Tuesday, February 24, 2015

B³ Pregame Report: Sioux City Musketeers vs. Lincoln Stars

The Lincoln Stars will take on the top team in the USHL western conference (and the USHL) this Wednesday evening when they battle the Sioux City Musketeers at the IceBox.

Puck drops at 7:05pm CST.

If you can't make it to this game, 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 are 14-24-5 (33 points) and are in last place in the USHL western conference, eight points behind the seventh place Waterloo Blackhawks.  Click here to view the current league standings.

Sioux City comes into this mid-week matchup with a record of 30-12-4 (64 points), and as I mentioned above, the Muskies occupy the top spot in the west and the USHL overall.  The Musketeers are red hot as of late with a 9-1-1 record in their last 11 games played.  Conversely, the Stars are 2-9-0 in their last 11 games.

Despite where they are in the western conference standings, and how poorly they have played in the past couple of months, the Stars have an impressive 3-2-0 in the five previous meetings with the Musketeers this season.  This will be their last meeting this season.  In their last meeting on 12/19/14, the two teams combined for 14 goals in a 7-4 Stars win in Sioux City.  The seven goals scored by Lincoln in that game has been the most they have scored in any game this season.

This particular game was originally supposed to be played on November 7th, 2014.  Due to an on ice issue, the game had to be canceled at the last minute and it was rescheduled for Wednesday, February 25th.  Tickets (and the parking pass) from the 11/7/14 game will be accepted tomorrow night.

As per the Stars' Twitter account, affiliate defenseman Luke Jaycox will make his debut in a Lincoln uniform against the Muskies on Wednesday.  Jaycox just wrapped up his senior season at Warroad High School in Warroad, MN.  Due to an injury suffered mid-season, Jaycox only played a total of 16 games for Warroad, scoring 12 points (3g, 9a) and adding 18 PIM's.  Luke was originally selected by the Stars in the 12th round of the 2014 USHL Entry Draft.

Standing at 6'1" and weighing in at 185 pounds, Jaycox is definitely someone the fans should be excited about.  In the NHL's Central Scouting mid-term rankings, Jaycox made the list at #132, so there is a very good chance he is selected in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

In my viewings of him at Lincoln's tryout camp, what impressed me the most about Luke's game was how cool and composed he looked for a 17 year old.  Luke will certainly be a big part of Lincoln's rebuilding plans next season as a full-time player.  Getting him here in Lincoln to get a taste of the USHL before next season rolls around is huge.  Jaycox will wear #6 for the Stars.

These are the kind of games that the Stars can play the role of spoiler the rest of this season.  The Musketeers are fighting tooth and nail with the Tri-City Storm for first place in the western conference.  Also, Sioux City is competing with the Storm and the Cedar Rapids Roughriders for the Anderson Cup (regular season points leader).  Hopefully the Stars can put a strong effort together and catch the Muskies napping.

Thanks for reading.  Go Stars.

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