DUBUQUE, Iowa — On short rest following a loss in Omaha the night before, the Dubuque Fighting Saints took the lead in the first period on goals from Scott Corbett and Logan Pietila and never looked back. The Saints defeated the Central Illinois Flying Aces 4-1 on Saturday night at a packed Mystique Community Ice Center.
The Flying Aces responded in kind to the Fighting Saints’ first salvo within just 14 seconds, but that was not enough to deter the Saints on this night. Quinn Preston, in his return to the lineup due to illness, took off on an Aces turnover and fed a sweet pass across to Corbett for the goal to open the scoring.
Calen Kiefiuk, off of the ensuing faceoff, went the distance. Set on a beat down the left wing from Steven Agriogianis, Kiefiuk buried his opportunity for his tenth of the season, and, even though he was quiet on the goal sheet, he put forth several grade-A opportunities, all stymied by Cole Weaver.
The power play, which did not get a chance a night ago, got one early in the first period, and made do. A one-timer from Santeri Virtanen found its way to the net, where Pietila bagged the rebound to give the Saints a 2-1 lead at the 7:10 mark of the first period.
Weaver led the way for the Saints in goal, picking up the victory by making 19 saves and by buoying the team in moments of defensive breakdown. A few key sequences kept the Flying Aces off the trail, and by keeping them at a deficit while the Saints’ offense continued to work.
Josh Maniscalco put the finishing touches on the insurance goal for the Fighting Saints in his 100th USHL game. The veteran defenseman capitalized on a turnover forced by Chayse Primeau in the offensive zone, and snapped a shot through Ryan Snowden to put the home team up by a pair of goals in the second period.
The Saints had never lost in regulation when leading after two periods of play heading into the game, and that trend continued. Tonight marked the eleventh win in that situation. Dubuque also wildly outshot the opposition 37-20, including a 15-4 mark in the third period, even with a two-goal lead in tow. The Fighting Saints won three of the four meetings with the Flying Aces, and picked up points in all four meetings this season.
Dubuque is back in action with a three-in-three next weekend, beginning with College Night against the Madison Capitols next Friday at 7:05 p.m. For tickets, go to DubuqueFightingSaints.com, or call the box office at 563.583.6880.