PLYMOUTH, Mich. - The Lincoln Stars (16-13-4) broke out the brooms this weekend, sweeping Team USA (22-12-1) with a 5-2 victory at USA Hockey Arena on Saturday night.
Just like Friday night, the Stars got on the board early. Josh Groll broke the ice with a quick shot from the slot, beating Team USA goaltender Gibson Homer over the right arm for his 14th goal of the year at 6:52. Matt Barbolini added to Lincoln’s lead at 8:04 after receiving a pass from Tadeas Talafa, making his USHL debut. The Czech-born defenseman notched the primary assist on Barbolini’s 13th goal of the season.
After one period, the Stars were leading 2-0 and outshot Team USA 8-5.
The Americans struck back in the middle period with Sasha Pastujov’s shorthanded goal at 8:18, capitalizing on a turnover from Stars netminder Jake Mucitelli. Dylan Duke knotted the game up at two, lighting the lamp with under 30 seconds to go in the middle frame.
Heading into the third period, the game was tied 2-2, despite Lincoln holding a 24-12 advantage in shots on goal.
The visitors ramped up the pressure in the third period, hemming the Americans in for consecutive shifts. However, their eventual breakthrough would start in the defensive zone after Carter Schade was up-ended. With Mucitelli off for the sixth attacker, Brock Bremer feathered a pass from the right circle onto the tape of Travis Treloar, who roofed a backhander under the crossbar. The Swedish-born forward’s tenth goal of the season gave the Stars a 3-2 lead 8:37 into the third period.
During the next shift, Matt Miller blasted home a feed from Dominic James at the right face-off dot to make it 4-2 Lincoln. Treloar and Miller’s goals were separated by 17 seconds; Miller’s ninth goal of the 2019-20 campaign came at 8:54. Groll would add his team-leading 15th goal with 1:52 left in regulation.
The Stars were 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. Mucitelli picked up his ninth win of the year, stopping 13 saves on 15 shots. Homer allowed five goals on 35 shots.
It’s College Night at the Ice Box as the Stars battle the Sioux City Musketeers at 7:05 p.m. on Friday night! $2 drinks, $2 hot dogs and much more! Get your tickets here: https://stars.isportstix.com/order/seats/329/51