DUBUQUE, Iowa — In a momentous series against the Youngstown Phantoms, the Dubuque Fighting Saints picked up four out of a possible four points. The Saints answered Eric Esposito’s first-period tally with three of their own, en route to a 3-1 triumph over the Phantoms on Saturday night at the Mystique Community Ice Center.
Colin Theisen, Jacob Semik and Cole Guttman scored in response to Esposito’s goal, with Semik’s goal as the game-winner. Hard work from Jacob Hamacher and Scott Corbett led to the opportunity from the point, and Semik scored his third goal of the season. It was Semik’s second game-winning goal in his three tallies on the year.
Guttman continued his point streak, as his roll extended to 11 games with his 16th goal of the season. It was his 11th goal in as many games, as well. He and captain Dallas Gerads played give-and-go off of a Youngstown turnover midway through the third period, and it was Guttman who stashed the puck past Ivan Kulbakov to put the Fighting Saints up two.
Esposito started the scoring for Youngstown on the rebound of a point shot from Noah Lalonde. The rolling puck laid in the netmouth, where Esposito dove out to power the puck to the top shelf over Jaxon Castor to give the visitors the lead.
Theisen responded to that goal just three minutes later on a major power play. He took the pass from Zach Solow in a cross-box seam feed and ripped a high shot over Kulbakov’s reach to tie the game at one apiece.
It was Castor, though, that rebounded after that point, as he made 17 saves for his 20th win of the season, and has now taken the league lead in wins with that mark, finally surpassing Sioux City netminder Matiss Kivlenieks.
Dubuque was barely outshot by Youngstown, 19-18, for the game. The Saints also swept the four-game season series with the Phantoms this year.
The Saints travel to Muskegon to take on the Lumberjacks, who trail in the standings by just two points. The pair of games will be played on Friday, January 27, and Saturday, January 28, at L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon. Catch the action on the home of the Saints, all season long, Dubuque’s Super Hits 106.1 FM, or on the USHL’s streaming video provider, HockeyTV.