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Preview - Stars at Lancers

January 19, 2019 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Lincoln Stars News Release

SATURDAY, JAN. 19, 2019 | 7:05 P.M. | RALSTON ARENA

RADIO: LINCOLN STARS RADIO | WATCH: HOCKEYTV

Tonight's Contest:

The Stars (8-21-3-1) are in Madison to take on the Lancers (10-18-1-3) for their fourth showdown of the season.

Last Game:

The Stars were on the road again to take on the Madison Capitols Thursday. An up-tempo first period saw the Capitols jump out to an early lead when Matthew Gould found Noah Weber by generating a rebound in front. Weber chipped the puck past Samuel Hlavaj at 5:35 for the 1-0 advantage. The Stars answered back two minutes later when Josiah Slavin threaded a perfect pass to Tristan Ashbrook, who ripped a snipe past Garrett Mackay to even the score. Ashbrook has registered a goal in four of his last seven games. Late in the period, Lucas Herrmann found Daniel Petrick open on the right circle where he clapped a slap shot past Hlavaj for the 2-1 lead. The Stars responded with a better second period, but were frustrated by solid play from Garrett Mackay. After holding Lincoln at bay for more than half the fame, the Stars finally broke through when Grant Johnson won an offensive zone draw back to new defenseman Hunter Skinner. Skinner flipped the puck across the blue line to Logan Britt, who fired the puck through traffic and past Mackay for to even the score at two. Four minutes later, Chase Brand absorbed a big check from Grant Johnson at center, but popped back to his feet and lugged the puck in over the line off a bounce. Brand led Kristof Papp to the net, where the Hungarian forward put a backhand by Hlavaj at 16:14. Down 3-2 entering the third, the Stars pushed hard to erase their deficit. After a power play that failed to score but generated momentum, the Stars were rewarded on Caleb Rule's slick move and shot from the slot to beat Mackay and tie the game at three. The tie held into the final minutes of the game with the Stars largely dictating play. With a 5-on-3 power play late in the period, the Stars were unable to capitalize and pull ahead, thwarted by several strong saves made by Mackay. In the period's final minute, on a rush up ice, Josh Boyer sprung free in front of Hlavaj where Chase Brand fed him the puck for the go-ahead goal. In the final 42 seconds remaining, the Stars could not muster an answer, falling 4-3 to Madison.

The Lancers were last in action on January 13th, taking on the Tri-City Storm at home. 7:17 into the first period, Colton Kalezic notched his 10th goal of the season to give the Storm a 1-0 lead. Tyler Carpenter tied the game with Omaha's first goal six and a half minutes later. After assisting the first goal, former Lincoln Stars forward Kyle Kawamura scored the second, giving Omaha a 2-1 advantage at the end of 20 minutes. The second period saw a switch to more defensive play. After Omaha put 14 shots on goal in the first, they were limited to eight in the second. Tri-City managed nine in response, but neither team could find the back of the net as Jake Barczewski and Akira Schmid locked down their creases in middle stanza. Scoring returned in the third. Tyler Carpenter struck again following another helper from Kawamura, building a 3-1 Omaha lead. A shorthanded goal from Brendan Budy brought the Storm back within one in the final 2:08 of play. With the extra attacker on, Tri-City couldn't solve Schmid, leading to Aleksi Peltonen finding the back of the empty net to finish off a 4-2 Lancers win, their second-straight victory.

Head-to-Head:

Omaha took the first two meetings of the season series in overtime. The Stars bounced back with a 4-2 victory back at the Ice Box on November 30th. Shane Pinto struck first, 4:13 into the opening period. Christian DiCesare tied the game at 11:36 to cap the scoring in the first. Caleb Rule and Devlin McCabe would each tally scores in the opening 8:31 of the second to establish a 3-1 Stars lead. Jacob Kucharski was pulled in favor of Akira Schmid as the Lancers looked for a spark. Former Stars forward Austen Long struck back for Omaha at 13:10 to bring the Lancers back within one. A one goal-lead held until the final minute of the third as Tyler Johnson and Schmid went save for save down the final 20. At 19:11, Matthew Barbolini found the empty net and boosted Lincoln to a 4-2 win.

By the Numbers:

GF: LIN-2.67 (15th) to OMA-2.38 (16th)

GA: OMA-3.69 (t-13th) to LIN-3.73 (15th)

PP: OMA-18 for 92, 19.6% (11th) to LIN-19 for 137, 13.9% (16th)

PK: LIN-106 for 131, 80.9% (4th) to OMA-87 for 113, 77.0% (14th)

SHGF: LIN-1 (t-15th) to MAD-1 (t-15th)

SHGA: OMA-3 (t-7th) to LIN-6 (t-15th)

What to Watch For:

Expect Fireworks:

Despite each team entering play ranked in the USHL's bottom three in goal-scoring, the Stars and Lancers have had no trouble putting pucks in the net against one another. Lincoln's top-nine scorers in the series average a point-per-game or better with Shane Pinto leading all Stars scorers with a goal and three assists. Bryce Brodzinski tops all scorers for both teams with five assists in just two games for Omaha. In the three prior head-to-heads, the Stars and Lancers have combined for a total of 26 goals, split evenly at 13 per side.

Curious Splits:

-The Stars have struggled away from the Ice Box this season, winning just twice in 14 games. The Lancers have struggled at home, going 4-9-0-2, and hold a better 6-9-1-1 record on the road.

-The Stars and Lancers struggle equally when being out shot by the opposition with each side owning a 6-10-2 record in such games. When the script is flipped, the Stars are 2-9-2 while the Lancers are 4-7-2.

-Since their first meeting of the regular season saw three fights, both the Stars and Lancers ranked near the top of the league in penalty minutes for a good portion of the first month of the season. In the time since, the Lancers have dropped their PIM per game to 13.8 minutes, while the Stars hold a mark of 14.8, placing each team in the lower half of the league in penalties taken.

Hot Hands Lead the Way:

The aforementioned Tyler Carpenter has done some heavy lifting for the Lancers of late, scoreing six points in his last five games, including two goals and an assist against Tri-City last Saturday. The 2000-born forward has one goal against the Stars this year in three meetings with Lincoln.

Lincoln's Tristan Ashbrook has played in only one prior Stars-Lancers game this regular season and did not register a point. The former Omaha Lancers AAA product has been hot of late however, finding the net in four of his last seven games, and enters with one goal in each of his last two games.

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On Sunday, Faith & Family Day returns to the Ice Box for another matinee for an afternoon of faith and community as well as a post-game skate with the Stars and a playing of the movie Facing the Giants. A portion of ticket sales for Faith & Family Day will benefit Food for the Hungry, a faith-based mission to build clean water solutions in third-world countries. Last year, the Stars and the Lincoln Stars Foundation helped to raise over $230,000 toward clean water initiatives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Order your ticket today!

Enjoy All You Can Eat Hockey at single games by purchasing a group of five or more, or grab one of our multi-game memberships to secure the same seat each game. Parking is completely FREE this season!


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