Pregame Primer: Dubuque Departs for Last Matchup against Madison
For the final time this season, the Dubuque Fighting Saints will face off against the Madison Capitols. Dubuque owns a 5-1 record against Madison and have won every game since losing the series opener. Dubuque is coming off a 6-0 beatdown over the Capitols in which they scored four goals in the first period and had six players with multi-point games.
-Despite what the record indicates, Dubuque hasn't necessarily dominated the season series. Though they have won five in a row, only two of the six games have been decided by more than one goal. The Saints have won both of those. Right now, Dubuque has outscored Madison 22-12 in the season series.
-In Madison, Dubuque has won 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4. Two of those three games have gone to overtime. In two of those three games, Dubuque has also held a late lead and Madison has been able to push the game to overtime.
-The Capitols defense has not been kind lately. The Capitols have given up 19 goals over the last three games. After their 6-0 loss to Dubuque they dropped a 7-2 contest to Youngstown followed by a 6-3 game. Madison has given up the most goals this season in the USHL, allowing just over four goals per game.
-The Fighting Saints still sit in sixth and their chances of climbing in to a position where they host a first-round playoff series are slim. Dubuque is currently nine points out of hosting a first round series and they have 10 games to play.
-The Saints have started each week in March with impressive wins and then have failed to sustain the momentum in to Saturday. Dubuque is 3-3 during the month. The Fighting Saints schedule is tough down the stretch, but a win over Madison will be key to kickstarting the week.
-Matias Maccelli's 62-point effort this season is the sixth most points in a single season from a Fighting Saint player since the team returned to Dubuque in 2010-11. Maccelli has a reasonable shot at 70 points and hopping in to the top three. Mike Szmatula holds the record with 76 points.
-Riese Gaber has been scorching hot recently. The North Dakota commit has a six-game point streak and 10 points in those six games. Of the 10 points, six of them have been goals as Gaber now sits one away from 20 on the season.
-As has been the case for most of the season when these two teams have met, special teams have been key. Madison has the worst powerplay in the league and Dubuque has the lowest penalty kill percentage in the USHL. That battle has been key in the games this season.
-Scoring the first goal is not the key in this season series. The team who scores first is 2-4. Only Dubuque's shutout win over the Capitols on Friday and Dubuque's 3-2 win in Madison have resulted in the winning team also scoring the first goal.
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