There's little better in sports than a one-game, winner-take-all championship match, and that's what the United States Hockey League Clark Cup Final has come down to.
The Green Bay Gamblers and Waterloo Black Hawks will meet Wednesday in Green Bay, with the winners taking home the league championship.
The host Gamblers' ride to the championship has been a fairly smooth one. After finishing with a League-high 98 points, they beat Youngstown in four games in the best-of-five quarterfinals, and then swept Indiana in the semifinals.
Waterloo had a bit a tougher ride. After finishing third in the Western Conference, they swept Tri-City in the best-of-three qualifying round. They upset second-seeded Omaha in four games in the quarterfinals and then beat top-seeded Lincoln in four games in the conference final.
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Leading Waterloo is forward Taylor Cammarata, who is tied for the league lead with eight goals and is tied for second in the league with 15 points. Eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, Cammarata is committed to the the University of Minnesota for the fall of 2013.
Also contributing is 2012 NHL Draft prospect Jamie Hill, a 20-year-old right wing who also has eight goals and is fourth in the playoffs in scoring with 14 points. He's committed to the University of New Hampshire next season.
Center A.J. Michaelson, No. 87 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2012 NHL Draft, has two goals and five assists in 14 games, and also has a plus-4 rating.
Vincent Hinostranza, a center ranked No. 115 by Central Scouting, has played just one game in the postseason due to injuries. In the regular season, he was second on the team with 44 points in 55 games.
Green Bay is led by forward Alex Broadhurst, a 2011 seventh-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks. In 11 games, he leads the league with 16 points, and his eight goals tie him for the top spot. He also leads the league with a plus-14 rating and three shorthanded goals.
Samuel Herr, a 20-year-old left wing eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft and committed to the University of Notre Dame, is tied for the league lead with nine assists.
The Gamblers have three players in Central Scouting's final rankings, topped by defenseman Jordan Schmaltz. The 6-foot-2, 189-pounder, No. 34 on Central Scouting's list, is second in the league among defenseman with seven points in 11 games, and his plus-11 rating is tied for second in the league and leads all blueliners.
Defenseman Dakota Mermis, No. 84 on Central Scouting's list, has one assist, a plus-3 rating and is second on the team with 18 penalty minutes in 11 games.
Alex Kile, No. 168, has four goals and two assists in 11 games.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK