The Dubuque Fighting Saints won their first trip out on to the ice ahead of the 2018-19 regular season with a 3-2 victory over Cedar Rapids at The Stable. Dubuque was dominant in periods one and two and held on in period three with a gritty effort from Aaron Randazzo between the pipes. Here’s the bottom line after a great night on the road.
-The second line was the highlight of the night for the Fighting Saints. Riese Gaber, Dylan Jackson and Ty Jackson were noticeable on every shift. Both Jackson twins notched a goal and Gaber was able to get the secondary assist on both. If the three players stay together, they will be a force this season.
-Overall the defense was solid for Dubuque. The team allowed 29 shots on net, but were a perfect four for four on the penalty kill. The defensive effort can improve, but for game one it was a great start for the blue liners.
-The goaltenders were as good as the 2nd line. Maybe even better. Matthew Thiessen stopped every shot he faced on the night before he gave way to Aaron Randazzo. Thiessen stopped 15 shots while Randazzo stopped 12. However, Randazzo faced grade A opportunity after grade A opportunity and was steady to the task.
-Sam Martel was a noticeable force on the ice during this contest. His speed helped the Fighting Saints forwards on the rush and his ability to keep the puck alive in the attacking zone led to a few quality chances.
-Speed, speed, speed. That was the name of the game for the Saints. While the team boasts some bigger players, the majority of the team seems to rely on their speed to create chances. Many times during the game, the Saints were able to use their wheels to get behind the defense of Cedar Rapids and create havoc.
-An unsung hero of the game is Vince Marino. Twice in the last 30 seconds Marino won key draws for the Saints with the Cedar Rapids goalie pulled. He also blocked a shot as time expired. Though he didn’t tally a point, Marino showed up in a big way.
-The Fighting Saints were without two players who will likely be key pieces of the puzzle to the team’s success this season as well. J.D. Greenway and James Sanchez did not play, but figure to see plenty of action soon for Dubuque.
-Every team faces adversity throughout the season, but how about battling through a fire alarm mid-game? It didn’t seem to phase the Fighting Saints at all.
The Saints will be back in action tomorrow night at Our House with puck drop scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Dubuque will take on Cedar Rapids once again as they look to start the preseason off with a win over their in-state rivals. Tickets are still available by calling the box office at 563.583.6880 or by going to DubuqueFightingSaints.com.