Dubuque used defense, two first period goals and timely saves from Erik Portillo to get past the Omaha Lancers on Friday night. Portillo came up big in the last two minutes and Mark Cheremeta scored the game winning goal all the way back in the first period for Dubuque’s seventh win of the season. With the win, Dubuque extended their point streak to eight games to begin the season and they have the best record through eight games this season in the USHL.
-The win for the Fighting Saints was their fourth of the season allowing one goal or fewer. Aidan McCarthy holds the only shutout, but Portillo has now won three times while allowing just one goal.
-Cheremeta scored his fourth of the season on a wicked wrister in the first period. Dylan Jackson was also part of the Saints scoring as he whipped a wrister past the Omaha netminder in the first period. Ty Jackson, who picked up an assist on the first goal, now has a five-game point streak for Dubuque.
-The Saints largely shut down Omaha’s top point scorer in Alex Campbell. Campbell did come alive in the late stages with the goalie pulled, but that was when Portillo was at his best and nullified a few good chances.
-The Lancers continued their offensive struggles as the team is now averaging less than 2.5 goals per game. Omaha also continues to struggle in Dubuque as the Lancers have won once in 10 tries at the Mystique Community Ice Center since 2010.
-The eight-game point streak is the second-best start to a season in Fighting Saints Tier-1 history. Dubuque started the 2013-14 season 7-0 but lost in regulation in game eight. If they beat Cedar Rapids tomorrow, they will need points in one game after to have the longest point streak to begin a season in team history.
-In a game that was back and forth, there really wasn’t much flow. The choppiness was largely created by tough neutral zone play from both teams that resulted in multiple turnovers and puck battles between the blue lines.
-Portillo picked up his fifth win of the season which once again propels him in to the top spot in the league. Portillo has a 2.29 GAA and an .895 save percentage.
-The Saints have now outshot opponents in eight straight games to begin the season as well, outshooting Omaha 26-22.
-Dubuque clashes with Cedar Rapids tomorrow as the RoughRiders will have to travel all the way from Lincoln to face Dubuque. CR lost 4-3 Friday night.