Dubuque stuck to the game plan and dropped the Youngstown Phantoms 3-1 in the first game of round one in the Eastern Conference. Dubuque took command of the best-of-three series with a three goal third period as they shut down Youngstown for the large part of the night. The Phantoms were stifled on a five on three late in the third period as Dubuque killed it off and added an empty-netter towards the end of the game.
-Dubuque outshot Youngstown 22-9 through two periods of play but were down 1-0 after two periods of play. Brett Murray struck first for the Phantoms, adding to his 41 goals from the regular season. Murray was the most dangerous player on the ice for Youngstown, but Dubuque held him in check.
-Dubuque scored three times in the third period and beat Youngstown for the second time this season when the Phantoms were leading after two. Youngstown was 19-1 when leading after two in the regular season.
-Dubuque killed off a full two minutes of five on three late in the third period as Youngstown spent nearly the full two minutes in the zone with possession. Dubuque killed it off and Youngstown remains scoreless on five on three’s at home this season.
-Bram Scheerer scored a huge goal for Dubuque early in the third period. His goal, less than two minutes in, knotted things up for Dubuque as the Saints came out flying after that tally. The Saints will likely expect a push from Youngstown in game two with the Phantoms backs to the wall.
-Dylan Jackson scored the game-winning goal just over midway through the third period as he banged home a rebound in front off a slick feed from Riese Gaber. The goal for Jackson was a snapshot of how Dubuque played the game as it was one of their hardest fought games of the season.
-In the past three seasons’ running the best of three first round, the team to win game one has gone on to win the series 10 of 12 times. The only two loses happened last season but in 2011 and 2012 the team to win game won game two every time.
-The win tonight against Youngstown was the first win in Youngstown in Dubuque’s playoff history. The Fighting Saints had won only twice in Youngstown since 2012-13, but they didn’t let the so-called “Covelli Curse” stop them.
-Derek Contessa scored his fourth goal of the season against Youngstown with an empty-netter to ice it. Contessa has had some of his best games of the season against the Phantoms and tonight was the same story.
-Dubuque will look for the sweep tomorrow night as they battle with Youngstown once again. Puck drop is set for 7:05 ET and 6:05 CT at the Covelli Centre.