In front of a season high crowd of 2,772 fans, the Dubuque Fighting Saints played a spirited 60 minutes to secure a victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks. Less than 24 hours removed from a 6-1 defeat, Dubuque was able to flip the script and down Waterloo behind timely scoring and the sparkling play of Aaron Randazzo. Check out how things played out:
-Willie Knierim, a night after sitting in box for 20-plus minutes, was a force for Dubuque. Knierim scored two goals, notched a primary assist and led Dubuque by example in what was his best game of the season. Knierim now has 12 points on the season and five goals after his two tonight.
-Matias Maccelli had one of his better games of the season as well. Maccelli, like Knierim, had three points. The biggest difference in Maccelli’s game tonight was his willingness to play in all three zones. He forechecked hard and made an impact off the score sheet as well.
-All the goals were big, but none were bigger than Logan Pietila’s tally at 9:40 of the third period. Pietila was dynamic, creating chances throughout the night. However, when his team needed him the most, he showed up in a big way on the scoresheet.
-The Fighting Saints showed a lot in this win. It was much more than just a bounce back win, it was a statement that the team can hang with some of the best in the league. The loss was just the second regulation loss of the season for the Waterloo Black Hawks.
-Griffin Ness was spectacular for Waterloo despite the Black Hawks coming out on the wrong end of the score. Ness netted a second period hat trick for the Black Hawks. Ness now has seven goals on the season for Waterloo.
-The Fighting Saints were able to keep the dynamic duo of Matej Blumel and Vladilov Firstov off the score sheet all night. After a spectacular performance in Waterloo, the two were quiet in Dubuque.
-Aaron Randazzo secured his second win of the season with a 30 save effort. Randazzo was at his best when the Fighting Saints needed him the most. Randazzo made three or four saves as the clock ran down to keep Dubuque in the lead.
-Even with the loss, Waterloo is off to a strong start. The Black Hawks are 7-2-3-1 and sit atop the Western Conference after 13 games. With the win, Dubuque scooted themselves in to a tie for third in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Central Illinois Flying Aces who they face twice next weekend.