The Green Bay Gamblers return 11 players from last years team that lost to
Dubuque in the Clark Cup Championships. Along with the new faces on the ice, comes the teams 3rd head coach in as many seasons.
Former University of Denver assistant Derek Lalonde takes over for Eric Rud, who left after one season to take an assistant coaching job at Colorado College.
Lalonde said it’s not something that’s talked about, but Green Bay has a strong history of winning. They’ve played in title games each of the last three years. So naturally, there’s an expectation to win.
The Gamblers are young on defense, but they feel they’re strong none-the-less. The d-corp is led by Andy Welinski and Markus Lauridsen.
Welinski is a third-round draft choice of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks last June.
LaLonde expects that young group of defensemen to make some mistakes, but he has plenty of experience in goal, which will help make up some of the difference.
Ryan McKay and Adam Wilcox were the USHL’s top goaltending tandem last season, going 41-15-4 with a combined 2.18 goals against average. LaLonde said he plans to do a straight platoon of his goaltenders this season.
The Gamblers won their season opener last week. They play two straight on home ice this weekend, hosting Des Moines tonight and Dubuque on Saturday night at the Resch Center.