Gamblers Pregame Primer: Chicago, January 5

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Opening their second-half schedule with three consecutive victories over Eastern Conference competition, the Gamblers will travel to Chicago Dec. 5 to take on the Steel for the sixth time this season. Green Bay has dominated its Windy City opponents since Derek Lalonde’s tenure began in 2011, posting a 18-2-1 overall record while maintaining an average goal differential of more than two scores.

How might Sunday afternoon’s game shape up? Let’s take a look at the historical perspective of the matchup to find out before the puck drops at 3:05pm CT.

Season Series: Green Bay 3-2-0, Chicago 2-3-0
2012-2013 Season Series: Green Bay 7-0-1, Chicago 1-7-0
Record vs. Chicago under Derek Lalonde: 18-2-1
Record on road vs. Chicago since 2011: 7-2-1
Average score over 21 games since 2011: Green Bay 4.57, Chicago 2.53

2013-2014 Team Home/Road Season Splits
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Team Season Stats
Green Bay: 35 PTS | 11.1% shot conversion rate | 90.2% save rate
Chicago: 25 PTS | 7.7% shot conversion rate | 90.8% save rate

Individual Season Leaders
Points: Nick Schmaltz (28), John Ernsting (21)
Goals: Kevin Irwin (13), CJ Smith (13)
Assists: Nick Schmaltz (20), John Ernsting (15)

Goaltender Comparison
Jared Rutledge (GB): 2.81 GAA, 90.9% save rate
Chris Nell (CHI): 3.04 GAA, 91.4% save rate

Additional Notes

  • Held goal-less in each of its three power play opportunities against Dubuque Dec. 31, Green Bay’s season power play goal conversion rate now stands at 16.94%, which is now below the 17.1% league average mark heading into Friday night’s games. Chicago’s 12.58 PP% ranks worst in the Eastern Conference.
  • The Gamblers’ current three-game wins streak (dating back to Dec. 27) is the second-longest in the USHL, behind only Waterloo’s five-game wins streak.

Game Briefs

9/21/13 — Green Bay 5, Chicago 1 — Green Bay goaltender Jared Rutledge allowed just one goal into the net in the contest, saving 39 of Chicago’s 40 shots. Evan Tironese scored the season-opening goal five minutes in, while Ryan Lough, Sebastian Weberg, Brent Gates Jr. and Fredrik Olofsson contributed with goals of their own in the season-opening victory.

10/5/13 — Green Bay 3, Chicago 1 — While the Gamblers defense held Chicago to just 19 shots in the contest, Derek Lalonde’s offense scored three times (once in each period) on 37 attempts, with forward Kevin Irwin accounting for two of the scores and Lough distributing two assists.

10/26/13 — Green Bay 5, Chicago 2 — Nick Schmaltz put Green Bay up early with a breakaway goal 1:48 into the game, establishing a lead the Gamblers would not relinquish. Rutledge played all 60 minutes between the pipes for Lalonde and company, tallying 27 saves in 29 attempts en route to his team’s third victory over Chicago this season.

11/8/13 — Chicago 6, Green Bay 3 — Sprinting out to a 2-0 by the end of the first period, John Ernsting added three more goals to Chicago’s total in the game’s final period to give the Steel its first victory over Green Bay in 2013-2014. The 6-3 regulation loss was the Gamblers’ first to Chicago under Lalonde.

12/10/13 — Chicago 6, Green Bay 3 Leading 1-0 after one period, the Gamblers ceded three consecutive goals to the Steel to open the game’s second frame, giving Chicago a 4-3 lead heading into the third period. Unable to score from that point on, Green Bay came out on the losing end of a 6-3 affair — marking the lone instance this season in which the Gamblers have lost despite scoring the first goal of a game.

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