GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Dubuque Fighting Saints opened the preseason in style. A four-goal outburst in the first period, capped off by a hat trick by Connor Kurth, and a consistent offensive performance kept the Gamblers on their heels throughout the night. The Saints won the preseason opener 7-4 on Friday night at the Resch Center.
Kurth scored three goals on four shots in the first period on a new-look line with Stephen Halliday and Ryan Beck. The highlight was a tic-tac-toe passing play between the three linemates that led to a tip-in by Kurth in front of goaltender Rastislav Elias. Another goal from Christopher Lynch on the rebound of a Nikita Borodayenko shot gave Dubuque a 4-0 lead after the first period.
Kurth opened the 2020–21 regular season with a hat trick as well.
Green Bay responded with a dominant second period showing. Goals from Lucas Ölvestad and Kenny Connors kept the Gamblers at bay, but down 5-1, Green Bay scored three unanswered goals to pull within one. It was Connors’ shorthanded goal late in the period that added some separation.
Primo Self got some puck luck as he knocked a rolling puck in the latter stages of a power play off of a Green Bay defender and into the back of the net past Aaron Randazzo, who relieved Elias halfway through the game. The Saints’ defense held Green Bay to just five shots in the third period and pulled away for the win.
Philip Svedebäck, who opened the preseason with the start in net, was dialed in. He picked up the win with 32 saves on 36 shots in the full 60 minutes.
The Fighting Saints and Gamblers continue the preseason on Saturday, September 11 at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available at DubuqueFightingSaints.com.