The Dubuque Fighting Saints enter the weekend having rattled off three straight wins for the first time this season. Dubuque will look to remain perfect in 2021 when they hit the ice in Youngstown for two games against the Phantoms on Friday and Saturday. The puck drop will be 6:05 pm both nights. Dubuque is 0-1 this season against the Phantoms.
-The Saints have remedied some of their struggles from earlier in the season during their current three-game winning streak. For starters, Dubuque has not trailed over the last 180 minutes of hockey. Prior to that, the Saints were struggling to find leads and hold them.
-Defensively the team has showed up in three straight wins. After allowing close to 5.5 goals per game over the first 13 games, Dubuque let in just six goals in their three wins. In net, Hobie Hedquist was fantastic, turning away 75 of 81 shots and winning all three contests.
-Dubuque’s last two victories were both of the overtime variety. It’s the first time since November 2015 that the Saints have won back-to-back games in overtime. Keegan Ford and Nate Sucese were the goal scorers in those wins.
-Youngstown will come into the weekend series having fewer games under their belt than anyone in the USHL. The Phantoms have played just 11 times thus far and will have to play catchup with the rest of the USHL. Youngstown has won just two of their first 11.
-Offensively, Youngstown has struggled. They are averaging less than three goals a game and have just two players with double digit points this season. Dubuque hasn’t been lighting things up on that end either, but the Saints have produced more crooked numbers than the Phantoms.
-The players to watch for Youngstown are Georgii Merkulov and Ben Schoen. Merkulov leads the way with 13 points, while Schoen has seven points in five games. Schoen’s 1.40 points per game is best on the team.
-The Saints find themselves comfortably in fifth place in the East, but they are looking to continue to make up ground after a slow start to the season. Dubuque is currently two points out of fourth place in the East.
-Dubuque will be back on home ice after the two games in Youngstown. The Saints host Waterloo on Friday the 15th and then switch over to Des Moines on Saturday. It will be the only home weekend this season that doesn’t feature a Western Conference team for Dubuque.