DUBUQUE, IA—It took two minutes of extra play, but the Dubuque Fighting Saints were finally able to put away the Youngstown Phantoms Friday night. Gordie Green scored two minutes into overtime to give the Fighting Saints a 5-4 victory over the Phantoms at the Mystique Community Ice Center. Dubuque improved to 3-2-0 on the season and got two goals from Dylan Gambrell in the victory.
After trailing both 2-0 and 3-1 during points of the game on Friday, the Fighting Saints were able to scratch and claw their way to a lead in the game’s final period. Dubuque scored at the 11:36 mark on the powerplay to take a 4-3 advantage, thanks to Gambrell’s second goal of the game. The third year Fighting Saint punched in a rebound off a Shane Kavanagh shot to put the home team out front for the first time.
Youngstown would tie the game with just over three minutes remaining on a back-door tip-in from Taylor Best. Dubuque’s J.D. Dudek was knocked down at the blueline, but play continued, as the Phantoms brought the puck in over the blue line and Bryan Lemos was able to find Best streaking down the left wing to even the score, 4-4, at the 16:49 mark of regulation.
The Phantoms squandered a pair of leads in the game, including a fast start that saw them up 2-0 away from home. Veteran Kiefer Sherwood poked a rebound past Dubuque netminder Jacob Nehama’s right pad at the 13:10 mark of the opening frame. Under a minute later, Kevin Conley scored on the powerplay at 13:58 to give Youngstown a 2-0 lead.
The teams traded goals in the game’s middle period. Brett Boeing scored his team leading 6th goal of the season for Dubuque at the 10:59 mark of the 2nd Period. Boeing picked off a pass and roofed a shot over Youngstown goaltender Chris Birdsall’s catching glove to make it 2-1.
The Phantoms would respond late in the period on a Max Letunov goal with under a minute to play. Dubuque was unable to clear the puck and Letunov capitalized. He collected the loose puck on the right wing and fired a shot that hit Nehama in the arm, but somehow found its way through the goaltender and into the net to make it 3-1 at 19:08.
Dubuque wouldn’t let the goal change the face of the game. With only 8.8 seconds left in the 2nd Period, the Fighting Saints got the goal right back on Gambrell’s first strike of the night. The forward picked off a pass and streaked in on goal on a breakaway. He snapped a shot past Birdsall’s blocker to make it 3-2 at the close of the period.
Sasha Larocque tied the game for Dubuque on a beautiful goal early in the 3rd Period, powering down the right wing and cutting towards the goal, flipping a shot under Birdsall’s arm for his first USHL goal at 4:05.
After Gambrell and Best scored for their clubs, time expired on regulation sending the game to overtime. It was again a rebound off Birdsall’s pad that resulted in a goal for Dubuque. William Lagesson collected his second assist of the evening on the game-winning goal, dashing in over the left wing and firing a low shot off Birdsall’s far pad. The former Cedar Rapids RoughRider goaltender kicked the rebound out into the slot and Green made no mistake, firing the puck into the yawning goal for his 2nd tally of the year.
The Fighting Saints outshot Youngstown 42-24 on the evening. Dubuque was 1-7 on the powerplay while Youngstown was 1-5.
The two teams meet again tomorrow night for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop at the Mystique Community Ice Center. The theme is What’s Trending Now? presented by Pinnacle Cellular & Satellite & US Cellular. The night will be totally unscripted and is all about social media and what the current trends are on Twitter. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 563.583.6880 or online at DubuqueFightingSaints.com.