The Dubuque Fighting Saints couldn’t solve Blake Pietila as he stymied Dubuque in a 25 save shutout on Friday night. The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders held Dubuque to 11 shots over the final two periods and Jason Polin scored the game winner on the power play roughly four minutes in to the third period. Cedar Rapids used an empty netter to ice the game with just four seconds left.
-Cedar Rapids won the first meeting between the two teams since October 17th. CR used their suffocating brand of defense to limit opportunities and make life easy on their netminder. When Pietila needed to come up big, he did as well.
-Jason Polin’s power play tally was his ninth of the season and he is now responsible for exactly half of the RoughRiders power play goals. Polin scored on a pretty cross ice feed from the far point and slid the puck past Thiessen along the ice.
-Thiessen was phenomenal for the Fighting Saints despite the loss. He stopped 32 shots and the only puck behind him was scored a man up for CR. Thiessen has had a few tough luck losses this season and this can certainly be chalked up as another.
-With the CR win and a Youngstown win, the Fighting Saints fell another spot in the standings as they sit in 5th in the east. They are tied in points with the RoughRiders at 40 and two points back of Youngstown.
-Dubuque failed to score in a game for the fourth time this season. Despite 14 shots in the first period, the Fighting Saints were unable to put anything past Pietila. Dubuque’s best chances of the game came during period one.
-Defensively, the Fighting Saints had one of their better games in recent memory. Dubuque was suffocating in all three zones and played the RoughRiders physically from the get go. The defensemen were strong on the boards and as a unit played a collective game for Dubuque.
-Cedar Rapids continued their point streak at home, extending it to six-straight with a point at home. The RoughRiders defense has been their calling card and with 104 goals allowed this season they are the 3rd best defensive team in the league.
-The Fighting Saints were given a golden opportunity with just under four minutes to play as Cedar Rapids took their first penalty of the game. However, the RoughRiders did a good job killing it off and Dubuque could only muster a few chances.
-The Fighting Saints return home and return to action tomorrow night against the Fargo Force. Fargo won the first meeting between the teams in November. Dubuque will have a chance to rebound and continue their hot play at home.