WHO: Sioux City (24-23-7) at Waterloo (33-14-8)
WHERE/WHEN: Young Arena, 7:05 p.m.
RADIO: KMNS, 620 AM
Tuesday night’s game is again, crucial for Coach Luke Strand’s Musketeers, because a triumph at Waterloo would trim the Western Conference points deficit with sixth-place Tri-City to 62-57 ... Sioux City is 0-4-1 against the Black Hawks and three of those games have been decided by a goal, a 3-2 overtime loss at the Tyson Events Center on Nov. 3, a 2-1 loss on Feb. 27 at Young Arena and a 4-3 loss March 3 at the Tyson ... United States Hockey League forward of the week Sampo Ranta (23 goals, 13 assists) has scored four goals in the season series against tonight’s opponent, including a first-period goal for a 1-0 lead in the late February defeat ... Meanwhile, goals from Ranta, Micah Miller (20, 10) and Matyas Svoboda (5, 6) produced a 3-0 first-period lead in the early March game ... Eight different Musketeers registered at least a point in Friday’s 5-2 win over Tri-City and three of those players, Ranta, Martin Pospisil (7, 27) and Dylan Mills (15, 7) had at least two points in the first period alone ... Ten Musketeers, including Ranta, Pospisil and Bobby Brink (2, 2) had multiple points in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Des Moines ... Goaltender of the week Matt Jurusik (21-19-4, 2.81 goals-against-average) took shutouts into the third period for the ninth and 10th times of the season last weekend, and has an 8-2 record in those such games.
Leaders of the Western Conference by a slim 74-73 points margin over Fargo, Waterloo features three of the USHL’s top six scorers, each of whom have had success against the Musketeers ... Third in the league with 62 points (33 goals, 29 assists), Jackson Cates’ 3 goals and 3 assists include the overtime goal on Nov. 3 and a game-winning shorthanded goal for the March 3 win ... Tied for fourth with 58 points, Jack Drury (22, 36) has two goals and four assists against the Musketeers and has had multiple-point efforts in five of his last six games which included a goal and two assists in Saturday’s 7-3 win over Dubuque ... Ben Copeland (15, 39), who’s tied for sixth in scoring, has six assists against Sioux City, three coming to three different teammates in the March 3 triumph ... Ben Finkelstein (6, 20) won defenseman player of the week after recording a power play goal and two assists in the win over Dubuque.
-- Jerry Giese