YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Consider Saturday, October 22 the second time in a row that the Dubuque Fighting Saints defeated the Youngstown Phantoms at the Covelli Centre. Jaxon Castor made 22 saves, and three Fighting Saints players notched first career goals, as the Saints took the game 4-1. Dubuque is now one game over the .500 mark, with wins in three of the last four games.
Cole Guttman did not miss a beat after being inserted into the lineup on Friday for his first game, and he kept his dominant play going. He got the Saints started early in the first period on the power play, depositing a cross-crease dish from Regen Cavanagh to start the scoring just five minutes in. It was Guttman’s first USHL goal.
The firsts continued in the second period, as Veli-Matti Tiuraniemi extended Dubuque’s lead to two with a shot from the left wing boards. Guttman had a helping hand on the play, marking his third point of the weekend.
After scoring his first USHL goal on Friday, Austin Rueschhoff followed that performance up with another goal, his second of the season, following a carom from a Casey Staum point shot. Phantoms netminder Ivan Kulbakov found himself late to the far post when Rueschhoff collected the bounce and deposited the puck on the backhand to extend the Fighting Saints lead to 3-1.
To top it off, Jacob Hamacher deposited a puck into the empty net to seal the game up. That also was a first career USHL goal.
Curtis Hall was the only Youngstown player to dent Castor’s strong weekend. In total, he stopped 40 of 41 shots on goal (0.50 GAA, .975 sv%) starting with the shutout on Friday night, and a brick-wall, follow-up performance on Saturday. He started his night early with a denial on the league’s leading goal scorer, Alex Esposito, and continually kept the Phantoms off the board.
The power play goal-scoring streak continued for the Saints, who have notched a goal on the man advantage in four consecutive games, dating back to last Friday’s victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede. In total, Dubuque went 3-for-12 on the weekend (25.0%).
As was the case on Friday night, the Saints’ defense shut Youngstown down in the second period. The Phantoms could only muster four shots on goal in the middle frame—two better than the night prior.
The first of a back-to-back series with the Dupaco Cowbell Cup rival Waterloo Black Hawks begins on Friday, October 28 at Young Arena at 7:05 p.m. The action shifts to Our House on Saturday, October 29 at 7:05 p.m. for the Pet Supply Drive, sponsored by That’s My Dog! Donate pet supplies and other practical cleaning supplies to the door to benefit the Dubuque and Jackson County Humane Societies. For tickets, call the box office at 563.583.6880, or go to DubuqueFightingSaints.com today.