WHO: Sioux City (24-21-7) at Omaha (23-22-8)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:35 p.m., Ralston Arena
RADIO: KMNS 620 AM
WHO: Sioux City (*24-21-7) at Sioux Falls (*32-14-6)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:05 p.m., Denny Sanford Premier Center
RADIO: KMNS 620 AM
WHO: Fargo (*28-21-4) at Sioux City (*24-21-7)
WHEN/WHERE: 5:05 p.m., Tyson Events Center
RADIO: KMNS 620 AM
*-Record going into Friday’s games
Ten regular-season games remain for Coach Luke Strand’s Musketeers, against five Western Conference teams, each in contention for playoff positions … Count seventh-place Omaha on that list because a week earlier, the Lancers were in sixth place with a 54-51 lead over Sioux City before the Musketeers posted 2-1 (shootout) and 4-3 (overtime) wins at Central Illinois last weekend … The Musketeers are 3-1 in the season series against Omaha, including a 3-2 overtime win on Feb. 15, where Parker Ford (16 goals, 19 assists) scored the game-winner ... There was also a 4-3 overtime win over the Lancers on Dec. 31 at the Tyson Events Center where Dominic Vidoli (2, 9) scored two goals ... Bobby Brink (26, 24) recorded a hat trick in a 3-2 win over Omaha on Nov. 3 at the Tyson and also has two assists in the series while Jordan Steinmetz (8, 16) has two goals ... Sioux Falls has won five of the six games against Sioux City this season, the Musketeers’ lone win being a 4-3 overtime affair on Oct. 27 when defenseman Luke Johnson (2, 19) became the first USHL player this season with a 4-assist game, assisting along with Martin Pospisil (12, 34) on Brink’s game-winning goal ... Matt Miller (14, 13) has two goals and two assists in the series against Sioux Falls and also has four goals and an assist against Fargo ... Sioux City is 3-3-2 this season against Fargo, but is also 3-1-1 at Fargo’s Scheels Arena ... Marcus Kallionkieli (23, 18), who enters the Omaha game having scored in four of his last five games, has five goals and an assist against Fargo, Brink has two goals and seven assists while Pospisil has two goals and six assists.
Omaha made it five straight wins last week when it posted a 3-2 overtime win over Sioux Falls last Friday when team scoring leader Jaxon Nelson (14 goals, 18 assists) scored the game-winning goal ... Nelson and Blaiz Richarz (10, 13) each posted 1-goal, 1-assist efforts in a 4-3 shootout win over the Musketeers Feb. 8 at Ralston Arena, a game where the Lancers rallied from a 3-0 first-period deficit ... Alexi Peltonen (10, 16) had a goal and an assist in the 4-3 overtime loss on New Year’s Eve at the Tyson Events Center ... Omaha’s 6-3-1 record over the last 10 games has been sparked by the play of goaltender Akira Schmid (12-9-2, 2 shutouts) who’s ranked second in the USHL with a 2.03 goals-against-average ... Schmid, who didn’t play in last Saturday’s 8-1 loss to Tri-City, has converted 222 of 234 save chances for 94.8 percent in the Lancers' recent spurt.
SIOUX FALLS NOTES
Deadlocked with Waterloo for second place in the Western Conference, Sioux Falls has gone on a 6-1-3 stretch ... Ten team members have at least 10 goals this season and scoring balance has been the key as of late as there have been only three games where one of its players have scored two goals in a game, the most recent coming from Anthony Romano (22 goals, 19 assists) in last Friday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Omaha ... Two of its six wins in this stretch have come over Sioux City, where six players scored goals in a 6-2 win on Feb. 22 and where five players scored goals in a 5-2 win on March 3 ... Jared Westcott (14, 22) has three goals and three assists against the Musketeers this season, Ethan Phillips (14, 22) has two goals and six assists while Andre Lee (16, 10) has two goals and five assists ... This is the second straight 20-goal season for Artem Ivanyuzhenkov (23, 22).
Fargo boasts two of the USHL’s top scorers, led Hank Crone, who ranks fourth with 59 points (16 goals, 43 assists) and fifth-place Ben Meyers (29, 29) ... Crone, who has four-year USHL career totals of 59 goals and 114 assists, has two goals and eight assists this season against the Musketeers while Meyers has three goals and six assists against Sioux City ... Josh Nodler (17, 22), seventh among the league’s rookies with 39 points, has three 2-goal efforts versus the Musketeers this season, the most recent coming in a 3-2 win at the Tyson Events Center ... Ryan Bischel (24-9-2) ranks seventh among the league’s goaltenders with a 2.55 GAA ... Fargo boasts a penalty kill that’s second in the USHL at 85.5 percent.
-- Jerry Giese
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