DUBUQUE, IA–The Dubuque Fighting Saints scored four straight goals to earn their fourth straight victory Saturday night at the Mystique Community Ice Center. Despite trailing 2-0 early in the game, Dubuque scored the game’s final four goals to earn a 4-2 win, and a weekend sweep, of the Fargo Force. The Fighting Saints have now won seven of their last eight games.
A period and a half of frustration courtesy of Fargo goaltender Mathias Israelsson was all erased in just under three minutes late in the second period. The Fargo netminder had denied Dubuque repeatedly all game long, and the Fighting Saints were finally able to solve the Swedish goaltender with a screen shot. With traffic in front of the goal, Dubuque defender William Lagesson fired a wrist shot from the left point that the Fargo goaltender never saw. If traveled through numerous players in front, and beat Israelsson cleanly to make it 2-1 Fargo at 14:13 of the period. The goal was Lagesson’s first USHL tally and was assisted by Jacob Benson and Brett Boeing.
With the crowd of 1,996 on their side, Dubuque used the momentum to tie the game. Gordie Green chased down a loose puck behind the Fargo goal. He wrapped the puck around the net and centered it to Trey Dodd standing at the top of the crease. He one-timed a shot over the glove of Israelsson to tie the game, 2-2, at 17:44. The goal was Dodd’s second tally of the season.
The Fighting Saints would continue to pressure in the third period and would pull away with a pair of goals. Evan Smith setup his twin brother, Mitchell, for the eventual game-winning goal at 6:27. Evan stole the puck on the left wing and fired a cross-ice pass to Mitchell on the right wing. Mitchell’s shot was wired to the top corner, beating Israelsson over the glove to make it 3-2 Dubuque.
Dylan Gambrell, who dropped the gloves with Mike Babcock and helped spark Dubuque when down 2-0 earlier, was rewarded with a goal to make it 4-2, courtesy of a beautiful feed from Seamus Malone. At 11:35, Malone rushed the puck end-to-end and dashed down the left wing. He fed the puck in front to Gambrell who slid a shot under Israelsson to add to Dubuque’s lead.
The Force were held off the board after the game’s first period. Mikey Eyssimont scored on Fargo’s first shot of the game, snapping a wrist shot past the glove of Dubuque goaltender Gavin Nieto, who was making his first start of the season. The goal came only 1:35 into the game.
Zach Yon would add to Fargo’s lead on a turnover at 18:12 of the first period to make it 2-0. Nieto surrendered two goals on just four shots, and was removed in favor of Jacob Nehama prior to the start of the second period. Nehama was perfect in relief, stopping all 20 Fargo shots he faced. In 100:00 minutes of action this weekend in goal, Nehama did not allow a goal and the goaltender’s record now stands at 7-0-0.
Dubuque returns home next Friday to host the Green Bay Gamblers at 7:35 p.m. It’s the Hunger Games Canned Food Drive presented by CenturyLink. Fans can receive $2 off per ticket with a canned food item. Tickets are available by calling 563.583.6880 or online at DubuqueFightingSaints.com.