Reported by: Matt Lothrop
Tuesday's decisive USHL playoff game five in Sioux Falls could end the Lincoln Stars' season.
But a handful of Ice Box staples are leading a charge to extend not only their Clark Cup run, but their junior hockey careers.
"Guys like Mike McKee and Paul LaDue and Dominik Shine and Zach Aston-Reese that have been there before and know that they don't want to go home prematurely," Stars coach Chad Johnson said.
The Stars could have sent the Stampede home prematurely, but failed to match their opponent's desperation. Saturday's 2-1 loss even the series, gave the Stampede new life, and shifted the series back to Sioux Falls.
Now like the Stampede, the Stars have their backs against the wall. But it's a familiar position, and one that has develop a game five mentality.
"We've been playing playoff hockey for the last two months," Stars defenseman Mike McKee said. "It seems like we need, a lot of games we needed to win, we need other teams to lose."
"A month before this we didn't know if we'd be in the playoffs or on summer break by now, but that's helped us," Stars defenseman Paul LaDue said. "We've battle before and we can battle again."
The 64-game regular season and the playoffs have forged a win or go home attitude. But it's a complete game effort that will determine whether or not the Stars season ends in Sioux Falls.
"You know we've took periods off, we've took shifts off. We're going to have to come in there and play a full 60 minutes and battle," LaDue said. "It's going to be tough, but hopefully we can get the win."