A capsule look at this weekend’s USHL games.
MADISON CAPITOLS (12-32-4-2) AT DUBUQUE FIGHTING SAINTS (23-20-3-4)
When: 7:05 p.m. tonight at Mystique Community Ice Center.
Radio: KIYX-FM 106.1
Season series: The Saints have won four of the five meetings so far. All have been one-goal decisions, with the exception being a two-goal Saints win that included an empty netter. The seventh and final meeting in the series takes place Wednesday in Madison.
Outlook: The Capitols have won twice in five games over the past two weeks, but both wins were impressive. They doubled up Cedar Rapids, 6-3, on Saturday, one week after stunning Team USA’s U-18 squad, 5-3. Despite those two big outputs, Madison ranks last in goals scored at 103 — 23 fewer than Omaha, which is next to last. The Saints have played some of their best hockey over the past two weekends against teams ahead of them in the standings, yet they are just 2-2 in March. To a man, the Saints feel as though they should have won all four games. Dubuque currently sits in the sixth and final playoff spot with 12 games remaining and has a magic number of 15 points for clinching a ninth straight playoff berth. A loss tonight would eliminate Madison from playoff contention.
Go green: The Saints will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day tonight by wearing special green jerseys that will be auctioned off following the game. Proceeds will benefit the Dubuque Youth Hockey Association.
FIGHTING SAINTS at CHICAGO STEEL (30-18-2-0)
When: 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, Ill.
Radio: KIYX-FM 106.1
Season series: The teams have split the two previous meetings, with each grabbing a 5-3 victory on home ice two weekends ago. They wrap up the four-game season series April 6 at Mystique.
Outlook: Dubuque appeared to have turned a corner two weekends ago with a home-and-home series against Chicago. After winning the Friday night game, Dubuque took a 3-0 lead in the first period the following night before Chicago rallied. The Saints had the better of the scoring opportunities in both games but didn’t get rewarded. Chicago, second in the Eastern Conference standings, needs just five points to clinch a playoff berth.