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Stars Hold on for 3-2 Win in Waterloo

October 23, 2021 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Lincoln Stars News Release

The Stars got back in the win column with a 3-2 victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks on Friday night at Young Arena. Here are five things that happened:


Dalton Norris extended his power-play goal-scoring streak to three games after his goal in the first period of Friday night's game. With Adam Cardona in the box for slashing, Lincoln's top unit went to work and whipped the puck around at will.

Jo Lemay, who was positioned at the deep slot, fed Norris at the right circle for a one-timer, but the initial drive was stopped by Jack Williams. Aidan Thompson collected the rebound at the left circle and sent a pass immediately across the seam back to the captain, who buried his third goal of the season at 19:35 to tie the game at one goal apiece.

All three of the Oxford, MI native's goals this season have come on the power play. He also extended his point streak to five with his two-point performance (one goal, one assist) on Friday. The 20-year-old defenseman is currently tied with Lemay for second on the team in points and first among Stars blueliners with seven.


Luke Johnson gave the Stars a 2-1 lead late in the second period from a severe angle, beating Williams short-side from the bottom of the left circle. The goal came with eight seconds left to go, sending the Stars to the intermission up by a goal.

All three of Johnson's goals this year have come off wrist shots from the circles, but this one stood out as the most remarkable. The St. Cloud, MN native surprised Williams, who had drifted away from his post when Johnson received the puck. Norris and Thompson were given the assists on Johnson's marker.


Speaking of Thompson, the University of Denver commit was all over the ice on Friday night. He was extremely effective in the offensive zone, setting up his teammates with an assortment of passes on the power play and at 5-on-5.

Thompson registered primary assists on both Norris' and Johnson's goals, joining Norris as the only Stars players with multi-point outings on Friday. Despite a "slow" start to 2021-22 by his standards, Thompson has rattled off eight points over his last five games. The 19-year-old is in the sole lead for points (9) and assists (8) among Stars players this season.


Cameron Whitehead didn't get a start last weekend in Fargo, so he was eager to get back in between the pipes for a full 60 minutes. The 18-year-old netminder didn't disappoint, stopping 31 shots to pick up his second win of the season.

Whitehead improved to 2-0-1 in his young USHL career with the victory. After giving up a goal to Connor Brown in the first period, the Stars goaltender kept Waterloo off the board until the dying seconds of regulation.

His best body of work came in the middle frame during a Waterloo power play where he was peppered with shots against.

Between the blocker save on Cooper Wylie and his right toe stop on Garrett Schiffsky, Whitehead stood tall and helped the Stars extinguish the man advantage.

The Northeastern commit stat line now consists of a goals-against average of 1.21 and a save percentage of .960.


Following their impressive road win on Friday, Lincoln's attention now turns to their Saturday night matchup with the Black Hawks. The Stars defeated Fargo last Friday, but failed to match the pace of the Force in Game 2 of the weekend series, according to head coach Rocky Russo.

So, how can they prevent that against the Black Hawks and secure the weekend sweep?

"We've won on Friday night the last two weekends and the effort was good enough to win, that same effort is not good enough to win on Saturday," Russo said postgame. "I just talked to the guys about improving our effort tomorrow and improving our details because we can expect Waterloo to do the same. We're going to have to be a better hockey club if we want to sweep the weekend."

Puck drop is set for 6:05 p.m. on Saturday night at Young Arena. Catch the game on HockeyTV or listen LIVE on Mixlr!

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