Gamblers Weekend Primer: Omaha Lancers, Feb. 28 – March 1

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Salvaging two points last weekend with a 3-0 win over Youngstown on Saturday, the Gamblers not direct their attention to the Omaha Lancers — the best team the USHL has to offer to this point in the season, boasting a league-high 71 points that’s given them a playoff berth with 13 games left on their schedule. Meanwhile, Green Bay finds itself in a heated race with Chicago for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot with 14 games to go.

Follow myself @alecdopp and @GamblersHockey on Twitter for continual coverage throughout Friday and Saturday’s games.

Season Series: N/A
2012-2013 Series: Green Bay 1-0-0, Omaha 0-1-0
Record vs. Omaha under Derek Lalonde: 2-0-0
Record @ home vs. Omaha since 2011: 1-0-0

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Team Season Stats
Green Bay: 22-18-6 record (.543 WPCT) | -70 (+/-) | 50 PTS (fifth in Eastern Conference)
Omaha: 33-9-5 record (.755 WPCT) | +254 (+/-) | 71 PTS (first in Western Conference)

Categorical Leaders
Points: OMA Jake Randolph (71), GB Nick Schmaltz (45)
Goals: OMA Tyler Vesel (32), GB Matt Weis (17)
Assists: OMA Jake Randolph (51), GB Nick Schmaltz (34)
Plus-minus: OMA Tyler Vesel (+39), GB Anthony Walsh (+10)

Goaltender Comparison
Jared Rutledge (GB): 21-13-4 record | 2.72 GAA | .911 save rate | 27.4 SV/G (38 GP)
Cam Hackett (GB): 1-5-2 record | 2.81 GAA | .898 save rate | 20.1 SV/G (11 GP)
Hayden Hawkey (OMA): 17-2-1 record | 1.66 GAA | .937 save rate | 23.1 SV/G (22 GP)
Cole Bruns (OMA): 16-7-4 record | 2.21 GAA | .919 save rate | 23.8 SV/G (28 GP)

Storylines to Watch for

  • Set for Spring — Omaha has its 2014 playoff berth sealed up, boasting 71 PTS heading into this weekend’s action — most of any team in the USHL to this point in the season.
  • Elite goaltending — The Lancers’ power play has been one of the best in the league, but it’s been the goaltender combination of Hayden Hawkey (1.66 GAA over 22 games) and Cole Bruns (2.21 GAA over 28 games) that’s truly separated them from the rest of the league.
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