In the Blood: River City’s Paul Stastny Follows the Family Trade

By Jason Shaner

by Andrew Hoyle

At some point in their young lives, every kid wants to be just
like
their father. Whether dad is a policeman, a firefighter, a plumber,
and
electrician, or a sports figure, there’s always the desire to follow in
the
family trade. As time goes by, that desire usually fades for many
kids,
especially for the children of athletes. In recent years, however,
there
has been a resurgence of household names from a generation ago in the
field
of sports. Names like Manning, Dorsett and Winslow are once again
being
mentioned, but this time in the context of a new generation of
athletes.
Hockey is no exception to this trend, either. Not if your name is
Stastny.

Paul Stastny is a 5-11, 185 pound forward from Town and
Country, Missouri. A quiet kind of guy, he’s almost always got a
mischievous smile on his face that belies the fierce determination and
competitiveness running just beneath the surface. He must get it from
his
father, former NHL star Peter Stastny. Paul’s older brother, Yan, was
also
a Lancer, a member of the 2000-2001 team that won the national
championship, and is now playing college hockey for Notre Dame. But
don’t
think for a moment it was the name alone that drew River City coach
Mike
Hastings’ attention to Paul; it was more than likely the staggering
numbers
he put up with the St. Louis Jr. Blues last year (48 GP, 46 G, 65 A,
111
PTS, 10 PIM, +73, 17 PPG, 15 SHG, 4 GWG).

Just past the halfway point of the 2002-2003 season, Stastny has
proved to be an invaluable and unselfish part of the Lancer attack,
leading
the team in assists (33 GP, 7 G, 14 A, 21 PTS, +/- 0, 20 PIM, 2 PPG),
and
currently placing third in scoring. He recently had a three point
night
(1
G, 2 A) in a 4-2 win at Green Bay, earning himself star #1 of the game.
He
also notched two assists in last Friday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Cedar
Rapids.

Possessing the unlimited potential to surpass even his father in
hockey prowess, Stastny will continue to develop under the tutelage of
the
Lancer coaching staff. With several years of USHL eligibility
remaining,
he’s sure to draw a lot of attention from major colleges and beyond.
And
not just because of his name….

Pasted: River City vs. Lincoln Stars, 29 December: Despite
plenty
of new sticks and skates being in evidence, the Lancers opened the
second
half of their season with a 10-2 drubbing at the hands of the
division-leading Stars at home in the Mid-America Center. The Stars
scored
early and often, hanging four on the Lancers before Taylor
Jindra

got them on the board in the second period, with an assist from Yale
Lewis
. Matt Carle added another goal at the 15:17 mark of
the
second period, with the assist from a finally-healthy Ryan
Coakley
,
and the Lancers outshot the Stars 20-9 for the period. But the deficit
proved insurmountable as the Stars put five more in the net during the
third period.

Road Warriors: River City at Green Bay Gamblers, 3 January:
River
City took its USHL-best road record of 9-5-1 to the Resch Center in
Green
Bay to start the new year. After spotting the struggling Gamblers a
2-0
lead, the Lancer offense came alive in the second period, scoring on
goals
by Stastny and Janne Jokila. The Lancer defense also stiffened
in
the second period, allowing only one shot on goal during the entire
period.
Lewis scored only 22 seconds into the third period on a power play
goal,
and John Togiai would round out the scoring en route to a 4-2
Lancer
road victory.

Give and Take: River City at Waterloo Blackhawks, 4 January:
Something had to give when the USHL’s best at-home team met the best
road
team at Waterloo’s Young Arena. River City jumped out to a 1-0 lead at
the
13:16 mark of the first period on a Yale Lewis score, assisted
by
Taylor Jindra. But that would be the only Lancer lead of the
evening as the Black Hawks tied it up less than two minutes later on a
power play goal, and go ahead for good before the end of the first
period
in a 5-2 Lancer loss. Matt Carle added an unassisted power play
goal late in the second period. River City was outshot 32-23 for the
game,
something that just doesn’t happen to the Lancers very often.

Another Road Trip: River City at Sioux City Musketeers, 8
January:

With only 16 healthy skaters, newly-returned (from the World Junior
Championships) River City coach Mike Hastings took his injury-riddled
team
on the road to a Sioux City team that was 1-4 at home as of late. The
Lancers got on the board quickly with a power play goal by Carle, from
Jindra and Togiai, at the 0:27 mark of the first period. Coakley ended
his
long scoring drought with his second goal of the season at the 11:08
mark
of the first period, from Charlie Kronschnabel and Togiai.
Jindra
provided the game winner when he made his third steal of the night and
backhanded the puck in for a shorthanded goal at the 13:47 mark of the
third period, making the final score a 3-2 Lancer victory. River City
ended a three game road trip with a 2-1 record.

Home Sweet Home: River City vs. Cedar Rapids Roughriders, 10
January:
The Lancers were looking forward to gaining ground on the
division-leading Stars with a five-game home stretch, but the ‘Riders
weren’t about to let that happen. After a scoreless first period,
River
City got on the board with a power play goal by Mike Howe,
assisted
by Stastny and Drew Miller, at the 9:35 mark of the second
period.
Howe had missed three games and was serving in a limited role this
night
due to a shoulder injury, but was still able to sneak one past
Roughrider
goalie Joe Fallon. Miller added a goal less than a minute and a
half later from Stastny and Jason Dest. The Lancer defense,
minus
Jokila, who was serving a two game suspension for a questionable gross
misconduct call (spitting) at the end of the Sioux City game, allowed
the
Roughriders to tie it up and eventually win in a shootout, 3-2. Howe
was
the only Lancer shooter to get one past the ‘Riders goalie in the
shootout.

Reunion and Farewell: River City vs. Des Moines Buccaneers, 11
January:
Former Lancers Marty Guerin (#1 Bucs scorer) and
Mike Neilon (#2 Bucs scorer), now with the Des Moines
Buccaneers,
watched as River City hoisted its banners for the first time before
6,304
fans in the new Mid-America Center. They also watched as the Lancers
shut
the Buccaneers out, 2-0, on scores by Lewis and Brian Baron, who
played his last game as a Lancer this night. Lancer goalie Chad
Beiswenger
(10 GP, 597:27 MIN, 5 W, 2 L, 3 OTL, 2 SO, 23 GA, 2.310
GAA,
.908SV%) got his second shutout of the season as a Lancer.