After sputtering to a 4-3 victory over Green Bay on Friday at the Ice Box, the Lincoln Stars went pedal to the floor Saturday in a dominating 5-1 victory.
Multi-point games from Devlin McCabe, Casey Dornbach and Gustaf Westlund, and a special-teams unit that was near perfection, propelled the Stars.
“We weren't happy with last night,” Stars' captain Dominick Mersch, who has scored in back-to-back games after getting Lincoln's fourth goal in the third period Saturday. “We played maybe 25 minutes, and tonight we put in a full effort and saw how it paid off with a bigger win for us.”
The Stars scored on two of five power-play chances, added a short-handed goal and stopped all eight Green Bay power-play chances. For the weekend, the Stars stopped all 13 on the penalty kill.
“We were doing things right, there was a confidence on our bench and a confidence amongst our group that we were going to find a way,” Stars' head coach Cody Chupp said. “Which was a much different tone from last night as score early and hold on and hope it worked out.
“Tonight, we were more right to make sure it came out in our favor. That's a huge credit to our guys and the message before the game was this is an opportunity to take a step in the right direction.”
After the Stars have preached a fast start all week long, McCabe sent teddy bears flying over the glass just 2 minutes, 27 seconds into regulation with Lincoln's first power-play goal.”
“It felt pretty good seeing all the teddy bears land on to the ice,” McCabe said. “It was pretty awesome.”
McCabe pushed the slight delay into the back of his mind and focused on the team goal at hand and keep the pressure on Green Bay.
The Stars rookie tallied Lincoln's fifth goal with just under five minutes left in regulation and give the Stars a comfortable 5-1 lead.
“A lot of it was just sticking to the little things,” McCabe said. “Getting pucks deep, keeping short shifts and getting pucks to the net.”
Dornbach, who has 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) in his last eight games gave the Stars the eventual game-winning goal midway through the second frame and added an assist on McCabe's first tally.
“Dorny's line has been going for a while and Dornbach has been going on a streak for a while, too,” Westlund said, who added two assists in the win. “He's been working hard and hasn't been given anything, he's been working for it. A guy like McCabe has been doing the same thing and has been working hard. He's been given and opportunity and he is taking it.”
Ashton Calder added Lincoln's short-handed goal in the second period to cap off Lincoln's stellar special teams night.
Lincoln hosts the Tri-City Storm in a Thursday matchup at the Ice Box at 7 p.m.