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Jurecki bounces back with goal as streaking Stars beat Waterloo

Jurecki bounces back with goal as streaking Stars beat Waterloo

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Griffin Jurecki stayed out of hot water as the Lincoln Stars stayed red hot Thursday.

Lincoln defeated Waterloo 6-3 at the Ice Box, pushing the Stars' winning streak to four games.

After Noah Laba gave the Stars a 1-0 lead, Jurecki missed an assignment on the penalty kill but made up for it in a big way.

The Denver commit blocked a shot at the point, and after beating a Waterloo back checker to the puck, Jurecki went top-shelf for his second goal of the season.

“When I got back to the bench (head coach and general manager Chris Michael) said, 'The only thing you did right that shift was the blocked shot and breakaway goal,'” Jurecki said with a laugh. “Everything before that we need to improve on. A little missed assignment, but it worked out.”

Jurecki also added an assist for a two-point night on Jake Beaune's sixth tally of the season that cushioned the Stars lead to 5-3. After a potential 4-0 lead was waved off, Waterloo cut the deficit to one goal twice.

“(Jurecki) was the best player on the ice,” Michael said. “If you want to argue with me and want to get into it, let's go. I'm ready. He didn't get much or really anything at the beginning of the year. He just kept coming and kept practicing and he kept working and he kept the right attitude. Then he saw his name not in the lineup and he came back for more.

“He kept being an unbelievable teammate and unbelievable brother. We need more of guys like him in our society. Not in just the game of hockey, but we need more of that from the generation. I could not be more proud of an individual as I am in Griffin Jurecki right now.”

Jack O'Brien also scored the first USHL goal of his career, giving the Stars a 3-0 lead early in the second period.

O'Brien stole the puck from Waterloo net-minder Jack Williams behind the net and wrapped it around the post. After O'Brien's goal, Williams was pulled from the Black Hawks' net.

“I had a feeling (Williams) was going to go to his backhand,” O'Brien said. “I don't think he realized how much speed I had coming in and trying to pick up the puck. A bit of a greasy goal, but I'll take it as my first.”

Despite an upward trend, Michael thinks the Stars have been sluggish and have waited for a spark to kindle the fire over the past two games.

They'll face Sioux City at 7 p.m. Friday in Sioux City, Iowa.

“We can't be satisfied,” O'Brien said. “We didn't play great tonight, but we came out with a win. Just go into (Friday) and kick it up a notch.”

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