Countdown To Puck Drop: Phantoms At Lincoln
The Youngstown Phantoms take to our nation's highways for the second straight weekend in the wake of their perfect 2-0 trip five days ago, attempting to extend their winning streak to three in what is the USHL's toughest road assignment - a date with the Lincoln Stars in the famed Ice Box on the Nebraska State Fairgrounds.
Youngstown (2-1-0, 4th in East) more than made amends for their home-opening loss to defending champ Indiana by pouring in 10 goals in back-to-back road victories over the Des Moines Buccaneers and Chicago Steel. Taylor Holstrom, named USHL Reebok Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, paced the Phantoms with one goal and four assists over the weekend, while goalies Matt Mahalak and Jordan Tibbett split duties and earned a win apiece.
After a 1-1 weekend to begin their 2009-10 campaign, the Stars (2-2-0, T-2nd in West) upended Des Moines 3-2 in their home opener one week ago today, getting the game winner from Andrew Ammon. Lincoln then traveled east on Interstate 80 and fell 3-1 at Cornhusker State rival Omaha Saturday night to forge an all-Nebraska three-way tie for second place in the West Division with Omaha and Tri-City.
- Five different Phantoms drilled their first-ever USHL goals last weekend, including Andrew Lamont, who netted a pair. The others who took those memorable pucks back home to Youngstown? Stuart Higgins, Jean-Laurence Beauchemin, Scott Mayfield and Nick Czinder.
- Whatever Youngstown Head Coach/GM Bob Mainhardt is saying in his pregame speeches must be working. His Phantoms have registered the opening goal in each of the first three games and have outscored the opposition 6-2 overall in the first period.
- Holstrom wasn't the only second-year USHL player to excel last weekend. Eau Claire, Wisconsin's Jefferson Dahl, acquired in the Expansion Draft from the Green Bay Gamblers, earned his first two goals of the season just 1:39 apart in the second period last Saturday in Des Moines, the second of which was shorthanded. Dahl, who has committed to the University of Wisconsin, then added an assist in Sunday's game at Chicago.
- Returning to the Phantoms this evening after nasty bouts with the flu are forwards Mike Henderson (former Lincoln Star), Cody Strang, Ryan Jasinsky and Brian Dowd.
- Native Virginian Andrew Ammon has shone the brightest for Lincoln thus far. His two goals and two assists place him one point ahead of the aptly-named Dominik Shine (1 G, 2 A) for the Stars' scoring lead through four games.
- Featured in NHL.com this week - along with Youngstown's Czinder and other top USHL prospects - was Stars' netminder Jared Coreau. The 6-foot-4 18-year-old from Ontario, Canada, has started and finished all four Lincoln games, posting a 2.29 goals-against average and a 25-save shutout of Sioux City Oct. 3.
- Lincoln led the USHL in attendance last year at the Ice Box, averaging 4,314 blue, black and white-clad Stars fanatics at one of the more unique places to watch a hockey game. Located on the Nebraska State Fairgrounds, the Ice Box doubles as a horse barn during the summer months, lending to its intimate atmosphere.
- Head coach/GM Jimmy McGroarty leads the Stars for the third-consecutive year. Last season, he helped Lincoln to its fourth West Division crown in the franchise's 13-plus year history. The Stars remarkably claimed the Clark Cup in their inaugural 1996-97 season, then again in 2002-03 with the help of current NHLers David Backes (St. Louis) and Ryan Potulny (Edmonton).
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United States Hockey League Stories from October 16, 2009
- U.S. National Under-18 Team Skates Past Bowling Green, 7-2 - U.S. National Team
- Bummer In Sioux Falls - Waterloo Black Hawks
- Phillippi, Lancers Blank Gamblers 5-0 - Omaha Lancers
- Lincoln Outlasts Phantoms, 7-6 In OT - Youngstown Phantoms
- U.S. National U17 Team Trimmed By Sioux City, 4-2 - U.S. National Team
- Countdown To Puck Drop: Phantoms At Lincoln - Youngstown Phantoms
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