For just the second time this season, the Dubuque Fighting Saints will play a single game over the weekend. The Fighting Saints opened the season with a one game weekend against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. This weekend, the team plays the Madison Capitols who have won two of their last three games after dropping 11-straight. Get set for all the game this weekend with another edition of Pregame Primer.
-The Fighting Saints hit a road bump after their longest winning streak of the season. Dubuque was bested twice over the past weekend by the Waterloo Black Hawks. The Fighting Saints couldn’t complete the comeback Friday, falling 4-2. Then Waterloo used a three-goal third period to beat Dubuque 5-0 on Saturday.
-Dubuque was shutout for just the third time this season during Saturday’s game. The team struggled to find consistency in the offensive zone on the Black Hawks bigger sheet of ice. Aaron Randazzo, despite giving up five goals, was a bright spot for the Fighting Saints, making 35 saves.
-As has been the case, Dubuque is locked in a tight Eastern Conference race. The Chicago Steel, who currently man second place, have created separation with an impressive stretch that has seen them win 18 of their last 23 games. Dubuque is currently seven points back of second.
-The Fighting Saints are two points ahead of Youngstown and Cedar Rapids, five points ahead of Central Illinois and seven points ahead of Green Bay and Team USA (Team USA has six games in hand). With roughly two and a half months left in the season, there is still plenty of time for movement in the standings, but as of now it’s a log jam after first and second.
-In two games this season vs. the Madison Capitols, the Fighting Saints are 1-1. Dubuque lost the season series opener 2-1 at home and then won their next home game against the Capitols 3-1. The Fighting Saints scored three goals in the third, including an empty-netter to get the win. It is the only time this season Dubuque has won when trailing after two.
-Points wise, only Muskegon is better than Dubuque this season away from home. The Fighting Saints have 24 points on the road, good for a tie for second in the USHL. Waterloo, who like Dubuque has played 20 road games to this point, sits at 24 points as well.
-The Fighting Saints have had struggles on the penalty kill this year, operating at just 73.5% to this point. On the flip side, Madison has the only power play that produces at less than 10% in the league. Something will have to give when the two meet. So far in the season series, Madison has one man advantage goal in eight opportunities.
-Madison continues to struggle on the offensive side of the puck, but their nine goals in the past three games are the most they scored in any three game stretch this season. Madison has yet to eclipse four goals this season in one game, but have equaled that total in both of their most recent wins.
-The Capitols are the only team in the USHL this season who have yet to secure double digit points on their home ice. The Capitols have eight points and a 3-9-1-1 record. However, the Capitols have played the second fewest home games this season, with just 14 to date.
-The Fighting Saints will head back to Madison for their final game in the month of January on Wednesday the 30th. Dubuque then plays Madison once in February and twice more in March to end their season series.