GENEVA, Ill. — The unbeaten in regulation streak came to an end at 11 games. The Dubuque Fighting Saints saw a two-goal lead crumble, as the Chicago Steel scored four unanswered goals in the third period. While the Fighting Saints scored a goal to get back into the game, the Steel held on to pick up a 4-3 win over Dubuque on Saturday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena.
The Steel scored four goals on eight shots in the third period to turn the game completely upside down. Goals from Jack Harvey and Sam Lipkin within 5:24 of the third period tied the game, and later in the period, Chicago pulled away for good.
Adam Fantilli weaved past a Saints defender and put the puck on a tee for Chris Able, who had seen limited minutes throughout. His snap shot from the right wing beat Paxton Geisel to the blocker side to give the Steel the lead. Less than two minutes later, Jackson Blake, who leads the league in scoring, completed the comeback with the eventual game-winning goal at 15:33.
Dubuque attempted to erase this new deficit, and nearly did immediately. Chicago took a penalty right away, and the Fighting Saints’ top-flight power play came to the rescue. Samuel Sjölund threaded a shot from the top of the point that found a way through a maze of bodies, and goaltender Gibson Homer, to cut the lead to one at the 16:08 mark.
With Geisel pulled for the extra attacker, the Saints’ furious push came close. Several pucks dribbled near the goal line, but did not bounce in. Homer and the Steel held the fort enough to hold on for the victory.
Dubuque was off and running in the opening two periods. Kenny Connors opened the scoring for the Fighting Saints late in the first period. Tristan Lemyre helped force a turnover along the half wall, and Max Montes picked the puck off and centered the puck to Connors who one-timed the puck into the net to open the scoring.
Lemyre added a goal of his own at the 6:04 mark of the second period. William Hallén’s drift to the middle of the ice drove defenders to him and opened up Lemyre at the bumper position. That goal extended the Saints’ lead to 2-0.
Geisel turned away all 19 shots through two periods of play, including some high danger scoring chances in the first period. He was saddled with the loss with a 23-save effort. The Fighting Saints’ penalty kill went unblemished for the second consecutive game.
The Saints return to action against the Steel at home for the Kettle Bell Kickoff with Old Chicago and The Salvation Army on Friday, November 12. Tickets are available at DubuqueFightingSaints.com.