SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Lincoln Stars (2-1-0) spoiled the Sioux Falls Stampede’s (1-2-0) home opener and Clark Cup championship banner-raising ceremony on Saturday night with a 6-4 victory. Lincoln battled back from a 3-1 deficit in the second period, scoring five goals in just under 26 minutes.
Following an extended pregame ceremony honoring the 2018-19 Stampede roster with the Clark Cup in the building, Travis Treloar broke the ice 4:09 into the first period. Brock Bremer floated the puck from the deep slot on goal and Treloar deflected the shot past Stampede goaltender Nathan Reid. Brian Carrabes responded for Sioux Falls seconds later, after a miscue from Stars netminder Jake Mucitelli.
The Stampede exploded in the second period with a two-goal outburst 2:58 apart (one from Luke Weilandt and one from Timo Bakos), jumping out to a 3-1 lead. With over 8,000 fans at the Denny Sanford Premier Center, the momentum was all towards the home team. However, it would be “The Chicago Line” who would answer the bell shortly after Bakos’ tally.
Christian Sarlo, Josh Groll and Treloar combined for another goal this season after Treloar was set up in the slot by Sarlo. Reid made the initial save, but Treloar threw the puck out in front from the end-boards where Groll was able to rifle the puck into an open net.
With the second period winding down, the Stars were failing to create any chances on their first power play of the night. However, Chase Pilawski and Brock Bremer executed a give-and-go from the left circle in the high slot, where Bremer was able to walk in and fire the puck through Reid to time the game. The University of Nebraska Omaha commit’s goal came with 41 seconds left in the middle frame and was his first of the season.
Early in the third period, the Stars were again put on the power play, and they would capitalize again. Groll’s heads-up pass from the end-boards set up Matt Miller in the low slot, and Miller flipped a backhander through the right arm of Reid, giving Lincoln a 4-3 lead 3:12 into the third. Despite the one-goal lead, the Stars remained hungry, pushing the pace shift after shift.
It was Miller again who would come through, finishing off a wraparound chance at the 9:33 mark for a 5-3 Stars lead. It was the Leo, Indiana native’s first and second goals as a Star following his 15-goal campaign with the Sioux City Musketeers last season.
The Stampede threatened briefly following Carrabes’ second goal of the game at 10:42 of the third, but the Stars didn’t budge after that. They outshot Sioux Falls 9-2 in the final 20 minutes and 36-23 in the entire team. Matt Barbolini added an empty-net goal with under 30 seconds to go to seal the victory for Lincoln.
Lincoln was 2-for-2 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill, flawlessly killing off a five-minute major in the first period assessed to Ross Mitton.
The Stars have won two straight games and will host the Sioux Falls Stampede next Friday (October 11th) for their home opener at the Ice Box! Puck drop will be pushed back to around 7:15 due to pregame ceremonies introducing the 2019-20 roster! Get your tickets to the home opener here: https://stars.isportstix.com/event/37/lincoln-stars-vs-sioux-falls-stampede.