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PREVIEW: Capitols vs. Fighting Saints 2/12

By Jordan Kuhns, 02/12/17, 11:45AM CST


Home-and-home wraps up on Sunday Funday



A STREAK DEVELOPS...The Dubuque Fighting Saints have lost two games in a row, but the three losses they have suffered in the last 10 games have been in overtime. That means the Saints have garnered standings points in the last 10 games, and have remained in the upper echelon in the Eastern Conference in the process. All of the team’s challengers are idle today, so a chance to retake first place is in the cards today.

THE CAPS FIGHT ON...Madison has had to rally from a deficit in the last two games, and they came out on top in the extra session both times. It was thanks to Mick Messner on both nights, who has three goals in his last two games, and two overtime winners in the process. In strange coincidence, Messner’s goal on Friday came at 5:06, and his goal on Saturday came at 4:53—just 13 seconds apart.

SCORE BY COMMITTEE...Perhaps it hurt more to see that their former leading scorer, Easton Brodzinski, scored for the Green Bay Gamblers in their win over the Fargo Force on Saturday night. However, Madison needed to get contributions from players who hadn’t found the scoresheet in a while, and they got that from Noah Weber (6-game goal drought) and Verners Egle (9-game goal drought).


POWER SURGE...Madison’s power play got the job done in Saturday’s tussle, going 2 for 3 on the night. In the process, the Caps’ power play went from 11th to 8th in just one night. Noah Weber tied the game with his power play goal in the second period, and Mick Messner ended it on a 4-on-3 power play late in the overtime period. This trend will need to change today.

KUDLA KEEPS GOING...Now with points in 8 of his last 10 games, Patrick Kudla is not making things very easy for opposing defenses. His multi-point effort on Saturday was his first since January 13, but he has notched an assist in all eight of those games, and his goal gave the Fighting Saints a momentary lead. He remains tied for third in overall defensive scoring in the league.

GOTTA BREAK THROUGH...Perhaps a statistical anomaly, but the Madison Capitols have the league’s dead-last penalty kill on the road, and it isn’t close. They have allowed 18 power play goals on 65 opportunities away from the Alliant Energy Center for a success rate of 72.3%. This is in contrast to the Fighting Saints’ second-best home power play, which stands at 23.1%.


OVERTIME AIN’T FRIENDLY...Last season, it seemed like the Dubuque Fighting Saints couldn’t lose in overtime. This season, they are human in the extra session. The Saints are 3-3 in games decided in overtime, and 1-2 in shootouts. 3 of the team’s 5 overtime losses have come in the last six games alone, showing how tight the USHL has gotten in the stretch run. Dubuque has 2 shootout goals in 7 attempts, and both were scored in the 2-1 win over Muskegon on January 28. Two of the four games played against the Madison Capitols have gone to overtime this season, with two more games left in the season series. Tonight is the fifth game.