When the Lincoln Stars traded with the Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL) for high-scoring forward Dan Riedel last season, they thought it would be for 2003-04 only. But due to an unforeseen circumstance, Riedel is back in a Stars uniform for 2004-05. He was originally committed to Ferris State University for the coming year, but due to an error he found himself short credits on his high school transcript.
“It was just one of those things,” said the 19-year-old Riedel. “I will be finishing up on the class I was short and now have a year to work on my overall game prior to starting my NCAA hockey career.”
Lincoln coach Steve Johnson is more than happy to have Riedel play in Lincoln another year.
“Dan was a guy we weren’t expecting to have back,” said Johnson. “We see Dan as a guy who, if he really works hard this year, can be among the USHL leaders in goals and points. We look for Dan to be an impact player on this team this year.”
Riedel spent the summer working hard to begin the season where he left off last year. In the 25 games he played for Lincoln last year, the 5’10, 180-pound forward scored 10 goals and added 11 assists.
“I stuck to my summer training program, and even worked in some extra road training in with my Dad. I really wanted to be ready to start the season.”
He also would like to improve his play in the defensive zone.
“That may have been where I needed to improve in order to continue to play hockey after college. My strength has always been in the offensive zone, but becoming a better overall player will help me down the road.”
Riedel is off to fast start to begin the season. Although he is without a goal in his first 10 games, he is among the USHL league leaders in points, with a league-high 11 assists. Even though the team is off to a fast start, all his goals are pointed toward the end of the year, not the beginning.
“With the facilities, the staff, and all the things we have here in Lincoln, not making the playoffs is unacceptable. The coaches expect it, and so should the players. You can set your goal to win the Clark Cup and that’s obviously a goal every player in this league wants. But you have to make the playoffs first, and that’s something we learned last year.”
He also looks forward to this, his final year in Lincoln.
“This has been a great experience for me. A great place to play junior hockey. My host parents, Brian and Lynn Schulz, are awesome. Dave Carlisle (returning Star defenseman) is also billeting there, and it is just a great situation. It should be a great year.”
The Stars have started the season 7-2-1, good for first in the Western Division and a league-high 15 points.
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