The Fighting Saints built a quick three goal lead and then held off the Capitols on Wednesday night, 3-2. The Capitols scored the last two goals of the game, but Dubuque played a solid defensive third after the first goal and limited Madison in their comeback bid. With the win the Saints moved two points closer to fifth in the standings and won the season series over the Capitols 6-1.
-James Sanchez, in his first game with Dubuque in over a month, scored two goals including the game winner for the Fighting Saints. Sanchez was inserted on a line with Willie Knierim and Verners Egle and the three were the best line of the night. Sanchez scored his 14th and 15th on the season.
-With the assist on Sanchez’s first goal, Willie Knierim pushed passed Zach Solow and now is alone in fifth on the Tier-1 scoring list for the Fighting Saints. Knierim, in his third season with Dubuque, now has 95 career points with the Fighting Saints.
-Aaron Randazzo was tested more in this game than he was in his shutout effort on Friday. He made 26 stops for Dubuque to backstop their second win in a row over the Capitols. Randazzo had to be better in this game and was as he won his ninth game of the season.
-Riese Gaber, Ty and Dylan Jackson teamed up for a gorgeous second goal for the Fighting Saints. Gaber took the puck behind the net and came out the near side. He then finessed a pass to Ty Jackson who went back across the ice to Dylan for a wide-open goal.
-Madison, to their credit, didn’t let the game snowball like it did last time out. Alex Mella scored with five minutes left in the second and then Brady Smith scored early in the third to get Madison back in the game.
-Joey Lamoreaux turned in a 27 save effort and you could tell Madison was the better team with him in net. Lamoreaux will end the season with a less than favorable record, but his actual numbers are far better.
-Dubuque held a one goal lead for the final 18 minutes of the game. The Fighting Saints have had trouble holding on to late leads this season, but they didn’t show it in this game. Dubuque gave up a few good chances, but largely held the Capitols in check late in the game.
-With the win, the Fighting Saints have 57 points in 53 games. Dubuque is two back of Team USA who have two games in hand. The Saints are still seven points back of the fourth spot in the East but have two more games left this week to gain ground.
-Those two games will both be against the league leading Tri-City Storm who have run away with the Western Conference. Tri-City will roll in to town Friday and Saturday.