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The Stars took over sole possession of first place in the United States Hockey League Western Conference for the first time since Jan. 6 with a 4-3 shootout victory at  Des Moines on Saturday.

Lincoln had been stuck in second place behind Omaha the past 21 games. Omaha did not play Saturday.

Lincoln has a one-point advantage over Omaha in the standings going into the final week of the regular season. The Stars lead the conference standings with 76 points, Omaha has 75 and Waterloo 72. Each team has two games remaining.

Lincoln plays both games next week against fourth-place Fargo.

The Stars still have work to do to clinch a top-two seed and first-round bye in the playoffs.

Saturday, Lincoln won the three-round shootout 1-0 to improve to 3-2 in shootout games this season.

Kevin Roy made the only shot for Lincoln in the second round, and Lincoln goaltender Charles Williams made a couple of stops to beat his former team. Roy is 2-for-5 on shootout attempts this season.

"I give our guys credit for battling back," Stars coach Chad Johnson said on his postgame radio show. "It was a big extra point (in the standings) we got here in the shootout."

Roy reached the 100-point mark (52 goals, 48 assists) with two goals Saturday. The point total is a season record in the USHL Tier 1 era (since 2002). He's the first USHL player to get 100 points in a season since Peter Fregoe had 103 in 1998-99 for Des Moines.

Jared Hanson also scored a second-period power-play goal for the Stars for his 26th goal of the season.

The Stars were disappointed after letting a 3-0 lead early in the second period slip away. Des Moines scored three straight goals and tied the game with a goal by Zach Saar with six minutes remaining in the third period.

-- Brent C. Wagner


Lincoln  0  0 1 --
Des Moines  2  0 0 --

First--1. LINCOLN, Roy (Friese, Hanson), 2:08. 2. LINCOLN, Roy, pp (Shine, Johnson), 10:50.

Penalty--LINCOLN, Kinne (Tripping), 3:14; LINCOLN, McKee (High Sticking), 4:46; DES MOINES, Voltin (Tripping), 9:09; LINCOLN, McKee (Interference), 14:30.

Second--3. LINCOLN, Hanson, pp (Tate), 2:19. 4. DES MOINES, Kirtland, (Greco, Decowski), 14:44.

Penalty--DES MOINES, Voltin (High Sticking Double Minor), 1:11; LINCOLN, Freibergs (Tripping), 8:22.

Third--5. DES MOINES, Voltin, (penalty shot), 5:07. 6. DES MOINES, Saar (Gambardella, Samuels-Thomas), 13:32.

Penalty--LINCOLN, Frye (Slashing Major), 5:07; LINCOLN, Freibergs (Cross Checking), 9:46.

Overtime--no scoring

Penalty--no penalties

Shootout--LINCOLN, Hanson-NO, Roy-YES, Johnson-NO. DES MOINES, Voltin-NO, Prow-NO, Decowski-NO.

Shots--Lincoln 9-15-6-4--35, Des Moines 11-9-14-0--34. Power plays--Lincoln--2 for 3; Des Moines--0 for 6. Goalies--Lincoln (Williams 34 shots, 31 saves); Des Moines (Copley 12 shots, 9 saves; Kasdorf 22 shots, 22 saves). A--2,151.

Reach Brent C. Wagner at 402-473-7435 or


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