The Dubuque Fighting Saints completed a perfect preseason with a victory over the Green Bay Gamblers. Ryan Beck scored with 24.3 seconds left in regulation to pull off the 5-4 win. Dubuque finished the preseason 4-0 and will now move to the regular season with plenty of momentum.
-The game was a well-played defensive contest through the first two periods of play. However, the teams erupted in the third period for five combined goals. Green Bay struck first, Dubuque got two back before Green Bay tied it. Beck’s winner came late and was too much to overcome.
-Antonio Venuto continued to show offensive prowess for the Saints, scoring the fourth goal and assisting on the final goal. Venuto looks to be a third line player in a loaded line up.
-Riese Gaber had a dominant game for Dubuque as well and scored a highlight reel goal for the Saints. Gaber took the puck down the right win, beat the defender with speed and powered to the backhand in close. The goal was Gaber’s second of the preseason.
-Speaking of highlight reel goals, Stephen Halliday, Dylan Jackson and Ty Jackson combined for another gorgeous passing play. Halliday made a behind the back pass that was corralled by Ty and deposited in the back of the net by Dylan.
-Green Bay looked stronger offensively and pressured the Fighting Saints into plenty of defensive zone turnovers. It was the weakest game defensively for Dubuque, but credit has to be given to Green Bay for the way the pressured the back end as well.
-Ryan O’Reilly, Jesse Tucker and Nicholas Zabaneh were all noticeable on offense. Zabaneh flew around the ice creating chances with his speed and O’Reilly and Tucker did good work in tight to get on the scoreboard.
-Erik Portillo played the full game for the Fighting Saints and looked solid for the most part. Portillo let in a goal he would likely want back, on a wraparound to O’Reilly. Still Portillo should be the starter come opening night.
-Dubuque averaged five goals a game during the preseason as the offense looks to be a dynamic, deep unit this season. Defensively they were strong against Cedar Rapids but lost a bit of that prowess against Green Bay.
-The Saints will open the regular season in Pittsburgh on Thursday as they take on Muskegon at 9 am Central. Dubuque’s home opener will be October 5th against the Madison Capitols. For tickets call 563-583-6880.