The Dubuque Fighting Saints picked up their first victory of the season with a thrilling 4-2 over the Youngstown Phantoms on Sunday afternoon. Dubuque rode a three goal third period to their first win of the regular season and their final game of the USHL Fall Classic. The Fighting Saints used great goaltending from Matthew Thiessen and a two goal performance from Derek Contessa to seal the victory. Here are your game notes:
-Contessa was a star in this one. Even before he struck for his first goal he made his presence known with a few crushing blows and a strong forecheck. Contessa notched his first of the season on a wicked wrister from the top of the left circle. Contessa got his second of the game on an empty netter with just over a minute left.
-Thiessen was strong in net with 23 stops on 25 shots. He was beaten cleanly a few times but that was all the netminder let in as he was stellar on first and second chance opportunities during the game. Dubuque leaned on Thiessen to make a few big saves in this game.
-The Fighting Saints picked up where they left on the forecheck and were able to hem the Phantoms in their zone for long stretches of time. The speed and combination of skill and big bodies have led to the forecheck being a real weapon for the Fighting Saints early this season.
-The power play was humming in this one. James Sanchez got things started in the first period with a wicked snap shot on the man advantage. Riese Gaber tallied his second of the season on the power play in the third period with what turned out to be the game winning goal.
-Dubuque looked even better than they did in game one. Obviously the result was a better one first and foremost, but the team looked strong for the entirety of the game. Dubuque carried a lot of positives over from game one in to game two and displayed a good tenacity against a gritty opponent.
The Fighting Saints are back in action Saturday, October 6th at Mystique Community Ice Center. Dubuque will take on the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in their home opener. Before the game the Saints will host their first ever Fan Fest from 4-6. In addition to that, Kids tickets will be offered starting at $5. You can get your tickets for opening night by calling 563.583.6880 or by going to DubuqueFightingSaints.com.