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Defending Clark Cup champions Sioux City rides into new season with a new coach, but same vision

"We want to get really aligned on our culture and our team identity on ice," said Musketeers head coach Jason Kersner, also mentioning the team is off to a great start.

Sioux City
Sioux City's Dylan James celebrates with his teammates after scoring his second goal of the game against the Madison Capitols in game three of the Clark Cup finals.
Sydney Wolf / The Rink Live

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — On May 22, the Sioux City Musketeers were hoisting the Clark Cup in Madison, Wisconsin. Fast forward to mid-September, the team has a new coach, new general manager, and a new squad that are starting fresh and gearing up for the new season.

When speaking with Jason Kersner, the Musketeers new head coach, he said right now their goal is to lay the foundation as the season gets underway.

"We just want to get really aligned on our culture and our team identity on ice," said Kersner. "I'm hopeful we can play really hard without the puck, really fast with the puck, we want to be known as a relentless team first. We really want to strive to be the utmost of professionals and have great attitudes away from the rink and off the ice. Those are the things we talk about here every single day and how it relates to our vision, our core values and our standards. We're off to a good start with it."

2021-22 SEASON

The Musketeers had a 41-16-0-5 record with Luke Strand at the helm last season and ultimately were hoisting the Clark Cup at the end of May. Owen McLaughlin led the team in assists at 44 and in points with 72. Ben Steeves led the team in goals with 39. Alex Tracy stood tall in net throughout the season, earning 27 wins and posting a save percentage of .896. Former Musketeer Dylan James also had quite the year in the USHL leading all rookies in every scoring category, earning him recognition as the USHL's Rookie of the Year.

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OFF-SEASON MOVES

  • Clark Cup winning head coach Luke Strand leaves organization and accepts a job as an assistant coach at Ohio State
  • Musketeers bring in Jason Kersner as organization's next head coach
  • General manager Andy Johnson leaves organization as he is called up to the NHL to work as a scout for the Los Angeles Kings
  • Troy Ward is brought in as the organization's next general manager
MORE USHL COVERAGE:
One week into the season, three players made an impact at the annual Fall Classic to earn honors of forward, defenseman and goaltender of the week.
The Rink Live's Kirsten Krull spoke with Robertson about the importance of the Fall Classic, the opportunity for the players the event provides, and what's next on the calendar for the league.
From the Fall Classic, only four teams in the USHL remain undefeated after two games played.
There was no lack of action around the rink on Day 3 as we saw teams rally and two games head into OT.
Day 3 of the USHL Fall Classic saw two games go into OT, but everyone's thoughts were with team USA when NTDP's Brady Cleveland went into the boards and was stretchered off the ice in the first period against Omaha.
The first 10 teams that arrived to the Fall Classic have wrapped up their two game road trip, and some went out with a bang.
Day two of the Fall Classic is in the book, and 10 teams have completed the first two games to officially get the season underway.
"Consistency. Consistency every day," said head coach David Wilkie. "Work to get better every time they touch the ice or even in the gym." That is the goal for the team as they head into the new year.
Hear from USHL commissioner Bill Robertson about how important of an event the Fall Classic is, and get up to speed on the first five games of the USHL season.
10 teams get their first game of their season underway at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

KEY PLAYERS

Garret Brown comes into the new season after being drafted by the Winnipeg Jets 99th overall in the 2022 NHL Draft. The 18-year-old had four goals and 12 assists last season.

Ben Doran will play his third season in a Musketeers sweater this year. In the regular season last year he had 13 goals and 17 assists, and two goals and two assists in the postseason.

Sam Deckhut returns the the Musketeers after putting up four goals and 18 assists in 2021-22.

Grant Slukynsky is a returner to the Musketeers that Kersner expects to make an impact not only on the ice, but with his leadership. Last season he totaled nine goals and 20 assists through 62 games.

Axel Mangbo played in net behind Alex Tracy last season, where he played in 19 games and went 11-5-2 between the pipes. He had a GAA of 2.89 and a .893 save percentage.

ARENA NOTES

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The Musketeers play at Fleet Farm Arena in the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Alongside the historic auditorium, the arena opened its doors in December of 2003.

The Musketeers will begin their season Sept. 22 at the Dick's Sporting Goods Fall Classic in Pittsburgh as they take on the Green Bay Gamblers.

Related Topics: SIOUX CITY MUSKETEERSUSHL
Kirsten Krull covers juniors and prospects for The Rink Live. She is a 2020 St. Cloud State graduate, and has been working in the hockey world for over six years, covering many levels of the game from juniors to the NHL.
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