The Dubuque Fighting Saints will look to continue a strong start to the preseason as they take on the Green Bay Gamblers in a home and home series to close out the preseason slate. Dubuque will be on the road for game one this weekend before they come home Saturday for the preseason finale. The Saints are 2-0 on the preseason while Green Bay is 1-1.
-The Fighting Saints defeated the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 5-2 and 4-2 respectively during their first weekend of preseason action. Mark Cheremeta tallied five points in the two games to lead the charge and Robert Cronin scored twice while adding an assist in game one of the weekend. The Saints also received points from multiple returners including: Riese Gaber, Ryan Beck, Dylan Jackson, Luke Robinson and Aidan Fulp.
-Dubuque used a mixture of goaltenders, but no matter who the Saints put between the pipes, that goalie had success. Erik Portillo played both games, allowing 3 goals on 22 shots. Aidan McCarthy was a perfect 13 for 13 in 30 minutes of play against Cedar Rapids and Hobie Hedquist was 12 of 13 on saves in his 30-minute stint.
-The Saints penalty kill looked strong in both outings. Dubuque allowed one power play goal in six opportunities. The Saints were last in the league with a 73.9% penalty kill last season and will look to continue to develop that unit this preseason.
-Green Bay has seven goals scored and five allowed so far this preseason. The Gamblers missed the postseason last year and history would suggest they will be better this season. The Gamblers have not missed the playoffs in back to back seasons since missing in both the 2003-04 season and 2004-05 season.
-Green Bay has 14 players on their Training Camp Roster who played at least five USHL games last season. Leading the way during the preseason so far is Ryan O’Reilly, who has three goals in two games. O’Reilly was traded to Green Bay late in the season last year from the Fargo Force.
-Moving back to the Saints, Dubuque seems to be a team that is predicated on speed this season. Dubuque was the much quicker team during the games against Cedar Rapids and they will get another chance to showcase that speed against the Gamblers.
-After the games on Saturday night, the Fighting Saints will have to cut from 31 to 23. They currently have 31 players at Training Camp but due to the USHL roster regulations need to get to 23 for the start of the regular season.
-Speaking of that regular season start, Dubuque will be on the road for the USHL Fall Classic as they play September 26th and September 27th in Cranberry Falls Township.