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Fighting Saints' Late Lead Erased; Dubuque Falls in OT

By Jordan Kuhns, 10/16/21, 9:30PM CDT

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Hawks score in the final minute, pick up extra point in overtime

WATERLOO, Iowa — The Dubuque Fighting Saints had the lead late in regulation, but saw that lead fall in the final minute. Down a man in a 6-on-4 situation, Michael La Starza scored to tie the game with 32 seconds remaining in regulation, and Cooper Wylie scored just over two minutes into overtime, giving the Waterloo Black Hawks a 4-3 win over the Fighting Saints.

The Saints had a great chance at one end. Ryan Beck, in tight, elevated a backhander that hit the post behind Waterloo goaltender Jack Williams, and stayed out of the net. The Hawks rushed the other direction and John Waldron found Wylie crashing the net, and his high-rising shot beat goaltender Philip Svedebäck to complete Waterloo’s win.

Dubuque ceded the first goal, but did not let that deter them. The Fighting Saints held two leads in the game after falling behind 1-0, both in the second period. Samuel Sjölund converted on an early power play with traffic out in front to give the Fighting Saints a 2-1 advantage. Kenny Connors converted on a 2-on-1 break with Tristan Lemyre to give Dubuque a late 3-2 lead.

However, both times, Waterloo found a way to claw back. Mason Reiners took advantage of a Dubuque turnover deep in the zone and wired a shot through traffic to tie the game at two. And La Starza tipped a Wylie shot to tie the game late in regulation.

The two teams battled to a tie game through the first period. Waterloo opened the scoring with a tipped shot. Reiners shot the puck towards the net, and Tyler Kostelecky redirected the puck out in front over the shoulder of Svedebäck to give Waterloo a 1-0 lead at the 9:28 mark of the first period.

As they have all season, the Fighting Saints responded. Stephen Halliday whirled a pass in the neutral zone to a knifing Beck, who threaded the needle to Connor Kurth, who converted on the odd-man rush to tie the game at 17:43. It was Kurth’s fourth goal in three games, and third goal on the weekend.

Both teams were held scoreless in the second period.

Svedebäck made 22 saves on the night. He held the fort with nine saves on 10 shots in the first period alone.

Dubuque is back in action to take on the Des Moines Buccaneers on Friday, October 22 at the Mystique Community Ice Center, and then will travel to Geneva, Illinois to take on the Chicago Steel on Saturday, October 23.