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Tristan Ashbrook had a welcoming party after tallying his first goal of the season and Declan Carlile put the icing on the cake with the game-winning goal with 22 seconds remaining as the Lincoln Stars (4-5-2-1) downed Sioux Falls 2-1 Friday at the Ice Box.

Following a Sioux Falls penalty late in the third period, Carlile created his own rush to score his second goal of the season, and the Stars' third power-play goal in the last two games, to lift Lincoln to victory.

“It's kind of been three different (power-play) goals,” Stars coach Cody Chupp said. “We got one faceoff won, and one kind of from a faceoff but more in our power-play set, and obviously one on the rush."

Outside of Carlile's power-play tally Friday, the Stars scored two against Omaha last Friday.

“They are coming in different ways and which is probably a great sign. Obviously, we want to continue to find ways to create in-zone time and create scoring chances,” Chupp said.

Before Carlile's late-game heroics Friday, Ashbrook, an alternate captain, was  in the Stars lineup for the first time this season due to an injury late in September in the preseason.

Ashbrook created havoc right away, serving on both the penalty kill and power play, and tied the game 1-1 in the second period on a one-timer from an assist from Philippe Lapointe.

“It was a long time coming with this group putting together a good 60 minutes like that,” Ashbrook said. “It's not a perfect effort tonight but I was happy to contribute tonight and happy we came away with two points.”

The Stars veteran played 59 games with Lincoln last season, scoring 17 goals and recording 12 assists before being hit with the preseason injury bug that has kept him out nearly two months.

“It does a lot for us,” Chupp said of Ashbrook returning to the lineup. “It gives us the ability to move the pieces around and kind of create more depth. Beyond that, though, as one of our captains and a leadership guy, his presence in the locker throughout the course of the game on the bench (and) throughout the course of the game is extremely important.”

Sioux Falls took an early 1-0 lead midway through the first period, but the Stars scored the two unanswered goals.

Lincoln continues the three-game weekend slate with a contest in Sioux City, Iowa, facing the Musketeers at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7431 or tgray@journalstar.com.

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