Derek Lalonde in his first season behind the bench led the Green Bay Gamblers to a 47-9-4 record (98 points) . The 47 wins are the most in team history as well as for a first-year USHL head coach. The 98 points established a new USHL record, breaking the mark of 97 points recorded by the Des Moines Buccaneers during the 1998-99 season. The Gamblers earned their third Anderson Cup over the past four seasons.
During the second to last game of the regular season, Green Bay’s 7-1 victory over the Youngstown Phantoms set a USHL record for road wins in a season (25). The Gamblers never lost consecutive games during the regular season and set a Tier 1 record with just 9 losses. The team led the USHL in offense (250 goals) and gave up the fewest goals (138). The goal differential of +112 was the largest in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present). The second best goal differential was Lincoln at +52.
Third-year goaltender Ryan McKay posted career bests in wins (27), losses (5) and goals-against-average (2.18). McKay was named USHL Goaltender of the Year and finished his career as the Gamblers all-time leader in victories (66), GAA (2.11), and SV% (.921).
Andy Welinski, a 2011 NHL Draft selection of the Anaheim Ducks, was named 2011-12 USHL Defenseman of the Year and garnered All-USHL First Team honors. Alex Broadhurst, a 2011 NHL Draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, also earned a spot on the All-USHL First team. Broadhurst finished third overall in USHL scoring with 73 points (26g, 47a) and led the team in playoff scoring with 16 points (8g, 8a) in 12 postseason contests. Finishing the trio of All-USHL first teamers, was defenseman Jordan Schmaltz. The Verona, Wisconsin product finished tied for second among USHL defensemen in scoring with 41 points (10g, 31a) in 55 regular season games. Schmaltz was selected 25th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
The Gamblers as a team combined for a +434 rating. Eleven Gamblers were a +20 or better.
The Green Bay Gamblers captured the franchise’s 4th Clark Cup Championship with a 5-2 win over the Waterloo Black Hawks in Game 5 of the Clark Cup Finals. The decisive game was played at the Resch Center in front of 7,007. The Clark Cup was the team’s second in three years.
For a second straight year the Green Bay Gamblers captured the Anderson Cup compiling a league best regular season mark of 45-10-5. The Gamblers set franchise records in wins (45), points (95), road wins (23), and consecutive wins (15). New York Islanders draft selection Anders Lee, who along with leading the Gamblers in scoring (66 points), tied for the league lead in goals (35) and game winning goals (9). Goaltender Steve Summerhayes led all USHL goaltenders in wins (31). goals against average (2.17 GAA), and was second in save percentage (.914). Overall the Gamblers allowed a league low 140 goals over 60 games
By way of winning the Anderson Cup the Gamblers were the #1 seed heading into the Clark Cup Playoffs. In round one the Gamblers faced the Waterloo Blackhawks and for a second straight year swept the series 3-0. The Eastern Division Finals pitted the Gamblers against the defending Clark Cup Champion Indiana Ice. After dropping game 1, the Gamblers won three straight to advance to the Clark Cup Finals.
After losing games 1 and 2 of the Clark Cup Finals to the Fargo Force at the Resch Center, the Gamblers put together a comeback for the ages. Green Bay won games 3 and 4 in Fargo, thus bringing the game back to Green Bay for a winner take all game 5. A USHL single-game record crowd of 8,487 saw the Gamblers prevail 5-3 to claim the organization’s first Clark Cup Championship since 2000. Forward Anders Lee was named the Clark Cup Playoffs MVP. Lee led the league in playoff scoring, tallying 22 points (10 goals & 12 assists), including three points (1 goal and 2 assists) in game 5 of the finals.
For a second time in their short history the Gamblers won the Clark Cup Championship. During the regular season the Gamblers set a new single game attendance record when 4,671 fans watched Green Bay defeat Sioux Falls 6-5 on January 28th, 2000. For a second year in a row, a Gambler was named Defenseman of the Year in the USHL as Jeff Finger picked up the honor. Green Bay entered the USHL playoffs as the #2 seed and were pitted against the Waterloo Black Hawks. After falling in game 1 the Gamblers won three straight, prevailing in three overtimes in game 4 to clinch the series. The game was the second longest in Clark Cup playoff history. In the semi-finals the Gamblers were taken the distance by the Des Moines Buccaneers, but prevailed 3-2 in the series.
Gamblers forward Aaron Smith played the role of hero, as he scored 8:55 into overtime to give the Gamblers a 3-2 series win over the Twin Cities Vulcans and their first Clark Cup since 1997. Smith was named Clark Cup Playoffs MVP as he scored 11 goals during the playoffs.
In only their second season, the Gamblers were champions of the Junior A hockey world as they compiled a 49-17-3 record. The Gamblers won the Anderson Cup as the team with the best regular season record in the USHL. Green Bay followed that up by winning the Clark Cup Championship. During the Clark Cup Playoffs, the Gamblers fought back from 3-0 down to the Twin Cities Vulcans in the first round and 3-1 down to the North Iowa Huskies in the finals. Green Bay capped the season with a National Championship victory over the Sioux City Musketeers. Ty Conklin was named the First Team All-USHL Goaltender, while Chad Stauffacher and Dan Enders were named Second Team All-USHL.
Copyright © 2018 Green Bay Gamblers. All rights reserved.