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Saints Pregame Primer: Dubuque Starts Their Season At The USHL Fall Classic

By Jack Milewski, 09/27/18, 11:14AM CDT

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Fighting Saints take on the Gamblers and Phantoms to kick off 2018-19

The Dubuque Fighting Saints will begin their regular season at the USHL Fall Classic this weekend. The tournament, which features two games from every team in the USHL, will count towards the regular season for the first time ever. The Fighting Saints will take on the Green Bay Gamblers and Youngstown Phantoms on Saturday the 29th and Sunday the 30th respectively. Dubuque finished the preseason 2-1-0-1 and will be looking to kick start their 2018-19 campaign with a solid first weekend.

-The Saints will feature a few players who are relatively new to the team during their first weekend series. Verners Egle and Chris Lipe, two USHL veterans who have a combined 147 games of USHL experience between them, cracked Dubuque’s 23-man roster.

-The Saints will have a two-headed monster in net this season. With Aaron Randazzo and Matthew Thiessen between the pipes, Dubuque has arguably the strongest 1-2 punch in the league. While there hasn’t been any indication of how the netminders will be deployed, right now it seems the Saints can’t go wrong with either.

-The Fall Classic will be the longest trip -in terms of distance- the Saints complete all year long. Later in October the team will travel to Youngstown, Ohio. Dubuque should be comfortable on the road by the end of October as 10 of their first 12 games will be played away from Mystique Community Ice Center.

-The Fighting Saints will match up against the two teams they faced in the playoffs last season, in the same order. Dubuque beat Green Bay in round one of the playoffs before losing to Youngstown in round two. The Fighting Saints also played Green Bay in the last two games of the preseason this year.

-Last season, despite being marred by injuries, the Saints made the playoffs for an eighth straight season since coming back to Dubuque. They also made it to at least the second round for the sixth time in those eight straight appearances.

-The Fall Classic will showcase Dubuque’s two earliest games of the season. Saturday’s matchup will be at 10 a.m. CT and Sunday’s will be at noon CT.

-The Fighting Saints were ranked 7th in the USHL Preseason Power Rankings.