Sometimes it just takes a different perspective.
Lincoln Stars head coach and general manager Chris Michael returned to the bench Friday after serving a four-game USHL suspension. Lincoln answered with a 7-3 victory Friday over the Waterloo Blackhawks at the Ice Box and have now won back-to-back games for the first time in the 2020-21 season.
“There was some systematic stuff,” Michael said. “You get a different view when you are sitting above and you have that aerial or bird's eye, whatever you want to call it. Just kind of the systematic stuff through all three zones, with and without the puck. There were a couple areas watching from above that we thought as a staff, 'What if we tweak this? What if we make an adjustment here or there?' We did, and we've made a few adjustments starting on Monday. So far, so good with those adjustments.”
Stars forward Aidan Thompson has benefited from those adjustments over the past two games with four goals and three assists for seven points as Lincoln has combined for 16 goals over the past two games.
Thompson scored twice in the third period Friday and added two assists.
“I know it took a little while, but we are starting to click better and getting the chemistry going,” Thompson said. “Things are just started to fall our way. Everyone is working hard, and that's contributing to our success."
But even with the hot hand, Thompson is level-headed.
“I'm just happy to help the team any way I can to get the win,” Thompson said. “For me personally, that's nice, but I'm happier about the wins. I think everyone is happy about winning. I think if we keep that going, everyone will continue to keep up this joy that comes from winning.”
Defenseman Carter Schade got Lincoln on the board in the first period at the 17:42 mark before Waterloo knotted the score 1-1 with 59 seconds left in the period.
The Stars continued with the goal-scoring frenzy over the past 24 hours with three more goals in the second period to take a 4-1 lead.
Michael Mastrodomenico scored his first USHL goal in the second period, and Charles-Alexis Legault's third-period goal gave Lincoln three defensemen with goals in the game.
“It's that time of the year where young guys aren't young guys anymore,” Michael said. “They are getting more comfortable. We've had this all year. Obviously, it hasn't shown in the standings or in our lack of goal production for the course of the season, but we as a staff know what we have in that locker room. We have a special group.”
Lincoln returns to action Saturday at Waterloo, Iowa, with a 6 p.m. puck drop.