The Dubuque Fighting Saints will hit the road for a single game against Waterloo on Tuesday. The game is a scheduled makeup from earlier in the season, as the Saints will look to remain perfect against the Black Hawks. Dubuque has beaten Waterloo 5-3 and 7-4 this year and have now won seven of their last nine against their in-state rivals. It will be the first of four games this week for Dubuque.
-The Saints had an unexpected weekend off, as they did not travel to Green Bay for health and safety reasons. Waterloo was in action and had a strong weekend with two victories over Sioux City. Waterloo allowed just two goals in the weekend sweep.
-Dubuque has dominated the recent series against the Hawks, but Tuesday will be a new test. This will be the Saints first game in Waterloo this year, which means a bigger ice surface to contend with. The Hawks are the only team in the USHL with an Olympic-sized ice surface.
-Dubuque has won two in a row and are winners of five of their last seven heading into the contest. Dubuque has won in a variety of ways, but the offense coming alive has been the main catalyst behind the string of victories.
-Though it feels early in the season, it can get late very quickly. Dubuque is eight points out of fourth place and have placed themselves in a position where they need to continue to string wins together in order to place themselves in contention late in the season.
-Allowing goals has still been an issue for the Saints, as they have given up 91 (second most in the USHL). Reilly Herbst was impressive in his debut weekend for Dubuque, but the team will look to build off that as consistency has also plagued them.
-Waterloo’s struggles have come on the other side, with their offense failing to produce consistently. With just 58 goals scored, the Hawks are tied for the second lowest mark in the league. Even in their weekend wins over Sioux City, they only managed to average three goals a game.
-This game is very important for Dubuque in two aspects. One, the Saints can take a stranglehold on the Cowbell Cup standings with a victory. If Dubuque wins, they will need just one point over the final three games between them and Waterloo to retain the crown. Second, the Saints will want to get off to a quick start with a four-game week. It is often tough to maintain energy in a lengthy week like that, so a quick win to start things will be ideal.
-Dubuque doesn’t get any less busy, featuring a three-game set with Youngstown after this week. All three games will be held at home, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Super Bowl weekend.