Gamblers Weekend Primer: Sioux Falls Stampede, Feb. 15-16

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The Gamblers will embark on their third-to-last road trip of the season this weekend, traveling to Sioux Falls for a two-game set with the Stampede. These will be the two and only meetings between the clubs in 2013-2014, and it figures to be a competitive Saturday-Sunday set as both teams would be their respective No. 4 playoff seeds if the season ended today.

“We have a really tall task now,” Gamblers head coach Derek Lalonde said after Sunday’s win over Dubuque. “We go to Dubuque (Thursday), who is one of the best home teams in the league, and to Sioux Falls for two, who’s another really good home team. We’ve had troubles beating good teams on the road. So it’s going to be a challenge for us over these next three games to battle and fight for any point we can before we get a really long home stand.”

Let’s take an in-depth look at the matchup before the puck drops Saturday at 7:05pm CT. Make sure to follow @GamblersHockey and myself @alecdopp on Twitter for continual updates this weekend.

Update: Cam Hackett will start tonight (Saturday) in goal for Green Bay. Sunday’s starting goaltender has yet to be set.

Season Series: No games played
2012-2013 Series: Green Bay 1-2-0, Sioux Falls 2-1-0
Record vs. Sioux Falls under Derek Lalonde: 2-2-0
Road record vs. Sioux Falls since 2011: 1-1-0

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Team Season Stats
Green Bay: 21-15-6 record (.571 WPCT) | 48 team PTS (fourth in Eastern Conference)
Sioux Falls: 24-15-5 record (.602 WPCT) | 53 team PTS (fourth in Eastern Conference)

Categorical Leaders
Points: GB Nick Schmaltz (43), SF Zeb Knutson (38)
Goals: SF Zeb Knutson (22), GB Matt Weis (15)
Assists: GB Nick Schmaltz (33), SF Dennis Kravchenko (27)

Goaltender Comparison
Jared Rutledge (GB): 19-11-4 record | 2.78 GAA | .910 save rate | 28 SV/G (34 GP)
Cam Hackett (GB): 1-4-2 record | 2.50 GAA | .913 save rate | 22.2 SV/G (9 GP)
David Jacobson (SF): 15-6-2 record | 2.72 GAA | .912 save rate | 25.4 SV/G (26 GP)
Arthur Brey (SF): 9-9-2 record | 3.06 GAA | .898 save rate | 25.1 SV/G (21 GP)

Storylines to Watch

  • Solid Combo in Net — Jared Rutledge and Cam Hackett have played exceptionally well in net for the Gamblers of late, posting a combined .916 save rate and 2.50 GAA ratio over their last 10 games. Hackett has performed notably well in that span, owning a save rate of .940 and 1.71 GAA in five games.
  • Power(less) Play?  Green Bay has played Sioux Falls in four regular season games since Derek Lalonde took over as head coach in 2011-2012 and hasn’t relinquished a power play goal to the Stampede in any.
  • Riding the Pine — Sioux Falls has been one of the most penalized teams in the league this season, averaging 20.51 penalty minutes per game compared to Green Bay’s also lofty 18.56 PIM/G ratio.

Other News and Notes

    • Sliding into the wall, Drew Best exited Sunday afternoon’s game with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. His official status is uncertain
  • With his two goals Sunday afternoon, Matt Weis pulled even with Kevin Irwin for the team lead in goals (15) this season. Weis has tallied six points in his last five games and now has 37 for the season — good enough for second on the roster.
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