DUBUQUE, Iowa- For the first time all season, the Dubuque Fighting Saints will play two home games in the same weekend. Dubuque takes on the defending Clark Cup Champions Fargo Force on Friday before battling with the Team USA U-18 squad on Saturday. Dubuque is coming off a weekend in which they grabbed three of four points with Central Illinois. The Fighting Saints will also host their Military Appreciation Night this Saturday.
-The Fighting Saints have started to string together consistent performances after hitting a rough patch a few weeks back. All three of their last games have been one goal contests, with Dubuque winning two of three and securing a point in each. James Sanchez, Willie Knierim and Matias Maccelli have led the offensive charge.
-Sanchez now has seven points in the last three games for Dubuque after one goal and four assists this weekend. Sanchez has been a steady presence for Dubuque and he quietly sits second on the team with 16 points. Sanchez has 12 assists to lead all Fighting Saints
-Maccelli leads the team with 17 points and eight goals and Knierim is one behind Sanchez with 15 points. The line has been good all year, but especially good at home. Knierim has been special at Mystique Community Ice Center, tallying eight points in four games at home.
-Fargo, after finishing last year at 37-16-3-4 and winning the Clark Cup, are off to a slow start this season in the wild West. Fargo currently sits at 6-6-0-2 in fifth place. However, the West has been top heavy this season with all four teams ahead of Fargo at 21 points or more.
-The win loss record for Fargo might be a little deceiving. The team has lost five of eight (shootout losses included) by one goal. The Force have also won four one goal games. Nine of their 14 games have been decided by one goal giving them the most one goal decisions in the league this year.
-Team USA is coming off a dominant performance in the U-18 Five Nations Tournament. Team USA won all four games, including a thrilling 3-2 win over Finland to capture the title. Jack Hughes was brilliant as he tallied 16 points in four games during the tournament.
-The U-18 team has lost just once this season in USHL play. They were dropped 6-4 by the Muskegon Lumberjacks. At 4-1 on the USHL season, they are outscoring their opponents 27-17. Cole Caufield leads team USA with nine points in five USHL games. Trevor Zegras and Jack Hughes aren’t far behind as they both have eight points.
-Saturday will mark Military Appreciation sponsored by Deery Brothers of Dubuque. The Fighting Saints will wear special POW themed jerseys to honor the military and will hold a jersey auction after the game as well.