DUBUQUE, Iowa — The Dubuque Fighting Saints tied the game at five to stave off a surge from the visiting Muskegon Lumberjacks, but overtime proved to be decisive. Jacob Guévin scored at the 3:54 mark of the extra session to give the visitors the extra point, and gave them the 6-5 win over the Fighting Saints at the Mystique Community Ice Center on Thursday night.
Nick Portz shuffled the puck to the net, and Guévin stashed the puck through the five hole of goaltender Lukas Parik to give Muskegon the win. The goal came at the 3:54 mark of the extra session, and it came just moments after the Saints had a chance to seal the game up on a breakaway from Henry Thrun.
The Fighting Saints staved off a quick-strike surge coming out of the second period. Muskegon cut Dubuque’s lead to one with a power play goal from Tanner Kelly with just over five seconds remaining in the second period. That momentum carried into the third nearly immediately, as Kyle Aucoin cashed in on the rebound of a scramble in front of the net 28 seconds into the third period, and Tanner Kelly snuck behind the defense just ten seconds later to give Muskegon the 5-4 lead.
P.J. Fletcher staved off that decisive moment with a goal of his own. While dragging the puck down the wing, the captain carved his way to the goal and tucked the puck past Jan Skorpik to even the score at five. The goal came at the 10:12 mark of the third period.
The Dubuque Fighting Saints had a 4-1 lead before Muskegon’s surge. Powered by two second period goals, the Saints forged ahead. The second period was mostly a defensive stalemate until Daniyal Dzhaniyev opened it up with a strong individual effort. A deke around a defender and a stickhandle past Skorpik was enough to give the Saints a 3-1 lead.
Savoie’s strip steal and score at 15:31 gave the Saints their largest lead of the game.
Muskegon fought back in earnest. Philip Tresca’s goal just 47 seconds later gave Muskegon life, and Kelly’s late power play goal got them within one.
Muskegon struck first in the game, and the goal came just 1:15 into the action. Cristophe Tellier finished off a shot pass from Tyler Dunbar on a deflection to the far post. Dubuque responded with two goals to enter the first intermission with the lead. Stephen Halliday posted his eighth goal of the season on a snipe from the left wing, and Primo Self shoveled in the rebound of his own created opportunity to give the Saints the lead.
The goal chased starter Nate Reid in favor of Skorpik, who took over after 11:24 of elapsed time.
As a result of Team USA picking up a point in their overtime loss to Youngstown, Dubuque remains in the fourth and final playoff spot with two games remaining in the regular season. The Fighting Saints will host the Green Bay Gamblers on Friday, April 23 at 7:05 p.m.