Thursday might be Valentines Day, but with three games against former teammates this weekend, the Lincoln Stars do not plan on handing out any roses — they don’t expect any, either.
The Stars will begin by facing Devlin McCabe, who was traded Jan. 31, in exchange for Josh Bohlin and two draft picks, and Sioux City on Thursday. Lincoln will then travel to Fargo, North Dakota, for a two-game set Saturday and Sunday against former teammates Justin Lee and Tyler Johnson.
“It will be nice to see those guys again,” Tristan Ashbrook, who scored three goals in his last two games, said. “I’m sure knowing them as people and players, they are going to be happy to see us as well, but they have got a job to do and we are going to think the same way.
“It will be nice to see them, but respectively, we’ve both got jobs to do and I don’t think it will get in the way of anything.”
McCabe has recorded one assist in four games for the Musketeers, while Lee and Johnson are still finding their footings in Fargo. Lee has played four games, but has yet to record a point, while Johnson has not played in net for the Force yet.
“From a team standpoint, we are focused on our opponent,” Stars coach Cody Chupp said. “How they play, things they do that we need to be aware of and how we counter that. From an individual standpoint, I was traded in this league and I know that when I played the team I was traded from, I was always making sure I was on my game.
“I wanted to prove to them they made a mistake and I wanted to prove to my new team that they made the right move. I expect our guys in this locker room to be no different. Both sides of the equation, guys are going to be excited and guys are going to up for it.”
Zach Dubinksy, who has been on injured reserve since suffering an upper-body injury Oct. 13, has returned to practice. Dubinksy, who is still recovering, adds an extra leader in the locker room.
“Zach is an unbelievable kid,” Chupp said. “He was voted one of our captains at the beginning of the year, and that says what the players think about him, and as a staff we echo their input on Duber. It’s great to have him back, and he is not quite there yet to jump into a game, but his presence in the locker room is important.”
Dubinsky logged one goal and two assists in his six games played this season.