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Offense Flexes Its Muscle as Saints Take Down Steel

By Jordan Kuhns, 12/03/21, 11:00PM CST

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Halliday notches hat trick, five-point night, in Dubuque’s fourth consecutive win

GENEVA, Ill. — The winning streak continues. The Dubuque Fighting Saints shot a collective 24.1% and let their offense do the talking. The Saints scored three goals in the third period to stifle a comeback effort by the Chicago Steel, and defeated them 7-3 on Friday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena.

The offense was led by Stephen Halliday, who scored five points in the game, and took over the league lead in points. He bookended the scoring with an assist to open the scoring and closed out the third period with two goals and an assist to give the Fighting Saints a comfortable cushion to close out the game.

The Fighting Saints led the Steel 4-1 heading into the third period after comfortably taking care of business at five-on-five. However, the Chicago Steel found a way to replicate what they had done the last time the two teams met in Geneva. Nicholas Moldenhauer and Andon Cerbone scored goals within 16 seconds of one another to go from down by three goals to down by just one.

Head coach Greg Brown immediately called timeout, and the rest of the third period was dominated by Dubuque from there. They would go on to outshoot Chicago 11-1 the rest of the period and score three unanswered goals. At the conclusion of Halliday’s checking-from-behind penalty at 4:29, he jumped out of the penalty box and was sent on his way by Zane Demsey. Halliday made no mistake on the breakaway for his second goal of the night.

He would complete the trick four minutes later, as he got a fortuitous bounce on a centering pass by Ryan Beck that deflected off his shin pad and past Chicago Steel goaltender Gibson Homer. The hat trick was the first of Halliday’s career.

Dubuque utilized quick-strike offense to take the lead in the first period and pad on to the lead in the second period. Halliday spotted a charging Nikita Borodayenko, who tossed a half speeder past Homer to open the scoring at 1:36.

The Steel would get one past Paxton Geisel on the power play midway through the period, but only three minutes later, the Fighting Saints sent a message. Kenny Connors lit up Jayden Perron in over the defensive blue line and started a break the other direction. Connors fed the puck to Tristan Lemyre who redirected the puck into an empty target to give the Fighting Saints a 2-1 lead after one.

Halliday scored his first of the night just over a minute into the second period, as Connor Kurth wheeled a puck off the side of the net, and it kicked out in front for the goal. The puck ricocheted quickly out of the net, and after review, the goal stood. The Fighting Saints added one more, as Max Montes buried a breakaway opportunity on a Borodayenko pass up ice.

Geisel made 18 saves in his fourth, and the team’s fourth, consecutive victory. The Fighting Saints outshot the Steel 29-21 for the game.

The two teams will complete the home-and-home on Saturday, December 4 for Teddy Bear Toss with ImOn Communications. Tickets are available at DubuqueFightingSaints.com.