DUBUQUE, IA–Dubuque’s top line of USHL veterans proved to be too much for the Green Bay Gamblers Friday night. Brett Boeing, Seamus Malone and Dylan Gambrell all had multi-point games to lead the Fighting Saints to a fifth consecutive victory, as they topped the Gamblers 4-2 in front of 2,271 at the Mystique Community Ice Center. Malone had two goals and an assist, Boeing scored the game-winning goal, and Gambrell had a goal and an assist in the victory.
Friday’s game marked the return of former Dubuque goaltender Kevin Reich to the Mystique Community Ice Center as a member of the Green Bay Gamblers. While the fans gave Reich a nice round of applause, his former teammates were not so kind. Malone scored only 35 seconds into the game to give Dubuque a 1-0 lead. Off a faceoff win, Gambrell sent the puck back to Malone at the high slot. He fired a wrist shot that Reich never saw. The puck rattled off the crossbar for Malone’s third goal of the season.
Following the early goal, Green Bay responded with pressure. Dubuque netminder Jacob Nehama was strong, facing a barrage of 12 Green Bay shots in the opening frame. The Gamblers tied the game at 12:18 of the opening period on a goal by Ryan Tait. The former Omaha Lancers used his electric speed to beat the Dubuque defender to the net on a rush down the right wing. The puck slide off Tait’s stick and between Nehama’s legs to tie the game, 1-1.
In the game’s middle period the play slowed, but it was Dubuque who used a powerplay goal to take a 2-1 lead. Coming off the bench, Evan Smith collected the puck at the right point and snapped the puck towards the goal. Gambrell was camped in the low slot and changed the puck’s direction, tipping it past Reich for his sixth goal of the season at 13:38.
In the third period, Dubuque came out firing on all cylinders, peppering Reich with 17 shots. Boeing would score the eventual game-winner on a rebound of a William Lagesson shot that Reich bobbled. The goal was Boeing’s team leading seventh tally of the year and came at 6:43 of the third period.
The Boeing goal proved to be critical as Green Bay would cut the lead back to one at the 10:03 mark. Sam Miletic scored over the glove of Nehama to make it 3-2 in favor of Dubuque after digging a loose puck out of a Dubuque defender’s skates.
Green Bay was unable to even the score as Nehama stood tally, and Malone’s efforts were rewarded with a lucky goal. With an empty net, the Gamblers clearing attempt hit Malone in the shin guard and deflected into the unguarded goal. The tally was Malone’s second of the game and fourth of the season with 2.4 seconds left.
Dubuque outshot the Gamblers 37-29. Both goaltenders played well, but it was Nehama who earned the win to improve to 8-0-0 on the season. Dubuque went 1-for-4 on the powerplay while Green Bay was 0-for-5.
Dubuque makes its first visit to Bloomington tomorrow for a 7:00 p.m. contest versus the Thunder. The game can be heard on Super Hits 106.1 FM. Dubuque returns home for Military Appreciation Night, presented by Kwik Stop, Dairy Queen and Fazoli's, next Friday at 7:35 p.m. Veterans and active military members receive $3 off per ticket with their military ID. The Fighting Saints will be wearing special red, white and blue jerseys featuring the stars and stripes that will be auctioned off after the game will all proceeds to the Veterans Freedom Center. For tickets for this special night, call 563.583.6680 or visit DubuqueFightingSaints.com.