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 Lincoln Stars

Stars Sweep Black Hawks, Advance to Second Round

April 17, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Lincoln Stars News Release


The Lincoln Stars finished off a two-game sweep of the Waterloo Black Hawks with a 6-1 win on Tuesday night in Game 2 of the First Round of the Clark Cup Playoffs at Young Arena.

Lincoln scored twice in each period and held Waterloo to just one goal in the series. Yan Shostak stopped 39 shots and 79-of-80 total in the series. The Stars built up a 5-0 lead with each goal coming in the opening five minutes of all three periods before allowing the Black Hawks' only goal of the series with 4:30 remaining in the game.

Aiden Janz opened the scoring by lighting the lamp for the first time in his USHL career. He also added an assist to join Dashel Oliver (2+0) and Ethan Weber (0+2) as Stars' multi-point producers in the victory.

The win marked the Stars' second consecutive season sweeping a first-round opponent after knocking out the Des Moines Buccaneers the season before. Sixth-seeded Lincoln ended third-seed Waterloo's season for the second straight year and earned back-to-back wins on the road for the fourth time in the 2023-24 season.

"It's not an upset in our locker room," head coach Rocky Russo said. "We believed in ourselves coming into the series. Our guys had belief coming into this building although we hadn't played here in a long time. We were comfortable playing on the big ice and obviously we had guys selling out and doing the things they needed to. The biggest difference today was we got secondary scoring. Those guys carried the mail and were a big reason why we had success."

Janz got the scoring started 2:31 into the game by batting in his own rebound after Max Ferkodic cycled behind the net, spun along goal line and set Janz up on the back side. Ryan Spinale added to the lead just 1:34 later on what appeared to be a harmless shot from a foot inside the blue line. Goaltender Calvin Vachon slowed the puck down but it trickled through him and into the net.

Shostak kept the Black Hawks off the board with a couple of big stops on the penalty kill late in the first period and the Stars killed off the remainder off that minor early in the second stanza. Shortly after returning to the ice to resume five-on-five play Jared Mangan sent the puck from behind the goal line to Oliver in between the circles and he wristed the puck top shelf past Vachon for his first of the night.

Justin Mexico carried the puck up the middle from the red line without any pressure on him and made it 4-0 just 1:21 after Oliver's tally. Matthew Maltais chased Vachon from the game with a spinning backhander through the five hole just 55 seconds int the third period.

A redirection from Miles Hilman with the net empty and the extra attacker on the ice put the Black Hawks on the board but Oliver regained the five-goal lead for Lincoln with an empty-netter just over two minutes later at the 17:35 mark of the third.

The Stars open up the second round of the Clark Cup Playoffs on Friday against the Sioux City Musketeers at the Ice Box. Game 2 will also be in the Capital City the next night before the series shifts to the Tyson Events Center for Game 3 on Apr. 22. Games 4 and 5 will take place in Sioux City on April 23 and April 25, respectively, if they are necessary.

Second round tickets go on sale Wednesday at noon at lincolnstars.com. Single-game tickets are available online for $15 in the Mezzanine and Rinkside only. North Zone and John Henry Comfort Zone ticket buyers will have regular-season prices for season-ticket holders and single-game buyers. 7th Star members who HAVE renewed in full will have their playoff seats held for them and will receive free admission. 7th Star members who HAVE NOT renewed in full can purchase tickets by coming to the box office or calling (402) 474-7827 during our business hours.


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United States Hockey League Stories from April 17, 2024


The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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