The Fighting Saints hit the road once again as they take on the Sioux Falls Stampede tonight in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Fighting Saints are currently mired in a four game losing streak after their latest setback, a 2-1 loss to the Madison Capitols. Dubuque will be on the road for the first time in a few weeks as they recently finished up a three game home stand.
-The matchup on Saturday will be one of two trips that the Fighting Saints will make to Sioux Falls in the next three weeks. Dubuque will also travel to South Dakota to take on the Stampede on December 13th. The Fighting Saints will be on the road the majority of the month of December, including five games in the two weeks before holiday break.
-Sioux Falls has had an up and down season. They started off quickly, with a 6-1-0-2 record. Since, the Stampede have struggled, going 2-4 in the last six. The Stampede currently sit sixth in the deep Western Conference. With 18 points the Stampede would be tied for third in the East.
-Despite the recent slide for the Fighting Saints, the team still sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Dubuque is tied with the Green Bay Gamblers and are one point behind the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Outside of the Muskegon Lumberjacks, no one in the East has been able to separate themselves from the pack.
-The Fighting Saints have seen great production from James Sanchez, Willie Knierim and Matias Maccelli during the last month. Maccelli has a six game point streak, with 10 points in that time. Knierim and Sanchez have the exact same point streak going and also have an equal amount of points in that time.
-The Stampede are a lower scoring team, with only four players in double digits. Artem Ivanyuzhenkov leads the team with 11 points in just 12 games. Jami Krannila has 11 points as well, but in 15 games. The 46 goals from the Stampede are tied for second fewest in the USHL.
-Special teams have been a struggle for both teams as they sit towards the bottom half of the league in both penalty kill and power play. The Fighting Saints have a single percentage edge on the power play (17.7% to 16.4%) and both penalty kills sit just under 73%.
-The Fighting Saints have been bitten by penalties, in particular late penalties. Dubuque gave up a power play goal with less than five minutes to go against the Madison Capitols to lose their most recent game. Penalties have been an area of weakness for Dubuque throughout the season.
-The Fighting Saints have seen an increased production from their second line of Riese Gaber, Ty Jackson and Dylan Jackson over the last few games. The three have had chances in the last three or four games and look to be figuring things out once again offensively.