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Weekend Primer: Dubuque Heads West For Three Over Thanksgiving Weekend

By Jack Milewski, 11/27/19, 12:30PM CST

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Dubuque Rides four game win streak into holiday weekend

Riding a four-game winning streak, the Dubuque Fighting Saints embark on a three-game road swing to end the month of November. Dubuque will play Des Moines, Fargo and Sioux Falls on their most recent road trip and look to close out the month of November in decisive fashion. The Saints remain the top team in the USHL in winning percentage and top three in points.

-Dubuque outscored Waterloo and Des Moines by a combined 10-3 score over the weekend. The weekend previous they outscored Tri-City and Lincoln 7-2. The theme during both weekends was one overtime win and one blowout victory for the Saints.

-Defensively, Dubuque continues to impress. All told they have given up just 30 goals in 15 games. The 2.0 goals against is the second best average the Saints have held through 15 games in their Tier-1 history. In 2012-13 they had allowed 25 goals through the first 15 games.

-Dubuque hasn’t allowed more than three goals in a game during the month of November. That has only happened twice. The Saints goals allowed during the month read: 1,3,3,2,1,1,1,2. The Saints have allowed just 1.75 goals per game this month.

-Offensively Dubuque has woken up too. The Saints have scored 15 goals over their last three games. During last weekend’s contests, the Saints received points from 14 different players; Robert Cronin and Luke Robinson recorded their first goals and Matthew Kopperud recorded the team’s first hat trick in over a season and a half.

-As far as opponents go this weekend, Dubuque is already 2-0 this season against Des Moines and 0-1 against Fargo. This will be the first time Dubuque faces Sioux Falls in 2019-20.

-If Dubuque is able to come away with wins, or at least points, in all three games over the weekend they will become the first team in Tier-1 history to lose two or fewer games in regulation at the end of the month of November.

DES MOINES:

-Dubuque and Des Moines have already played twice this season, with the Saints winning both games in thrilling fashion. Each occasion has seen the game extend past regulation. Both games have also featured similarly hot starts for the Fighting Saints who have found themselves up 2-0 after one period in each game.

-Des Moines has continued to flex their offensive muscles but defensively they haven’t figured things out. They rank first in the West in goals scored (65) and second to last in goals allowed (63). They are one of two teams this year to score four goals on Dubuque which shows how potent they can be.

-Both teams have shown the other each one of their goalies. Aidan McCarthy got the last start for Dubuque against Des Moines and Erik Portillo the first. It will be interesting to see who the coaches trot out for the third instalment of the season series.

-Des Moines remains one of the best home teams in the league. They have failed to secure at least a point in just one of their nine games at Buccaneer arena.

 

FARGO:

-The Force come into the week as one of the hottest teams in the USHL. They have a five-game winning streak and have vaulted in to third place in the Western Conference. Fargo seems to be coming in to their own as their schedule and game totals have started to pick up.

-A large reason for this is the offense has come alive for Fargo over the last five games. In the team’s first 10 they had scored 25 goals. In their last five they have scored 21. That surge has propelled them to strong goal totals. The only team during the win streak they haven’t scored three goals or more on was Dubuque.

-Just like last time the two teams squared off, Kaden Bohlsen and Lynden Breen are the names to watch out for. They each have 12 points this season and are the only two Force players over 10 during the 2019-20 campaign.

-Cole Brady has started and won all five games for Fargo during their win streak. He is allowing an average of two goals per game over his last six games.

 

SIOUX FALLS:

-The Stampede have stumbled out of the gates to say the least, following a dramatic Clark Cup victory in one of the best playoff performances in USHL history. Sioux Falls is dead last in the West and is one of two teams in the league without double digit points heading in to the weekend.

-One thing that can be looked at as a positive for Sioux Falls is the fact that they have barely played at home. Out of their first 16 games, just six have been at the Denny Sanford Premier Center. That will change as 10 of their next 12 games will be played at home.

-The Stampede’s offense has struggled, scoring just 39 goals this season. That ranks last in the USHL. Last season Sioux Falls was third in the entire USHL in terms of goals scored with 234.

-If you’re keying in on anyone on the Stampede roster, Boston University commit Brian Carrabes is the guy. He leads the team with 14 points and has six points in the last six games heading in to Thanksgiving weekend.