The Dubuque Fighting Saints notched their first victory of the 2020-21 preseason in their first attempt, downing Des Moines 4-1 on Friday evening. Dubuque got goals from four different players and handled Des Moines for the majority of 60 minutes. Aidan McCarthy and Hobie Hedquist split time in net, with Hedquist stopping 13 of 14 and McCarthy stopping six of six.
-Dubuque didn’t waste any time to prove two things: They will get scoring from their defense and the power play will be a weapon. Evan Stella scored the first goal of the Saints preseason on the power play less than three minutes in.
-The Saints doubled their lead at the midway point of the first period, as Connor Kurth slipped the puck in after assists from Luke Gramer and Dylan Herzog. Kurth was up with the Saints to end last season and in his first full game with the team showed what the Saints have known, he has a lot of skill.
-McCarthy didn’t face much adversity in his 30 minutes of action. The Saints dominated defensively in front of him and only allowed six shots through. McCarthy was up to the task in stopping all six.
-After a scoreless second period in which the teams combined for just 11 shots, Dubuque opened their lead even wider at the nine-minute mark of the third. Daniyal Dzhaniyev, newly acquired from the dispersal draft, scored his first as a Saint with Henry Thrun assisting.
-Des Moines scored just one goal, coming late in the third period as Tyler Young slipped through the defense and ripped the puck past Hedquist short side.
-With less than two minutes to go, Dubuque got their three-goal lead back. Tristan Lemyre pushed a loose puck into an empty net with 1:21 remaining to put an exclamation point on the victory.
-The Saints will be back in action tomorrow night against the Buccaneers again. The game will be a 7:05pm puck drop at Mystique Community Ice Center and the final game of the preseason between Dubuque and Des Moines.