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PREVIEW: Eastern Conference Final

04/27/2016, 3:00pm CDT
By USHL

Dubuque Fighting Saints and Bloomington Thunder battle it out for a spot with the Clark Cup Final.

 

Overall Record

Dubuque: 39-19-1-1, 80 points

Bloomington: 36-18-5-1, 78 points

 

Home Record

Dubuque: 20-8-1-1

Bloomington: 16-9-4-1

 

Away Record

Dubuque: 19-11-0-0

Bloomington: 20-9-1-0

 

Head-to-Head

Dubuque won season series 3-1

  • October 31, 2015: Dubuque 4, Bloomington 3 (OT)
  • February 21, 2016: Dubuque 4, Bloomington 2
  • March 17, 2016: Dubuque 5, Bloomington 2
  • March 25, 2016: Bloomington 5, Dubuque 3

 

Playoff Record

Bloomington: 3-2

Dubuque: 3-1

 

Leading Scorers

Dubuque: Nathan Sucese, 59 points (26G, 33A)

Bloomington: Tarek Baker (20G, 29A) & Jeremy Davies (13G, 36A), 49 points each

 

Leading Rookie

Dubuque: Michael O’Leary, 27 points (8G, 19A)

Bloomington: Vladislav Dzhioshvili, 21 points (8G, 13A)

 

Leading Defenseman

Dubuque: Keegan Ford, 36 points (7G, 29A)

Bloomington: Jeremy Davies, 49 points (13G, 36A)

 

Leading Goaltender

Dubuque: Hunter Miska, 32-13-3-1, 2.46 GAA, .913 SV%, 1 shutout

Bloomington: Hayden Lavigne, 26-9-1-1, 2.26 GAA, .914 SV%, 4 shutouts

 

Power Play

Dubuque: 17.1% (5th in East, 9th overall)

Bloomington: 23.3% (T-1 in East, T-1 overall)

 

Penalty Kill

Dubuque: 83.6% (5th in East, 7th overall)

Bloomington: 84.5% (4th in East, 5th overall)

 

NHL Draft Picks

Dubuque: Ryan Zuhlsdorf (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Bloomington: none

 

NHL Central Scouting Ranked Players

Bloomington: Mitchell Mattson (61), 2 points (2G, 0A)

Dubuque: Willie Knierim (149), 27 points (14G, 13A)

 

Storylines

  • Dubuque is looking to advance to their third Clark Cup Final in six seasons. The Fighting Saints now have also made the Eastern Conference Final in five of their six seasons since rejoining the USHL in the 2010-11 season (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011).
  • Jason Lammers is looking to lead Dubuque to the Clark Cup Final in his first season as head coach of the Saints.
  • The Saints are looking for their first trip to the Clark Cup Final since 2013, where they defeated the Fargo Force.
  • Dennis Williams is looking to advance to his first Clark Cup Final in the Thunder’s first playoff appearance in club history, also Bloomington’s second season in the USHL.
  • Jake Slaker leads all playoff scorers with nine points in five games, including a two-point night in the Game 5 win over Cedar Rapids. Logan Lambdin is not far behind with seven points in the five games. Keegan Ford is the top point getter for Dubuque with five in four games. Hunter Miska has been phenomenal in net for Dubuque, as he sports a 1.56 GAA and a .946 SV% in his four playoff games. Bloomington’s Hayden Lavigne has been impressive in his own right, as he comes into the Eastern Conference Final with a 2.10 GAA and a .920 SV%. He stopped 30 of 32 shots in the Thunder’s 5-2 Game 5 win over the Anderson Cup Champion Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

 

>> CLARK CUP PLAYOFF HUB

 

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16.  A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

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