MUSKETEERS WEEKEND OUTLOOK
WHO: Tri-City (10-3) at Sioux City (4-7-2)
WHERE/WHEN: Tyson Events Center, 7:05 p.m.
RADIO: KMNS Radio, 620 AM
WHO: Sioux City (*4-7-2) at Dubuque (*5-5-2)
WHERE/WHEN: Mystique Ice Center, 7:05 p.m.
RADIO: KMNS Radio, 620 AM
*-Record going into Friday’s games
Coach Luke Strand’s squad goes from facing one of the United States Hockey League’s top offensive teams to meeting the league’s best defense ... The Musketeers have lost 3-1 (Oct. 13) and 3-2 in a shootout (Oct. 28) to Tri-City, which has allowed 20 goals in 13 games, an average of 1.54 ... Musketeers scoring leader Sampo Ranta (6 goals, 3 assists) scored each of the three goals against the Storm, including his second career 2-goal effort ... During last weekend’s 2-1 shootout win over Madison and 5-1 loss to new Western Conference leader Fargo, Ranta was the left wing on a line that also included center Parker Ford (2 assists) and right wing Mathieu De St. Phalle (1, 3) ... Ford was the latest of six Musketeers who had scored in two straight games as he and De St. Phalle each assisted on Ranta’s first-period goal against Madison ... No Musketeer has scored in three straight games this season ... Only two players, Randy Hernandez (2, 3) and Ranta are shooting over 10 percent, registering 16.7 and 12.5 clips, respectively ... Micah Miller (1, 3), who scored his first goal of the season in the loss to Fargo, has career totals of one goal and three assists to this weekend’s opponents ... Matt Jurusik (4-5-2) is tied for seventh among USHL goaltenders with his 2.52 goals-against-average ... Ben Kraws (0-2) saw his GAA improve from 4.57 to 3.89 after he converted 12 of 13 save attempts in the final 29:06 after relieving Jurusik against Fargo ... No Musketeers were selected to compete for the United States squad that will try to defend the championship at the World Junior A Challenge set for Dec. 10-16 at Truto, Nova Scotia ... Musketeers were perennially chosen, no matter if they were players or coaches, such as Strand, who coached the 2010 champs or Jay Varady, who coached the 2014 and 2016 teams to the gold medal.
Second place in the Western Conference, Tri-City has allowed one goal four times, winning three of those games while the league’s top goaltender, Filip Larsson (9-2, 1.29 GAA) has three shutouts ... Defensively speaking, the Storm has the USHL’s top penalty kill (38 of 43, 88.4 percent) ... Bryan Yoon is in a three-way tie for third in defenseman scoring with nine points, all of it on assists while fellow blue-liner Hugo Blixt has two goals and six assists ... Former Musketeer Connor McMenamin (2 goals, 7 assists) is tied with Yoon for the team scoring lead and dealt two assists in the 3-2 shootout win at the Tyson Events Center on Oct. 28 at the Tyson Events Center ... Filip Forsmark (3, 4) has three goals on the league’s seventh-ranked power play (11 of 55, 20.0 percent) while Tyler Ward (3, 5) has two goals and two assists on the man advantage.
Former Musketeer Alex Steeves, the Fighting Saints’ top scorer with 13 points (6, 7), has scored in each of his last eight games, providing five goals and seven assists in that time ... Steeves, who had five goals and six goals for Coach Jay Varady’s 2015-16 Musketeers, had three goals and an assist in a 6-3 road win over Central Illinois on Oct. 28 ... Steeves, who is in his second year with Dubuque, also has two goals and three assists for the USHL’s sixth-ranked power play (10 of 42, 23.8 percent) while Cole Guttman (4, 5) has three goals and three assists on the man advantage ... Adam Tisdale (3, 3) is shooting a team-best 17.6 percent, just a shade ahead of Guttman’s 17.4 clip ... Josh Maniscalco (3, 2) is one of four defensemen tied for first in the USHL with three goals ... Dating back to the 2014-15 season, the Fighting Saints have lost four of the last five games to the Musketeers.
-- Jerry Giese