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5 Things: Stars, Whitehead Shut out Stampede

January 15, 2022 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Lincoln Stars News Release


The Lincoln Stars (15-11-1-1) started off the weekend with a 2-0 win over the Sioux Falls Stampede (11-17-1-1) on Friday night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Here are five things that happened:

1.) Slow Start

In the eighth meeting of the season between the Stars and the Stampede, both clubs looked sluggish out of the gate.

Lincoln generated nine shots on goal while Sioux Falls produced twelve in the opening period, but neither team scored. The Stars had the game's first power play of the game, but it was wiped out 90 seconds into it thanks to a face-off violation.

The Stars fell into more penalty trouble in the second period, taking three straight minors. They survived, but their even-strength game took a backseat, as a result.

Lincoln was outshot 20-16 through two periods of play with both teams still searching for the game's first goal.

2.) Welcome Back, No. 7

In his first game since December 18th, Carter Schade was noticeably effective. His physicality was on full display and he showed little rust after missing nearly a month of action.

Ironically, the 18-year-old defenseman suffered his upper-body injury in Sioux Falls, forcing him to leave mid-game after scoring his first goal of the season.

In his absence, the Stars had gone 1-4. In his return on Friday, Schade broke the goalless deadlock, scoring 9:34 into the third period.

Schade drove the blue line and flipped the puck for Yu Sato, who fired a shot from the left circle off the blocker side of Isak Posch. The ricochet sent the puck off the back boards and Schade banked the rebound off of Posch and into the back of the net. Joey Pierce picked up the secondary assist.

3.) Thompson Provides Insurance

Just under four minutes later, Aidan Thompson picked the top-left corner of the net on a 2-on-1 chance, doubling Lincoln's lead.

Thompson was sprung through the defensive zone after a pass from Doug Grimes, who secured his third assist in his last two games. Henry Nelson started the exit for Lincoln and was rewarded with a helper.

Thompson's goal marked his seventh of the season. With the tally, the University of Denver commit is the first Stars player to reach 30 points this season.

The 19-year-old has burned the Stampede all season long, racking up 10 points (two goals, eight assists) against Sioux Falls in eight games this year.

4.) WHITEHEAD PERFECT

While the Stars offense woke up in the third period, Cameron Whitehead was dialed in at the opening puck drop.

The 18-year-old shined on Friday, turning aside all 33 shots from the Stampede en route to his first USHL shutout.

He was tested early on in the third period, stopping a breakaway from Sam Harris under 60 seconds in.

Some of his best work came in the dying minutes of the game with Sioux Falls on a 6-on-4 advantage. Blake Humphrey had several high-danger looks from the slot, but Whitehead answered them all.

The Northeastern commit is now 3-0 against Sioux Falls this season with a goals-against average of 1.00 and a save percentage of .967.

5.) Block & Roll

While Whitehead sparkled in the crease, the penalty kill also saw a dramatic improvement on Friday.

They were a clean 6-for-6 and had an array of shot blocks, preventing Sioux Falls from penetrating the interior on a consistent basis.

After allowing three power-play goals against last weekend, Stars head coach Rocky Russo was pleased after the group's response.

"I thought we did a great job of that," Russo said postgame. "[Christian] Kocsis had about seven blocks on the penalty kill ... Jo Lemay had a couple of big blocks. I was really happy and proud with our sacrifice from that perspective."

The Stars will look for the weekend sweep as they take on the Des Moines Buccaneers on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. at Buccaneer Arena.


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