After snow postponed the first game of the weekend between Dubuque and Waterloo, the Saints took the only game of the weekend behind a superb start from Erik Portillo. Dubuque used two second period goals to beat Waterloo 4-1. Stephen Halliday had a two-point night and scored the game winner in the second period as Dubuque won their 21st of the season.
-Waterloo threw the first six shots on net as the Black Hawks came out with a little more jump than the Saints. Erik Portillo made 15 saves total in the first period, making a few highlight reel stops when Dubuque was a man down
-Riese Gaber notched his 20th of the season with the first Dubuque shot of the game. Gaber took a pass at the top of the circles and riffled it past Logan Stein. Gaber’s goal was his 10th in his last 13 games.
-Much like the first two games at the Mystique Ice Center, the first period was dominated by defense and good skating. Of Waterloo’s 15 shots, only five were in high scoring areas. Waterloo’s best chances came on the lone power play of the period.
-Waterloo’s energy continued in to the second period and the Black Hawks controlled most of the period in the Dubuque zone. However, Erik Portillo stood tall, making nine stops in the middle stanza.
-Dubuque scored early on, as Stephen Halliday took a pass from Evan Stella, moved in on the left wing and beat Logan Stein five-hole for his sixth of the season. The assists was Stella’s first USHL point.
-Antonio Venuto tripled the Saints lead as he finished off a pretty passing play between the Jackson twins and potted his 10th of the year. Venuto’s goal was the last goal Stein would face, as he was pulled for the second time in as many starts against the Fighting Saints.
-Dubuque weathered a Waterloo push in the third period, thanks in large part to Erik Portillo. The Saints goalie was at his best in the final period and he finished the game with 38 saves. Portillo made multiple highlight reel stops late in the game.
-Robert Cronin essentially iced the game with his second goal of the season, as he finished off a beautiful passing play with Matthew Kopperud and Mark Cheremeta. The goal put Dubuque up 4-0 at that point in the game.
-Waterloo ended the shutout bid late on a shorthanded goal from Dane Montgomery. Outside of that, they couldn’t push anything past Erik Portillo.
Next up for Dubuque, a three in three that starts in Dubuque and ends in Lincoln. The Saints will host Team USA before visiting the Lincoln Stars and Omaha Lancers on Friday and Saturday.