DUBUQUE, Iowa — Just a minute and 42 seconds into overtime, Cole Guttman found himself with an opening. Guttman’s sixth goal of the season on a feed from Chayse Primeau brought a sweet end to a thrilling night for the Dubuque Fighting Saints who defeated the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 4-3 on Friday night at the Mystique Community Ice Center.
Primeau spotted a charging Guttman to the back post, who put the puck past Riders goaltender Jiri Patera to end the game. Just moments earlier, Saints netminder Jaxon Castor came to the home team’s rescue with a monumental save on Will Zmolek during the extra session to keep the game alive long enough for the tremendous finish.
Cedar Rapids responded to a third period goal from Jan Kern after a massive scramble in front of the Cedar Rapids net. He knocked home his fifth goal of the season to give the Saints the lead momentarily, until CR struck back. With Patera at the bench for the extra attacker, Brian Chambers darted down the wing and found an opening through the five hole of Castor to tie the game.
Cedar Rapids took a 2-1 lead to the room after one period of play. The Saints fired the opening salvo thanks to Primeau on the team’s first power play opportunity. Alex Steeves and Santeri Virtanen got the puck to the net, and Primeau cashed in by lifting the puck to the shelf to give Dubuque the 1-0 lead. CR responded with goals from Sam Malinski and newcomer Nick Granowicz, who scored his first USHL goal in his first USHL game.
Steeves tied the game in the second period after Taylor Schneider exited the box and whipped a shot to the top corner for his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
The Fighting Saints controlled the game territorially and outshot the RoughRiders 36-18 for the game, including an astounding 11-2 margin in the second period. Twice the Saints believed they had scored, as Scott Corbett had his go-ahead goal waved off, and a later opportunity also washed out due to a whistle in the goal crease.
This was the Fighting Saints’ first win in overtime this season after dropping three decisions to begin the year.
Dubuque is back in action tomorrow to face off against the Sioux City Musketeers for the eighth-annual Teddy Bear Toss Night with media partner Dubuque’s Super Hits 106.1 FM. Bring a stuffed animal to the game to be thrown onto the ice! All donations benefit Toys for Tots in Dubuque. For tickets, go to DubuqueFightingSaints.com.