The Lincoln Stars announced today that Jordan Power has been named captain and Josh Lopina, Christian Sarlo and Matt Miller will serve as alternate captains for the 2019-20 season.
“This was a vote by the players,” Stars GM/head coach Cody Chupp said. "There are times where the staff will have input, maybe there’s a guy they feel strongly about. But, this was completely the players’ decision. I think they made a good choice with all four guys and there’s other guys that received a lot of votes and could have worn a letter for us. Beyond that, I think the biggest thing from the coaching staff is that we will have a leadership group that consists of more than just these four captains because we have a great group of leaders in that locker room. The sooner that this group takes over control of the team and our culture, the better we’ll be."
Power, 18, is in his second season as a member of the Stars after being selected in the 2018 Phase II Draft (58th overall pick). Currently, the Ottawa, ON native is tied for the USHL lead in assists with nine in eight games this season. The defenseman scored three goals and added 15 assists in the 2018-19 campaign with Lincoln.
“It means a lot, I’m obviously super happy,” Power said. "It’s an honor to lead a group like this, how we're so tight. I think, no matter what, we have a ton of guys that could be wearing a letter on the jersey, no matter if you’re a first-year guy or a second-year. We just have a great leadership group all around, I’m pretty honored."
Previous Stars captains include Josiah Slavin (2018-19), Dominick Mersch (2017-18), Dylan Woolf (2016-17) and Biagio Lerario (2015-16). Dominik Shine is the most recent Stars player to serve as captain for more than one season (2011-12 and 2012-13).
Lopina, 18, is also in his second season in Lincoln and was selected 135th overall by the Stars in the 2017 USHL Phase I Draft. The Minooka, IL native ranked fifth on the team in goals last season with 12, fourth in assists with 16 and third in points with 28. This year, the UMass Amherst commit has eight points (three goals, five assists) in eight games. Five of Lopina’s points have come on the power play, matching his total from last season.
“It’s an honor to be one of the four guys that were named,” Lopina said. "We have a really big leadership group, a lot of second-year guys. It’s not just the four that were named captains; we just happen to have a letter on our jersey now. It’s exciting and we’re really looking forward to playing Sioux City this weekend."
Sarlo, 18, is in his first season with the Stars after being traded by the Chicago Steel in May. The Steel selected the Lynbrook, NY native with the No. 126 pick in the 2017 USHL Phase I Draft. The Penn State commit tallied 12 goals and 13 assists in 50 games last year in Chicago. This year, Sarlo is second on the Stars in assists with seven and tied for second on the team in points with nine.
“It’s great, it’s definitely an honor to wear a letter with this team,” Sarlo said. "There’s a lot of leadership in that room. We’re all just focused on one goal and that’s winning a championship. We all love to compete; it’s really a tight-knit group, so it’s going to be a fun one to be apart of."
Miller, 20, is also in his first season in Lincoln following a trade with the Sioux City Musketeers in May. While serving as an alternate captain in Sioux City last season, Miller hit career highs in goals (15), assists (13) and points (28). The Leo, IN native was selected by the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the ninth round of the 2015 USHL Futures Draft. With the Stars, the Nebraska Omaha commit is tied for second in points with nine and leads the team in game-winning goals with two. Throughout his junior career, Miller’s experience sticks out, as he’s played in over 140 regular-season games in the USHL.
“The leadership group extends farther than the guys that just wear letters," Miller said. "We have a lot of leaders on our team … a lot of experience and veterans of the USHL. We have a good group of guys and I’m really fortunate and excited.”
The Stars are in Sioux City tonight and tomorrow night for a two-game series against the Musketeers at Tyson Events Center. Puck drop for both games is at 7:05 p.m. and you can listen to every Stars game for free on Mixlr: http://mixlr.com/lincoln-stars/