Lincoln Stars

Stars Take Another Tight Game, Top Storm

March 3, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Lincoln Stars News Release

The Lincoln Stars earn five-of-six points this weekend against the Tri-City Storm as they wrapped up the weekend with a 5-4 win on Sunday night at the Viaero Center.

Max Ferkodic scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period as Lincoln (22-21-2-2) maintained its three-point lead over the Des Moines Buccaneers for the sixth seed and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Stars trailed by two goals two different times and erased two different deficits. Ferkodic's third-period goal was the only lead of the night that they needed.

"I said to the guys 'this is a scenario that you're going to find yourself in in the playoffs: a tie game going into the third period of a Game 3 and your season is on the line," head coach Rocky Russo said. "We're prepared for this because we've dealt with so much adversity over the course of the year but this is another chance for us to learn right now.' When we are faced with this in a playoff scenario we are comfortable in that environment. Today we were able to respond big time and get a big win."

Lincoln, down, 3-1, after the first period, responded by outscoring Tri-City, 3-1, in the second period before Ferkodic's heroics. Blake Montgomery forced a blue line turnover and spun in the right-wing circle to pass to his left to Ferkodic, who lit the lamp for the second time in the last three days and for the sixth time this season.

"My linemates, (Justin Mexico) and (German Yavash), were good the whole weekend," Ferkodic said. "We generated a lot of offense and played honest hockey. I like playing with Mex because he always knows where I am and I always know where he is. Yavy is just good for physicality and forechecking. We have good chemistry together."

Another line came through to tie the game up on two different occasions. Jack Pechar provided a highlight-reel goal midway through the second period to tie the game up for the first time. He tapped the puck over the blue line with one hand on his stick and slipped around defenseman Seth Constance before elevating a wrist shot over the glove of goaltender Thatcher Bernstein for his 15th goal of the season at the 8:35 mark of the middle frame.

That made it 3-3 and Dashel Oliver evened the game at 4-4 16:35 into the second. His one-timed a rebound that bounced to the right-circle after Yavash's initial shot was denied to score his ninth goal of the season.

"Not our best start with some sloppy play from myself and others but getting that goal was big," Oliver said. "It got some momentum for us and we brought it into the third. That was a great shot by Yavy shooting low and the rebound just came out so I closed my eyes and hit it as hard as I could."

Jared Mangan scored for a third consecutive game with the Stars' lone tally in the first period. His 18th of the season came amidst a netfront scramble and he poked the puck near-post side to put the Stars on the board.

Mexico cut the deficit to one early in the second before Pechar's goal. Ferkodic entered the zone from the far zone and fired a shot that ricocheted to the near side of the ice. Yavash tried to whack the rebound home and wasn't able to, but Mexico followed up behind him to net his eighth goal of the season.

The Stars have a short week before heading to Fargo for a three-game series with the Force. The puck drops at 7:05 from Scheels Arena on Thursday night.

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