DUBUQUE, IA–Jacob Nehama turned aside all 19 shots he faced to lead the Dubuque Fighting Saints to a 3-0 victory over the Fargo Force Friday night at the Mystique Community Ice Center. The Dubuque goaltender improved to 6-0-0 on the season and claimed his second USHL shutout. The Fighting Saints got goals from Gordie Green, Michael Davies and Dylan Gambrell in the victory.
The Fighting Saints opened the contest with a strong first period where they outshot the Force 15-4. The Fighting Saints were rewarded with an early goal off the stick of forward Gordie Green to open the scoring. Green’s third goal of the season came at the 5:03 mark from Mitchell Smith and William Lagesson. Smith worked the puck to Green in the slot and the forward spun and shot. The puck changed directions, tipping off a stick and bouncing over the shoulder of Fargo goaltender Mathias Israelsson to make it 1-0. The goal turned out to be the game-winning tally and was Green’s third game-winning goal of the year.
The game’s middle frame saw little sustained pressure for either team, but it was the hometown Fighting Saints who came away with a goal to double their lead. With a delayed penalty on the Fargo, Dubuque goaltender Jacob Nehama raced to the bench for an extra attacker. With the 6-on-4 advantage, the Fighting Saints worked the puck back to the right point to Michael Davies. The first-year defender fired a slapshot that beat Israelsson over the glove to make it 2-0. The goal was Davies first tally in the USHL and Evan Smith notched the assist.
Fargo pressed in the third period, but Nehama saved his best work for last, making several solid point-blank saves in the game’s third period to earn the shutout. Gambrell added a shorthanded empty net goal to seal the deal at 18:41.
Dubuque outshot Fargo 32-19 in the win. Both teams were unsuccessful on the powerplay as Fargo was 0-for-6 and Dubuque 0-for-4.
The two teams meet again tomorrow Saturday’s contest switches gears from a frightful celebration to a night with a little honky tonk and twang. Fans are encouraged to put on their boots and cowboy hat, grab their best gal in her painted on jeans, and hop in their big truck to head on down near the river for Country Night. Fans will be encouraged to give a big, “YEE-HAW!” when the Fighting Saints score and the first 1,000 fans will receive a Fighting Saints mason jar courtesy of 97.7 WGLR. The clear drinking glass features the Fighting Saints and WGLR logos, and is perfect to drink some moonshine around the bonfire while strumming on a banjo. Tickets are available by calling 563.583.6880 or online at DubuqueFightingSaints.com.