A lucky bounce can go a long way — just like Zach Dubinsky's assist Tuesday that helped the Lincoln Stars gain a 5-3 victory over the Des Moines Buccaneers at the Ice Box.
After the Bucs just would not go away all night, Dubinksy a forward by trade, was able to make a play as a defenseman, a position he was thrown into during the waning moments Friday.
“Having some forward aspects to my game, I think helps a lot reading all the other forwards, where they will be and what they look for,” he said.
That is exactly what Dubinsky did, finding an open Josiah Slavin on the boards from his defensive position, resulting in a goal by Tristan Ashbrook and giving the Stars a 4-3 lead. Collin Peters later added to the Stars' lead for the 5-3 victory.
Casey Dornbach continued another hot stretch in his season, with a three-point night, scoring the Stars' first two goals, both in the second period, and later adding an assist. Dornbach has six points in the last two games.
Listed as a forward and one of the top 50 uncommitted North American skaters, Dubinsky found himself playing defense for the Stars, filling a much-needed void.
After Friday's contest with the Lancers at the Ice Box, the Stars were short-handed on the defensive front with two of their starting six defensemen serving multi-game suspensions. After Wyatt Aamodt went down with an injury in Friday's contest, the Stars were in dire need on the back end with just four active defensemen available.
“Probably with the last five minutes Friday night, I played (defense),” Dubinsky said. “I thought I did a pretty good job at it and the (coaching staff) had confidence to start me there Saturday night.”
Before Dubinsky joined the Stars roster, he played on the back end for nearly a third of a season with the Chicago Mission in the High Performance Hockey League. Listed at 5-foot-7 and 180 pounds, the Deerfield, Illinois, native is not your prototypical defenseman.
“The night before (Friday) and the day of (Saturday) was pretty nerve-wracking,” Dubinsky said. “After I got the first shift in, it calmed the nerves down and I was pretty good throughout the game.”
Though the Stars rookie was called upon to play defense, it was his forward mindset that helped Lincoln tie the game late, and send the Stars and Lancers to overtime Saturday.
The Stars return to the Ice Box on Friday to face the Waterloo Black Hawks at 7:30 p.m.