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1/3: Saints Top Hawks 4-2

By Zack Fisch, 01/03/15, 10:00PM CST

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Willie Knierim's goal earns Saints win over Black Hawks and a fifth straight victory

DUBUQUE, IA–Willie Knierim scored the deciding goal with 9:29 remaining in the game and Gavin Nieto turned aside 31 shots to earn the Dubuque Fighting Saints a 4-2 victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks Saturday night. Dubuque’s win over its Prairie Farms Cowbell Cup rival was the club’s fifth straight victory and moved them into 2nd Place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Riding the momentum of a big win the night before, Dubuque scored early to elate the crowd of 2,689. Evan Smith notched his 4th goal of the season only 1:07 into the game. Smith won a faceoff back to Andrew Kerr at the right point. Kerr’s shot was deflected and knocked down by Smith, and the Yale commit recollected the puck and beat a sprawled Waterloo goaltender Trevor Gorsuch to make it 1-0 Dubuque.

Waterloo would press late in the first period and would carry the pressure into the second period. Henrik Rommel would tie the game for Waterloo only 52 seconds into the period, using Dubuque defender Blake Hillman as a screen and firing a shot over  Nieto’s glove.

The two teams entered the third period deadlocked at one goal aside until Dubuque’s Gordie Green broke the tie at 3:13. Spenser Young made a great play keeping the puck in at the right point and feeding Green. He cut off the right wing boards and beat Gorsuch short side to make it 2-1 Dubuque.

The Black Hawks top line would respond four minutes later with a beautiful passing play that resulted in Tom Novak’s 4th goal of the season. Brock Boeser got the puck from Tyler Sheehy and fed it across to Novak on the left wing. He one-timed a shot past an outstretched Nieto to make it 2-2 at 7:38.

Knierim would respond with the winning tally two minutes later. Brett Boeing left the puck for J.D. Dudek on the left side of the ice. Dudek spun and shot the puck towards Gorsuch, and Knierim, who was parked in front of the net, redirected the puck between the goaltender’s pads to regain the lead for the Fighting Saints.

Nathan Sucese added an empty net goal for Dubuque with 6.6 seconds to play to secure the win. Waterloo outshot Dubuque 33-28 in the loss and fell to 9-16-3. 

The Fighting Saints next game is Friday, January 9 in Sioux Falls. The club is at home next Saturday against Lincoln for Bernie’s Island Luau. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. Dubuque then hosts the 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Tuesday, January 13 in a showcase of the USHL’s 40 brightest stars. Tickets are available for all upcoming games, including the Top Prospects Game, by calling 563.583.6880 or online at DubuqueFIghtingSaints.com.

 

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