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Gamblers ready to defend title


The Green Bay Gamblers open defense of their USHL Clark Cup Championship this weekend at the Resch Center.   Green Bay dominated the league a year ago under rookie head coach Derek LaLonde, winning the division title, regular season Anderson Cup and Clark Cup playoff trophies.  The team lost nearly of its top end scorers and much of the defense, including junior hockey goalie of the year Ryan McKay but LaLonde is encouraged with his re-tooled team.   Nine veterans return, including forwards Sheldon Dries, Nicholas Schilkey and Alex Kile.   Kyle Chatham will lead the new group of defenseman.  Last year's backup goalie, Mike Rotolo will handle much of the net work, although he's suspended for the opening game Friday night after getting into a fight during exhibition play last weekend.  The opening night start will go to newcomer Richard Sabol, at just 17, he started for the U20 Slovakian National team.   Other notable newcomers include Brendan Lemieux, the son of NHL Hall of Famer Claude Lemiuex and defenseman Ben Gallacher, who arrives from Ohio State University.  Slowed by a shoulder injury, Gallacher should hit the ice in a couple of weeks.  He has already been drafted by the NHL's Florida Panthers.   Green Bay opens against Waterloo, the team they defeated for the Clark Cup.  Saturday night, Cedar Rapids comes to town.  Both games face off at 7:05 PM at the Resch Center.