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Weekend Primer: Dubuque Set For Three In Three Out West Against Stampede and Musketeers

By Jack Milewski, 12/12/18, 9:15AM CST

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Dubuque Travels to Sioux Falls Thursday, Sioux City Friday and Saturday

After a largely successful road trip to Muskegon this past weekend, Dubuque will look to keep the good times rolling out West as they will take on Sioux Falls once and then Sioux City twice before the holiday break. Dubuque is 1-0 this season against Sioux Falls and have yet to play the Sioux City Musketeers.

-You could say Dubuque has turned a corner in the past five games and that started with a victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede. The game in Sioux Falls was the first with the new lines that Dubuque has implemented. The Fighting Saints won 5-3 and Aaron Randazzo picked up the win. Riese Gaber tallied twice and Logan Pietila had two assists.

-Pietila has been scorching hot in the last five games for the Fighting Saints. In the last five, Pietila has 10 points. He has four goals and six assists in that stretch and four of the five games have been multi-point games.

-Not to be outdone, Matias Maccelli is casually riding the second longest point streak in the USHL this season. Maccelli has totaled 17 points in his 11-game point streak. Maccelli secured four points (2g, 2a) during the Saints last series against the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Maccelli is three games away from the longest streak in the USHL this season, held by Sioux City’s Martin Pospisil.

-Matthew Thiessen is back on track in a big way. The Fighting Saints netminder turned away 62 of 68 shots this past weekend in two starts against the Lumberjacks. Thiessen has allowed two goals or fewer in four of his last five games. Thiessen has a .925 save percentage and a 2.12 goals against average in those five games.

-The Saints produced the results against Muskegon without three players they have counted on all season. James Sanchez, Willie Knierim and Patrick Smyth all didn’t play a single shift during the weekend series. Jacob Semik was also held out of Friday’s game, which Dubuque won, due to a suspension he was serving.

-Since Dubuque beat them 5-3 on November 24th, the Sioux Falls Stampede have gone 2-1-1. Sioux Falls lone regulation loss came against the Tri-City Storm. Sioux Falls is still led on offense by Artem Ivanyuzhenkov and Jami Krannila. Both forwards have 15 points and Ivanyuzhenkov leads the team with eight goals.

-Sioux Falls and the offensive side of their game has been better as of late, but is still an area of need. The Stampede have scored three goals or more in four of their last five. However, on the season they sit tied for fourth fewest goals scored in the USHL.

-The Sioux City Musketeers are one of the myriad of teams stuck in a tight race at the top of the Western Conference standings. The Musketeers are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, yet still sit six points back of Tri-City for the lead in the Western Conference.

-Martin Pospisil and Bobby Brink, despite slowing down over the last few weeks, still are the class of the league when it comes to producing points. Pospisil is second in the USHL with 32 points in just 19 games. The only man who has more points than him is Brink, with 33 in just as many games.

-Sioux City will be without the services of Brink who is currently playing at the World Junior A Challenge. Pospisil will still be with the Musketeers, but they will also be missing Parker Ford and Luke Johnson.

-The meetings against the Musketeers will highlight the first two times that Dubuque will meet with them this season. In fact, the Friday and Saturday contests will be the only two times the teams will match up in the 2018-19 season.

-Last season, the two teams split the season series at Mystique Community Ice Center. Dubuque won the first game 5-4 and Sioux City secured the second contest 2-0.

-This season, the Fighting Saints are 7-4-1-1 away from home. Sioux Falls is 4-2-1-1 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center while Sioux City is 6-4-2 at the Tyson Event Center.

-After the weekend stretch, the Fighting Saints will not have a game until the 27th of December in Green Bay. Following the Thursday matchup with the Gamblers, Dubuque will collide with them again at home on the 29th before ending the 2018 portion of the season with a game against the Youngstown Phantoms at home on December 30th.