Your Game Day Essentials
Who: Sioux Falls Stampede (11-14-3) vs. Lincoln Stars (13-12-4)
Puck drop: Friday, January 10, 2020 at 7:05 p.m. CT
Where: Ice Box in Lincoln, Nebraska
Watch: HockeyTV.com with paid subscription
Listen: KELO 107.9 FM, 1320 AM
The Sioux Falls Stampede (11-14-3) take on the Lincoln Stars (13-12-4) at the Ice Box in Lincoln, Nebraska, for the first of a back-to-back weekend series in the Cornhusker State. The two teams have already played three of their seven slated this season with the Stars holding the 2-0-1 series lead, two at home and one on the road in Lincoln. Despite the season record, all three have been relatively close with the Stars outscoring the Herd 16-11, excluding one empty net goal. Lincoln defeated the Herd last time out by a 4-3 overtime decision on Nov. 9.
The standings tell a different story as the Stars have fallen out of second place in the Western Conference, going 3-5-2 in their last 10 games and 4-9-2 since the last meeting between the teams. The Herd has a different story, earning the fourth most points in the league since the return of Jaxson Stauber on Nov. 27.
For the Herd
The Stampede are coming off back-to-back wins over the U.S. National Under-17 Development Program at the PREMIER Center last Friday and Saturday night.
The Herd dismantled Team USA and goaltender Kaidan Mbereko in the first game by a score of 7-3. Seven different players scored for the Herd and Jaxson Stauber made the start in net in route to a victory. Jared Westcott got the scoring underway early in the first period and Breden Olson scored to give the home crowd a 2-1 lead. Sioux Falls doubled up the score with a goal from Garrett Pinoniemi and Sebastian Miedema, his first USHL goal. Timo Bakos, Ryan Sullivan and Cam MacDonald rounded out the scoring in the third.
The following evening the Stampede were able to close the game from two power play goals, a point of struggle for the team throughout the first half of the season. Dylan Duke put Team USA on the board first with a goal at the 9:40 mark of the first. Austin Heidemann tied it up with a power play goal 2:22 into the second period off a deflection from a Chase Foley shot from the point. Ryan Sullivan tallied a beautiful power play goal over the shoulder of goaltender Gibson Homer in the third period off a feed from Foley for his tenth goal of the season.
With the strong weekend, Sullivan now leads the team in points with 19 from 10 goals and nine assists 26 games played. Jaxson Stauber holds a 7-3-0 record in 10 games played, with a 2.21 goals-against average and .920 save-percentage.
For the Foe
The Lincoln Stars are coming off back-to-back losses to the Omaha Lancers. On Friday night, the Stars dropped a 4-2 decision to the Lancers. Brock Bremer opened the scoring for Lincoln with his seventh of the season, assisted by Josh Groll and Tony Follmer, at the 14:01 point of the first. The teams traded goals in the second period, but three-straight from Omaha in the third sealed the fate for the home team. Ryan McInchak made the start in net, stopping 21 of 24 shots.
The two teams battled again on Sunday evening at Ralston Arena in Omaha, where the Lancers were able to complete the sweep with a 4-3 overtime game. Lincoln opened the game with a couple of goals from Matthew Barbolini and Spencer Smith. Ross Mitton was able to get one back for Omaha, but Owen Michaels gave the Stars a 3-1 lead heading into the third period.
Jack Jensen and Nolan Renwick scored two goals late in the third period, just 21 seconds apart, to send the game to overtime. Chase Bradley tallied the final goal for Omaha to take the victory. Goaltender Jacob Mucitelli made the start in net, stopping 27 of 31 shots on net.