Cranberry Township, PA — The Lincoln Stars (1-1-0) picked up their first victory of the regular season on Friday afternoon against the Muskegon Lumberjacks (0-2-0), winning by a score of 4-2.
After being shut out through 60 minutes against the Force, the Stars hit the back of the net four times, led by four different goal-scorers. Matt Barbolini scored at the 16:44 mark of the first period, tying up the game at one following Luke Mobley’s goal at 10:44 for Muskegon.
Josh Lopina’s shot at the top of the left circle handcuffed Lumberjacks goaltender Noah Giesbrecht and Barbolini banged home the rebound. The Williamsville, New York native scored seven goals in 55 games last year.
The scoring stalled in the second period for both teams, despite the two teams taking twelve penalty minutes, collectively. Each team headed into the locker room after 40 minutes tied at one goal apiece.
When Erik Cermak took a four-minute double-minor for high sticking at the 1:02 mark of the third period, it opened up an opportunity for the Stars power-play to take center stage. After going 0-for-10 to start the season with the man-advantage, Josh Groll one-timed a feed from Travis Treloar past Giesbrecht for a 2-1 Stars lead. The play all started with Matt Miller sending the puck from the goal line to Treloar at the top of the left circle, who then faked the shot and dished it across to the right circle for Groll.
Under 90 seconds later, Lopina picked off a clearing attempt at the high slot and made no mistake, blasting a shot over the right arm of Giesbrecht. Groll and Lopina’s goals were 1:25 apart. Oliver MacDonald got the Lumberjacks back within one at the 14:22 mark, but Treloar picked up his first goal of the year for the exclamation point 65 seconds later.
Lincoln outshot the Lumberjacks 27-19, going 1-for-7 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill. Ryan McInchak started for the Stars less than two weeks after being acquired from Muskegon and made 17 saves to secure the win.
The Stars will head to Sioux Falls next Saturday night (October 5th), where the Stampede will raise their 2019 Clark Cup banner. You can watch the game on HockeyTV or listen to the audio stream on Mixlr for free.