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The Lincoln line of Steven Agriogianis, Caleb Rule and Tristan Ashbrook has been playing well enough that each player earned a line promotion in a 4-1 loss against Des Moines on Friday at the Ice Box.

All three were on the Stars third line in previous games, including Thursday's 4-2 loss to Des Moines.

Agriogianis and Ashbrook moved to Lincoln's second line with team captain Josiah Slavin, while Rule, who had a good opportunity to score in the second period, was reunited with Shane Pinto and on the Stars' top line with Devlin McCabe.

“Me, Ruler and T.A. play well together,” Agriogianis said said before Friday's game. “We communicate well in the (defensive) zone and we are all pretty fast skaters, so we like to use our speed up and down the ice.”

It is not the first time head coach Cody Chupp has shaken things up this season when a line is successful. Spreading players out throughout the lineup helps generate chances across the board.

“It is somewhere I wanted to get back to get a little bit more ice,” Rule said about being back on the first line. “But where I play doesn't really make a difference. I just try to do my best and my best with the guys I am playing with … Hopefully with Pinto and McCabe now we can generate some goals, too.”

Rule joins Pinto for the second time this season. The duo started off the season with Slavin and helped spark the offense in the season opener in Pittsburgh with two goals apiece.

The first line produced eight shots on net, but it was the power play that struck for Lincoln. McCabe assisted on Slavin's third-period power-play goal that made the score 2-1 midway through the period.

Lincoln outshot the Bucs (35-20) for the second consecutive night but was again unable to cash in on multiple chances.

“We are creating our chances and doing everything right,” Agriogianis said before the game Friday. “Eventually (goals) are going to come.”

Lincoln hits the road Saturday to face the Saints at 7 p.m. in Dubuque, Iowa.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7431 or


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