TURNING THE CORNER...The Caps had to overcome a 6-1 loss to the Des Moines Buccaneers starting with a come-from-behind win over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Friday night. Madison is now 6-4-0 in their last 10 games, with an opportunity to continue their strong play on home ice. This weekend for the Caps is must like Dubuque’s weekend, which includes three games in three days.
AT THE TOP...The Dubuque Fighting Saints have the second-most wins on the road this season (14), trailing only the Youngstown Phantoms (15). That success has catapulted them to the top of the USHL standings, currently in a tie with the Chicago Steel. Every team that was chasing the idle Saints won their games, meaning Dubuque must take this weekend series to keep pace.
NOTABLE LOSSES...Madison will be without defenseman Keegan Ford tonight and tomorrow due to a four-game suspension. They will also be without their prior leading scorer, Easton Brodzinski, who was acquired by the Green Bay Gamblers earlier this week. They will need to score by committee, leading with prospect Mick Messner, who tallied a goal a night ago.
McKAY MORE THAN OKAY...If it is Dryden McKay who gets the start on back-to-back nights for the Madison Capitols, his numbers have been impressive for a team towards the bottom of the USHL standings. The Holy Cross commit has the league’s fourth-best save percentage (.922), and ranks 14th in goals-against average (2.55). He has won six of his last nine starts.
NEW YEAR, SAME HAMMY...A model of consistency since the new year, Jacob Hamacher has only gotten better as the season has continued. Hamacher has points in seven of the team’s 12 games since January 1, including points in three consecutive games. Hamacher’s multi-point effort against Cedar Rapids on 2/4 was his first since 12/30, where he put up three points against CR.
OH REALLY, O’NEIL...Kevin O’Neil has been the most dangerous scorer against the Fighting Saints for Madison this season. In the three games so far, O’Neil has scored two goals, and added three assists. However, since his two-point effort in a Madison win on January 7, he has only a goal and an assist in eight games following. Will he continue his success against Dubuque?
COMPLETE DOMINATION...The Saints are built on the premise of depth scoring, but the top line’s dominance cannot be overstated. The line of Zach Solow, Colin Theisen and Cole Guttman has contributed 52 goals (39% of total team goal output) and 118 total points. Not to mention, their defensive acumen has been impressive, as they are a combined +48. Solow is the league’s leading scorer, Theisen is the league’s second-best goal scorer, and even while missing an entire month, Guttman ranks 10th in league scoring. Last weekend, the top line carried the way, with Solow (2 goals, 4 assists), Theisen (3 goals, 3 assists), and Guttman (1 goal, 2 assists) helping the team get five out of a possible six standings points.