DUBUQUE, Iowa — The Dubuque Fighting Saints were in need of a big win, and got one in resounding style. The Saints outshot the Youngstown Phantoms 38-15, and never trailed en route to a convincing 5-2 win at the Mystique Community Ice Center on Wednesday night.
An overwhelmingly strong effort at five-on-five largely kept the action in the Youngstown end of the ice in the third period. Dubuque outshot Youngstown 16-3 in the frame, and added insurance goals to pull away for good.
Kenny Connors, the first star of tonight's game, whipped a shot from the circle after a clean face-off win from P.J. Fletcher to give Dubuque a 3-1 advantage just over five minutes into the action. It was the hard work of Connors who set up John Evans on a rebound opportunity to re-establish Dubuque's two goal cushion late in the period.
Tristan Lemyre added the empty net goal with just over a minute to go in the third period, after goaltender Lukas Parik had just missed the yawning cage by two feet on an attempt for an empty net goalie goal.
Dubuque struck first in the contest, and it did not take them long. With Phantoms forward Cole Burtch in the box for hooking, a one-touch feed from Robert Cronin found Andrei Buyalsky in the slot, whose top-shelf shot gave the Saints the 1-0 lead.
The Fighting Saints proceeded to then kill off two consecutive power play opportunities to close out the first period. Those were the only two chances Youngstown had on the man advantage all night.
Youngstown tied the game at the 4:01 mark of the second period. Kenta Isogai rolled a pass in front that deflected off of Parik and into the goal. The game was even at 1-1 for six minutes, until defenseman Braden Doyle got into the action.
A slick pass through the seam found a slicing Doyle from his left point position, and after dangling a defender, ripped a shot into the back of the net past goaltender Colin Purcell to establish a lead Dubuque would not relinquish from there.
Parik made 13 saves in the win, his fourth in a Saints uniform. The Saints extended their standings point streak to four-games as a result of the win. Dubuque went 1 for 4 on the power play.
After falling victim to the Phantoms' curse for three prior games, the Saints picked up their first win of the season against the Phantoms in this swiftly rescheduled game. Dubuque has steered 10 points clear of the Phantoms, and sit eight points back of Team USA for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand.
The Saints host the Des Moines Buccaneers for 80s Night on Saturday night at Our House. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 563.583.6880, or by going to DubuqueFightingSaints.com.