STARS VS. BLACK HAWKS
When: Friday, October 22nd at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday, October 23rd at 6:05 p.m.
Where: Young Arena
The Stars will look to respond after dropping Saturday night’s game in Fargo 5-4 against the Force. Despite a strong three-goal third period, Lincoln was unable to tie the game.
They were unable to complete the sweep following a 4-2 victory on Friday night. Christian Kocsis scored his first two USHL goals of his career on Friday, while Griffin Jurecki and Dalton Norris also lit the lamp. Kaidan Mbereko made 26 saves to secure the win.
Mbereko got the start again Saturday, but the Force did a much better job of getting to the net, scoring five times on 20 shots. Cameron Whitehead relieved Mbereko early in the third period, making five saves on five shots. With the Stars down 5-1, Noah Laba, Michael Mastrodomenico and Norris scored to make the game close.
In their weekend series against Fargo, Lincoln outshot their opponent 79-53.
Waterloo picked up three points over the weekend, losing 2-1 in a shootout on Friday in Omaha, but bounced back with a 4-3 overtime win the next night against the Dubuque Fighting Saints.
Michael LaStarza scored the lone goal for Waterloo in regulation and in the shootout on Friday. Jack Williams made 21 saves, helping the Black Hawks grind out a point.
LaStarza double-dipped with his second goal of the weekend on Saturday night, tying the game with under 35 seconds left in regulation, forcing overtime. Cooper Wylie capped off a four-game performance with the winner in extra time.
Like Mbereko, Williams was in the pipes on back-to-back nights, stopping 29 shots in the win.
THINGS TO WATCH FOR
Aidan Thompson leads the Stars with seven points this season and is currently riding a four-game point streak (one goal, five assists) … Norris is also on a four-game point streak (two goals, three assists) … The Stars captain has power-play goals in consecutive games … Whitehead currently leads the USHL in goals-against average (0.86) and save percentage (.971) … Lincoln’s penalty kill on the road ranks 2nd-best in the league at 90.0 percent … Defensemen Mason Reiners and Cooper Wylie are tied for the Black Hawks lead in points with six … Jack Williams has appeared in three games against Lincoln in his career (1-0 record, two relief appearances) … Emmett Croteau made 34 saves in his lone start versus the Stars on March 13th, 2021 … LaStarza scored 11 goals in his rookie year last season with Waterloo.
Stars head coach Rocky Russo: “Waterloo’s built to play on that [olympic-sized] sheet, they’re a very fast club. They’re going to look to play transition hockey. If we turn pucks over in the gray areas and give them short ice, they’re going to take advantage of it. We really have to be careful with our possession and make sure we make their defenseman have to go two hundred feet."