Dubuque will host two Western Conference opponents during the middle two games of their six game home stand. The Saints will battle the Waterloo Black Hawks on Friday in a matchup between the top two teams in their respective conferences. On Saturday the Saints will square off against the Fargo Force who are tied with Dubuque for fewest games played in the league heading into the weekend. Dubuque currently leads the USHL with an 8-0-1 record as they will put their unbeaten regulation streak on the line. Get set for the weekend with our Weekend Primer:
-With two wins or points in any way this weekend, Dubuque will tie their 2012-13 season with points in 11 straight games to start the year. The Saints, with points in nine straight already have the second longest point streak to start a season in their Tier-1 history.
-Once again, the wins didn’t come particularly easy for the Saints over the weekend, but they found a way to win both games. On Friday it was a defensive effort from Dubuque that limited the Lancers to just one goal. On Saturday, the Saints offense woke up, scoring four goals to down the RoughRiders 4-3.
-Dubuque has won in just about every way this early season, with great defensive performances and strong offensive outputs as well. What has been a consistent theme is Dubuque playing in one goal games. The Saints have played seven of their nine games to one goal finishes.
-Ty Jackson and Dylan Jackson continue to lead the way for the Saints in the early season. Last year, through one month of the season the Jackson’s were the top point getters for Dubuque. This season they are as well. Both have four goals, eight assists and 12 points. Ty is currently riding a six-game point streak.
-The Saints are statistically the second best defensive team in the league after their two games this past weekend. Though Dubuque has the lowest total goals allowed column, they are second in term of goals allowed per game. Right now, the Saints have allowed 2.22 goals per game. Waterloo is in first with 2 goals per game exactly. Last season, the top defensive team in the league in Tri-City allowed 2.32 goals per game.
-The Saints continue to lead the way on the power play this season, vaulting into the top spot in week two and holding it ever since. The Saints currently sit at 36% on the PP which is 11.5 percentage points higher than the next closest team.
-Equally as impressive as the Saints power play has been their ability to stay out of the penalty box themselves. Their penalty kill is middling around 80.6%, but they are by far the least penalized team with just 70 total penalty minutes. They have been shorthanded 31 times which is the lowest in the Eastern Conference by 10 times.
-The Waterloo Black Hawks will pose the stiffest test the Saints have seen this season. Waterloo is tied with Dubuque in points and wins, though they have played two more games than Dubuque. The Black Hawks are the top defensive team in the league and offensively their 36 goals sit them third in the West.
-Despite the great overall record, the Black Hawks have struggled recently, losing three of their last four. Waterloo started the season off with the best record through seven games, going a perfect 7-0. Even with the last four games being factored in, Waterloo still looks like one of the most dangerous teams in the league.
-Offensively the Black Hawks have two players with double digit points. Connor Caponi and Ryder Rolston, both returnees to the USHL, have 10 points this season. Caponi was a member of the Black Hawks last season while Rolston played for the U-18’s. Rolston had 24 points in 34 games and Caponi had 14 in 42 games.
-Logan Stein has led the Hawks between the pipes this season. His 4-2 record is solid standing alone, but when paired with his other stats he is likely the early leader for goalie of the year. He leads the USHL in GAA (1.56) and save percentage (.941). He is also the only goalie with multiple shutouts this year.
-A year after boasting one of the best power plays in the league, the Black Hawks have one of the worst this season at 9.5%. They are 13th in the USHL. However, the Hawks are incredible on the penalty kill, with a 98% success rate a man down. They have allowed one power play goal in 50 times shorthanded. Dubuque has scored a power play goal against three of the top six teams in overall PK percentage this season (they have not played the other three).
-The Force hop into the weekend with the fewest games played in the Western Conference and tied for the fewest games played in the league with Dubuque. Fargo has not seen the amount of success the Saints have, as they are 4-4-1 this season thus far.
-All of Fargo’s loses have come against very good teams during the early season. They have lost to Chicago twice, Waterloo, Des Moines and Tri-City. All teams Fargo has lost to are top three in their respective conferences except for Tri-City.
-Fargo has the lowest scoring leading scorer in the USHL this season. Lynden Breen leads the team with seven points total. He has six goals and one assist so when Fargo scores, Breen is usually the one putting the puck in the back of the net. Fargo’s 23 goals scored are lowest in the USHL and their 30 goals allowed are fourth lowest in the league.
-Fargo is tied for the league lead with just one win on the road. However the Force have played just two road games this entire season. They kick off a stretch of 10 of 13 on the road the day before they visit Dubuque. Fargo will only play home games in mid-November and during the final weekend of November, before finishing the games before break on the road.