The Dubuque Fighting Saints completed a sweep of the Muskegon Lumberjacks with a gritty 3-1 win on Saturday night. Dubuque used their defense and goaltending from Erik Portillo to stymie Muskegon en route to their 16th win of the season. Ryan Beck scored the game winning goal shorthanded to give Dubuque an edge and Riese Gaber scored an empty-netter for his team leading 12th goal of the season to ice the game for Dubuque.
-Muskegon struck first as Alex Gaffney got the scoring started for the Lumberjacks. The goal came on a pretty passing play between Gaffney, Dylan Wendt and Ryan Poorman as Muskegon struck at the 3:10 mark of the first.
-About midway through the first Riese Gaber hit the pipe behind Noah Giesbrecht. The play was reviewed and after a lengthy delay the call on the ice stood keeping the score at 1-0 Muskegon.
-Muskegon held the lead after the first 20 minutes of play, going in to the first intermission with a good showing in the first period. Dubuque did outshoot the Lumberjacks in period one, throwing 14 on net to the Jacks nine.
-Dylan Jackson was able to send the teddy bears flying as he scored the first goal of the game for Dubuque. The puck hit Jackson in front after Matthew Kopperud took a shot from the far circle that ended up behind Giesbrecht after the carom.
-Dubuque played a much better second period, hemming Muskegon in their zone for large portions of the middle stanza. Portillo came up with a few large saves, but overall Giesbrecht was tested much more often in the second.
-Ryan Beck scored a late second period goal, shorthanded to give the Saints a 2-1 lead. Jimmy Glynn had a breakaway for Dubuque but was thwarted and Beck followed to tuck it in.
-The third period began with a fairly strong pace as both teams traded chances. Muskegon had a few stronger chances than Dubuque, but Portillo was a brick wall for Dubuque.
-Dubuque took two late penalties in the game to give the Lumberjacks a few good chances close towards the end of the game.
-Dubuque really clamped down defensively during the two power plays for Muskegon and Riese Gaber was able to throw puck in the empty net late to seal the deal and the sweep for the Saints.
-Next up for the Fighting Saints will be a matchup with the Green Bay Gamblers. Dubuque takes on the Gamblers in Green Bay for Friday’s contest before their last game before break, at home on Saturday at 7:05.