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Preview - Stars vs Buccaneers

January 10, 2019 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Lincoln Stars News Release

PREVIEW: LINCOLN STARS vs. DES MOINES BUCCANEERS

SATURDAY, JAN. 10, 2019 | 7:05 P.M. | ICE BOX

RADIO: LINCOLN STARS RADIO | WATCH: HOCKEYTV

Lincoln looks to keep momentum rolling against Des Moines following Waterloo win

Tonight's Contest:

The Stars (8-17-3-1) will host the Des Moines Buccaneers (20-10-1-2) for the teams' sixth meeting of the season.

Last Game:

The Stars took on Waterloo on Saturday and emerged with an impressive 7-4 victory. Their season-high output in scoring came via a complete team effort. 12 Stars recorded at least one point, with seven separate goal scorers and six players recording multiple points. After USHL-leading scorer Matej Blümel scored at 5:56 into the first, the Stars responded with goals from Declan Carlile on the power play and Caleb Rule off the rush. Wyatt Schingoethe would score for the Black Hawks late in the frame, entering intermission with each side locked at two. The second period's scoring followed the script from the first. Waterloo led off the frame with a goal from Kyle Haskins. Lincoln responded with two scores from Tristan Ashbrook at even strength and Shane Pinto on the power play. Blümel tallied his second marker of the night late in the second to end the period with the score reading four per side. The Stars changed the narrative in the final frame. Max Ellis scored at 6:23 while crashing the net. Josiah Slavin did the same off a rebound at 18:34, and Devlin McCabe put the icing on the cake with an empty-netter at 19:20. At the horn, the Stars took home the 7-4 win, with Tyler Johsnon making 30 saves in his fourth victory of the season.

Des Moines traveled to Sioux Falls to take on the red-hot Stampede last Saturday. Ryan Johnson found the twine just 1:14 into play, giving Sioux Falls the early advantage. Kaden Bohlsen tied the game at one with his sixth goal of the year at 6:16. Despite the early scoring, the offenses saw their production cool off as Des Moines' Roman Durny and Sioux Falls' Alec Calvaruso engaged in a duel through the second period. The lone break through came off the stick of Max Crozier, who gave the Stampede a 2-1 lead on a power play at 15:38 of the second. In the third, Des Moines would tie the game again off the efforts of Scooter Brickey at 3:18. The Stampede would answer on the power play once more, as Anthony Romano picked up goal number 11 of the season just a minute and a half later. Roman's tally would hold through the remainder of regulation as Sioux Falls defense held on for the 3-2 win.

Head-to-Head:

Entering play Thursday, the Buccaneers hold a 4-1 series lead against the Stars this season. Lincoln won the first meeting 4-2, but have dropped every game since. The prior three losses all came by one goal, but in their most recent meeting on December 15th, the Bucs pulled off a 3-0 shutout against the Stars at the Ice Box. Roman Durny and Tyler Johnson went toe-to-toe in net in a game in which scoring was hard to come by. After a scoreless first period, Johnson made a stellar 16 saves in the second, but was beaten once when TJ Walsh registered his 10th goal of the year at 9:13. It would prove to be the game-winner as the Stars failed to solve Durny the rest of the way. In the third, Luke Manning and Mac Welsher each padded the Des Moines lead to help lift their team onto a decisive victory. The Stars loss was their first time being shutout this season. Johnson made 31 saves in defeat, while Durny made 27 in what was then his second shutout of the year.

By the Numbers:

GF: DM-3.55 (5th) to LIN-2.76 (15th)

GA: DM-2.91 (3rd) to LIN-3.69 (t-12th)

PP: DM-22 for 119, 18.5% (12) to LIN-18 for 118, 15.3% (16th)

PK: LIN-100 for 122, 82.0% (4th) to DM-100 for 125, 80.0% (t-9th)

SHGF: DM-6 (3rd) to LIN-1 (t-14th)

SHGA: DM-1 (1st) to LIN-6 (t-15th)

What to Watch For:

Frenemies:

Shane Pinto and Matt Brown are the leading scorers for each team that takes the ice tonight. The pair have joined forces in the last month to help Team USA win a gold medal at World Junior A Challenge, Team West win the 2019 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, and produce an entertaining clip in which Brown was mic'd up during a Top Prospects practice. Now the duo will be split to opposing benches once more after each missed the last two Bucs-Stars meetings for the World Junior A Challenge. In three games against Des Moines this year, Pinto has recorded two goals and two assists an enters play on an active, 11-game point streak. Brown has two goals and one assist in three games against the Stars.

Slovakia Showdown:

The newest member of the Stars is Slovak netminder Samuel Hlavaj. The hulking 17-year old joins the Stars following a strong showing at the 2019 World Junior Championship for Team Slovakia. Should he get the nod in net tonight, Roman Durny will oppose his fellow Slovak on the opposite end of the ice. Durny has the shared experience of playing for Team Slovakia U20 and representing the country at the World Junior Championship, all a year before Hlavaj. A fifth-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2018 NHL Draft, Durny is 4-0 against the Stars with a 1.75 GAA and a .935 save percentage this season.

Upward Trend:

The Stars have been much improved on special teams in recent weeks in all areas except one: shorthanded goals. Lincoln's power play has scored four goals over their last four games, converting at a 21.1% rate in that stretch. Their penalty kill is coming off one of its best performances in going 5-for-5 against Waterloo's top-ranked man advantage and has killed 15 of their last 17 penalties (88.2%). The issue at the moment is team's recent tendency of giving up shorthanded goals. Wyatt Schingoethe's shortie on Saturday marked the second-straight game in which the Stars have allowed a goal while on the power play. The Buccaneers enter play with the third-most shorthanded tallies in the league with six.


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