What do you do when potentially both of your goaltenders could be a starter on any other roster?
Luckily for Lincoln Stars coach Cody Chupp, he's found Lincoln's conundrum a blessing in disguise.
“I had a conversation with a couple of college guys over the weekend about our goaltending tandem and how good they have been for us,” Chupp said. “It's a great problem to have, to have complete confidence in both your goalies that they can win you a hockey game.
“That is exactly where I am right now with our guys, and it's up to them to do their work every single day and prove they need to be number one or should be number one. Right now my confidence is huge in both of them.”
Whomever the Stars decide to put in net for any given game, Lincoln goalies Tomas Vomacka (5-5-0) and Derek Schaedig (4-1-0) have never wavered at the coaches decision. They just want to win.
Chupp describes the relationship between the two goalies as competitive, but in the right way.
“Competition is great, and from the start of the year that has been a message that has been echoed to everybody, not just our goaltenders,” the coach said. “Competition is a good thing, and we will not be a group that shies away from competition in games, practice or whatever it may be.
Vomacka's fame quickly spread throughout the USHL after he was drafted by the NHL's Nashville Predators in the fifth round (154th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, which could add pressure on the Czech Republic netminder.
“Mostly it's (a) positive (pressure),” Chupp said of Vomacka. “A lot of times you see with young kids in their draft year there is some extra pressure, concerns and things really they have no control over.
“For a young kid, it's just a lot of pressure for a kid. Once the draft happens, it's behind you, and you know who has your rights and sometimes that pressure is off and becomes the pressure you put on yourself internally every day to get better.”
Schaedig's name was already known in Lincoln after he helped the Stars to a 4-0-0 record last season serving as an emergency goalie when Lincoln goaltenders Cayden Primeau and Joseph Korenar were competing internationally for their countries.
With Schaedig's 4-3 victory in net Friday, the Chelsea, Michigan, native moved to 8-1-0 all-time in his USHL career.
“Having that experience last year kind of lets you know you can do it,” Schaedig said of USHL experience last season. “You come in a lot more confident. … Knowing you have had that success last year definitely helps.”
Vomacka and Schaedig are still learning from each other.
“(Schaedig) is awesome and I am so glad I can play with him,” Vomacka said. “He's an awesome kid on the ice and off the ice, and we are always pushing each other. I think it works well for both of us.”
The Stars host the Tri-City Storm at the Ice Box at 7 p.m. Thursday.