eve dating back to 2010, all of which were on the road, the Stars are 0-5-0 and were outscored 27-6.  Ouch.

Having said that, if you go back and look at Lincoln's record on New Year's Eve in the six years prior to 2010, Lincoln had won five of the six games going back to 2004 (thanks to Mike Melbye for that stat).

Unlike in their last meeting, Waterloo will have a much more potent offense when they face the Stars on New Year's Eve.  Forwards Brock Boeser, Tyler Sheehy, and Tommy Novak (the top three scorers for the Blackhawks) are back in the lineup after participating in the 2014 World Junior A Challenge for Team USA.  The scoring really drops off for Waterloo after Boeser, Sheehy, and Novak, but those three forwards are uber-talented and will likely give the Stars fits.  Shut them down, and your chances of winning are much better.

Should be a pretty good battle.  Let's hope the Stars can reverse their recent New Year's Eve luck with a big road win to ring in 2015.

Thanks for reading.  Go Stars.

Edit:  I wanted to quickly congratulate Stars defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk on being named to the roster of the 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will will take place on January 13th, 2015 in Dubuque, IA.  Click here to read more about that.

This will be a great opportunity for Wyatt to show off his skills in front of a ton of NHL scouts who will be watching in Dubuque.  Congrats again to Wyatt!

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