By Richard Roeder
The Lincoln Stars lost the opening two games of the 2002-2003 season. Since then the ride has been a wild one. The team should think about a revolving door on the locker room. Fans have seen lineup changes every night, with new players in and other players gone seemingly every week. Robbie Bina and captain Danny Irmen have missed significant time due to injuries. Bina will continue to rehab, but optimistic Star fans are looking for Irmen to return soon, possibly as early as next week. Veteran Star Mike Fournier left the team, goalie Ross Cherry was traded to Sioux Falls for future compensation. High School students Ben Gordon and Brent Borgan have shined on a part-time basis. USHL league rules allows for two import players, and Lincoln is still tinkering with who will fill those spots. Nikolai Ladygin joined the team, was off the team for a brief stint when another import, James Morgan was added in mid-October, and was back on the active roster when Canadian Jamison Orr was made inactive prior to Tuesday’s 6-1 drubbing of 3rd place Omaha.
You need a scorecard every night at the IceBox, but nobody’s complaining. Lincoln currently leads the West Division of the USHL with a 10-4-1 record, good for 21 points and a two point lead over Sioux Falls. Lincoln has been led by October’s Goalie World goaltender of the month, Nate Zieglemann. Zieglemann, who compiled a 6-1-1 record thus far this year, has a 1.883 GAA and a .935 SV%. The numbers do not do justice to his play. Zieglemann has won a few games for Lincoln single-handedly. The Stars have been led by Ryan Potulny (8-12-20 (+5)) and John Snowden (9-9-18 (+4)) offensively. Irmen was also among the league scoring leaders prior to his injury, and will only help a very balanced offense when he returns. The defense has been solid and continues to improve. Lincoln’s weakness seems to be looking past opponents, with three of their four losses coming to teams with sub-.500 records on the road. Lincoln looks to improve on their perfect 7-0 home record Friday, hosting the Tri-City Storm prior to back-to-back road games against the Des Moines Buccaneers.