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Four Fighting Saints to Play in 2022 BioSteel All-American Game

By Jordan Kuhns, 12/26/21, 9:30PM CST


Halliday, Kurth, Connors and Geisel to take part in game highlighting top USHL prospects

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Four members of the Dubuque Fighting Saints will take part in the 2022 BioSteel All-American Game, set for Monday, January 17, 2022, at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. That group includes forwards Stephen Halliday, Connor Kurth and Kenny Connors, along with goaltender Paxton Geisel. The game features the top American-born, 2022 NHL Draft-eligible prospects.

Halliday, 19, is the USHL’s leading point scorer, two-time USHL Forward of the Week, and the holder of the second most goals and second most assists in the league. The first overall selection in the 2018 Phase I draft by the Central Illinois Flying Aces has carved out a productive career across 178 games at the USHL level. Halliday has scored 50 goals and 112 assists in those 178 games. He currently sits third in points by a Fighting Saint in the team’s Tier I history with 128 points in 123 games behind standouts Shane Sooth and Seamus Malone. That mark is also just 29 points back of the Saints’ all-time point scoring lead dating back to 1980, held by Steve MacSwain. Halliday has also proven to be a strong student as a member of the USHL All-Academic Team in 2020. The Glenwood, Maryland native is currently committed to Ohio State University.

Kurth, 18, holds the third-most points in the USHL (36), the third-most goals (16), and the second-best plus-minus rating (+19) behind teammate Zane Demsey. The Fighting Saints drafted Connor Kurth in the 8th round, 111th overall, in Phase I of the 2019 USHL Draft. Since coming to Dubuque, the South Center Lake, Minnesota native has posted 31 goals and 46 assists in 77 games. His 41 points last season earned him USHL Second Team All-Rookie honors, and a C-ranking from NHL Central Scouting late in the season. His strong academics earned him the distinction of 2021 USHL Scholar Athlete as the top student in the league. Kurth is currently committed to the University of Minnesota.

Connors, 18, is tied for the 13th-most points in the USHL (25) and has proven himself to be one of the most reliable centers in the USHL with his two-way play. The Glen Mills, Pennsylvania native has scored 43 points in 77 games as a Fighting Saint. 25 of those 43 points have come in just 25 games this season, which blasted past his previous mark of 18 all last season. He was drafted fifth overall by the Saints in Phase I of the 2019 USHL Draft. Connors was twice ranked on the 2021 NHL Draft lists put forth by NHL Central Scouting. He is committed to the University of Massachusetts.

Geisel, 17, owns the second-most wins in the USHL (11). He has won his last nine decisions, which is the second-longest streak in Fighting Saints history, and it dates to November 24, 2021. Only Art Brey has a longer streak (12 consecutive wins between September 28, 2012, and November 24, 2012). The product of Southlake, Texas, was drafted by the Fighting Saints in the fourth round of the 2020 Phase I Draft. He spent last season with the St. Cloud Norsemen of the NAHL and earned All-Central Division Rookie Team honors in 40 appearances. Geisel is committed to Denver University.

“We are excited for the four Fighting Saints who earned the opportunity to participate in the All-American Game,” said Fighting Saints GM Kalle Larsson. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase themselves with the best NHL Draft prospects in the United States.”

Since the USHL started implementing a top prospects game in 2012, 215 players have been drafted into the NHL. That group includes 46 first round picks. The game will be broadcast on the NHL Network.