WATERLOO, IA—For the second straight game, the Dubuque Fighting Saints found themselves down early to a Prairie Farms Cowbell Cup rival and couldn’t recover. The Waterloo Black Hawks scored a pair of goals in the first period and earned a 4-1 victory over the Fighting Saints at the Young Arena on Friday night. The loss dropped Dubuque to 0-2-0 on the young USHL regular season.
After allowing four goals in the opening period in last Saturday’s season opener in Cedar Rapids, the Fighting Saints looked for a better start to Friday’s game in Waterloo. However, it was again the home team that scored first. Just under six minutes into the contest Tyler Sheehy scored on the powerplay for the Black Hawks to make it 1-0. Hayden Shaw, the son of Fighting Saints Head Coach Matt Shaw, worked the puck on the left point across to Sheehy on the left wing. Sheehy walked the puck towards the front of the goal and beat Dubuque goaltender Kevin Reich from a bad angle over the shoulder at 5:27.
The hometown Black Hawks brought the crowd to its feet again six minutes later on a goal by Brendan Shane. The former Des Moines Buccaneer scored his first goal with Waterloo on a broken play at 11:23 to make it 2-0 Waterloo. Brandon Montour brought the puck up ice on a 2–on-1 for the Black Hawks. He fired the puck to the left wing to Larry Jungwirth, who partially fanned on his shot attempt. Reich had slid over to his right, and the rolling puck slid back to the middle of the ice where Shane collected it, and fired it into the open goal.
Trailing by a pair of goals to start the 2nd period, Dubuque opened the middle frame with several great chances that were denied by Waterloo goalie Hayden Lavigne, and after a failed odd-man rush, Dubuque found the puck in the back of their net again. The Fighting Saints couldn’t strike on a 3-on-2 and Waterloo skated in over the Dubuque blue line on a 4-on-2. A pass came across to Phil Beaulieu who fired a wrist shot that rolled down the shoulder of Dubuque’s Reich. The puck sat in the crease and Nico Hildenbrand backhanded the puck into the open goal to make it 3-0 Waterloo at 8:23 of the 2nd Period.
The Fighting Saints were finally able to find the back of the net in the early minutes of the 3rd Period. On an odd-man rush, Dylan Gambell dished the puck to Brett Boeing. The returning forward snapped a shot towards the goal from the top of the right faceoff circle. The puck somehow eluded Lavigne and snuck between his arm and body and trickled over the goal line at 5:06 to make 3-1 Waterloo.
Waterloo would add a final goal on the empty net courtesy of Marcel Godbout with only 40 seconds to earn the Prairie Farms Cowbell Cup victory.
Dubuque struggled to stay out of the penalty box, however Waterloo was only 1-for-6 on the powerplay. The Fighting Saints were 0-for-5. The Black Hawks outshot Dubuque 35-33 on the evening.
The Fighting Saints host Omaha tomorrow for Opening Night presented by American Trust. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. and the first 3,000 fans will receive a magnetic calendar schedule courtesy of American Trust. Fans are encouraged to arrive early Saturday for a Pregame Tailgate with Queen B Radio starting at 5 p.m. outside the arena. Tickets are available by calling 563.583.6880 or online at DubuqueFightingSaints.com.