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5 Things: Five-Goal Third Downs Black Hawks

January 22, 2022 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Lincoln Stars News Release

The Lincoln Stars (17-11-1-1) scored five goals in the third period, beating the Waterloo Black Hawks 5-4 at the Ice Box on Friday night. Here are five things that happened:


The Stars only mustered up four shots in the first 20 minutes against the Black Hawks on Friday night. Waterloo fired seven towards Cameron Whitehead, but the 18-year-old stopped each chance that came his way in the opening frame. Lincoln had a power play 6:32 into the game but failed to generate a shot on goal.

In the second period, the Stars generated 15 shots on goal but still found themselves empty in the goal department. However, Waterloo was able to break through at 2:32 with a power-play strike from Garrett Schifsky. They added to the lead with a marker from Jake Rozzi at 9:30.

Stars head coach Rocky Russo attributed Lincoln's less-than-desirable start to an inability to possess the puck first in the offensive zone and Waterloo's defensive strategy guarding their blue line. Heading into Friday's game, the Stars were 0-7-0-1 when trailing after two periods.


Lucas Wahlin provided a jolt the Stars needed 1:35 into the third period, scoring a shorthanded goal to cut Waterloo's lead in half. Whitehead poked away a Black Hawk centering feed and Aidan Thompson fed it up to Wahlin on an eventual 2-on-1 rush. The right-handed forward ripped a shot past Jack Williams for his first goal since December 4th. Wahlin has scored twice against Waterloo through three games this season.

With the Ice Box faithful providing the energy, Lincoln looked for more after successfully killing off the rest of Waterloo's man advantage.


Enter Doug Grimes.

The Boston University commit tied the game at 2:50, pounding a rebound through Williams after a Dalton Norris shot. Max Scott deflected the drive from Norris, picking up his first career USHL point in the process. Grimes' tally was his first goal as a Lincoln Star since being acquired around Christmastime from the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

Grimes scored four times in 22 games last year for the Sioux City Musketeers. The 19-year-old wasn't done yet as both teams exchanged goals to make it 3-3. Jake Schneider answered Grimes' first goal at 5:54, then Norris responded at 8:46 (which we'll talk about later).

After Connor Brown scored on the power play for the Black Hawks at 11:35, Grimes' number would be called again. After a clean defensive zone exit from Antonio Fernandez, he slid the puck for Noah Laba to enter the offensive zone. Laba gained entry along the left wing, dropping the puck for Henry Nelson while drawing two Waterloo defenders. Nelson stepped in from the left circle and threw a shot on through traffic that was fought off by Williams.

Grimes was battling in the crease and tapped the puck home for his second goal of the period at 13:20. The Brookline, MA notched the first two-goal game of his USHL career with the equalizer. In five games since the trade that sent him to Lincoln, Grimes has five points (two goals, three assists) in five games.


Let's go back to how Waterloo took that 3-2 lead.

Yu Sato took a tripping minor shortly after Grimes' first goal, allowing the Black Hawks to regain the lead on a 5-on-4. James Hong was also sent to the box for a trip, extinguishing the rest of the Black Hawk power play.

However, Jake Schneider threw a shot from the right wing through Whitehead on the ensuing 4-on-4 shift, giving the visitors the momentum right back.

As Sato's penalty expired, it was Lincoln's turn with the 5-on-4. The Stars failed to score on the abbreviated power play, but they were given another chance as Fernandez was kneed by Ben Brunette at the blue line.

Lincoln capitalized this time as Norris notched his 12th goal of the season and 10th on the power play at 8:46. Wahlin and Luke Johnson picked up assists as the Stars top unit executed perfectly, leading to Norris potting a loose puck from the slot.

Norris tied Sam Lipkin of the Chicago Steel for the league lead in power-play goals. The Stars captain is the first USHL defenseman this season to reach the double-digit mark in PPGs.


In a 4-4 game, the Stars carried the play and continued to dominate, but were still searching for the goal to bring them in front. With under three minutes left in the game, the Black Hawks' clearing attempt was picked off by Mason Marcellus, who fed Griffin Jurecki in alone with a quick pass. Jurecki's first chance was stopped, he whacked a second try out of the air, but Williams stood tall.

Sato had the third chance on the follow-up, poking the puck through Williams' legs and into the net for Sato's fourth goal of 2021-22.

Sato's first goal since November 19th proved to be the game-winner as the Stars held on for a 5-4 win. They fired 20 shots on goal in the third period, outshooting Waterloo by 15 in the final frame.

Whitehead stopped 17 shots to pick up his ninth win of the season. Williams made 34 saves for the Black Hawks in the loss. Lincoln has now won three games in a row; they are two points behind the Sioux City Musketeers and the Omaha Lancers for second place in the Western Conference.

On Saturday night, the Stars take on the Des Moines Buccaneers at the Ice Box! Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. and you can get your tickets!

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