IT’S A NEW RECORD...An offensive malaise was broken on Friday night in Cedar Rapids, as the Dubuque Fighting Saints notched eight goals in an 8-0 win over the RoughRiders. The top line players did some real heavy lifting, as Colin Theisen scored his first career hat trick, Zach Solow put up a four-point night, and Cole Guttman had a multi-point game as well.
MAD DOGS...It has not been an overly successful stretch for the Caps as of late. They have only won two of the last 10 games, and will be without their leading scorer, Easton Brodzinski, due to suspension. They have leaned heavily on their goaltender, Dryden McKay, who has made the fourth-most shots against among USHL goaltenders, in many fewer games than those ahead of him.
HEY THERE, KEEGS...Tonight marks the return of former Saints defenseman Keegan Ford to Dubuque for the first time. The former Saints captain, and Clark Cup champion, played 197 regular season games, and 35 postseason contests for the team, and scored 86 points. Since joining Madison, the local product broke the 200 games-played plateau, and also added an assist.
NEW YEAR, NEW OPPORTUNITY...2016 ended in winning fashion. The next four games could very well help keep that winning fashion going. The Saints will take on Madison (10-16-2) twice, Bloomington (13-10-3) and Cedar Rapids (3-24-2) in the next four games before taking on conference rivals Youngstown and Muskegon, who are jockeying for position along with Dubuque.
SON OF “THE FLASH”...Beware Eetu Selanne, who is continuing to find more consistency in his USHL game lately. He scored two goals and added an assist in the month of December. His last name should sound familar, as his father, Teemu, known better as the Finnish Flash, was a veteran of 1,451 NHL games, and a scorer of 684 goals in his future Hall-of-Fame career.
SCISSORS, MEET PAPER...The Fighting Saints may have an outstanding opportunity ahead of them. Behind a 5-for-8 power play performance on Friday, and the league’s second-best power play, they will face the league’s worst road penalty kill. The Madison Capitols have allowed 10 power play goals against on 36 opportunities for a success rate of 72.2%.
NEVER BEEN DONE...Since the new Saints and the new Capitols came back into the USHL, Madison has never once defeated Dubuque in regulation time. The Saints absolutely own the all-time series, with a record of 10-0-3, and a 5-0-1 record on home ice.
IT NEVER ENDS...At this point, why would it? Forward Zach Solow’s point streak has now hit 15 games, with 24 points in that span. Perhaps the only knock on the streak is that he has only scored five goals, one of them on Friday in Cedar Rapids, but his 19 assists have ignited the offense on a nightly basis.