DUBUQUE, IA–One of junior hockey’s top goaltenders is coming to Dubuque. The Dubuque Fighting Saints announced today that they have obtained veteran goaltender Hunter Miska, and that the Minnesota native will play for Dubuque for the upcoming 2015-2016 season. Miska, a former member of Team USA, is coming off a sensational championship season with Penticton of the British Columbia Hockey League where he was named the league’s top goaltender.
"We are thrilled to announce the addition of Hunter Miska," said Jason Lammers, Head Coach and General Manager of the Dubuque Fighting Saints. "The most exciting thing about Hunter is his work ethic and his ability to be not just a guy that plays hockey, but a guy that is a big-time hockey player. His work ethic and abilities are elite, and that will rub off on his teammates. He will help our team, and between him and his goaltending partner, they will make each other better."
Dubuque acquired Miska, a 1995-born netminder who stands at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, from the Fargo Force for a 2016 Phase One 6th Round Draft pick and a 2016 Phase Two 5th Round Draft pick. The Force owned Miska’s rights after previously adding him as a free agent. With the trade, Miska will now join Dubuque this year before advancing to play NCAA Hockey at Minnesota-Duluth.
“I think Dubuque is a great fit, and will really help my development in preparing for college hockey," said Miska. "It's a great organization that has always had strong teams. I know I will be part of a successful team, and help be the backbone of that team, as we push to win a Clark Cup Championship. I loved my time in Penticton, but I was up for a new challenge to push me to be ready to go to college and be a number one goalie at Minnesota-Duluth."
The highly decorated goaltender will join the Fighting Saints after a sensational two seasons with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL. In 2014-2015, Miska went 34-9-3 in 46 appearances, posting a 1.88 goals against average and .923 save percentage, both league bests. He registered five shutouts and was awarded the BCHL’s Top Goaltender Trophy. He and goaltender partner Brendan Barry shared the BCHL’s Wally Forslund Memorial Trophy as the league’s top goaltending duo. This was the second straight year Miska captured the award, sharing the honor with Oliver Mantha in 2014. He was named the Vees team MVP was a BCHL First Team All-Star.
Miska’s success continued into the postseason as he helped lead the Vees to a Fred Page Cup Championship. Miska went 15-6 in the playoffs with a 2.28 goals against average and a .923 save percentage to lead the Vees to the postseason title.
Last season, Miska helped the Vees to another championship win at Western Canada Cup tournament. He was named tournament’s most valuable player and the top goaltender. He allowed just 10 goals in five games and posted one shutout.
He was also strong for the Vees at the RBC Cup, which is held annually to determine the Canadian Junior A National Champion. The Vees fell in the semifinals, but Miska posted a 3-2 record with a 1.85 goals against average and .922 save percentage with one shutout.
In Miska’s first season in Penticton in 2013-2014, the netminder went 19-11-2 in 34 games. His goals against average checked in at 2.26 and he posted a .915 save percentage. He was a BCHL Second Team All-Star.
No stranger to the USHL, Miska skated for Team USA from 2011-2013, appearing in 38 USHL games for the National Team Development Program, going 13-20-2. He played two games for Team USA against Dubuque in the 2012 Clark Cup Playoffs. He also recorded one of the more notable goaltending efforts at the Mystique Community Ice Center in recent years, stopping 47 shots against the eventual Clark Cup Champion Fighting Saints in a 4-3 loss on March 23, 2013.
Miska and the Fighting Saints coaching staff both believe that the goaltender will only continue to improve during his time in Dubuque and that Matt Millar, the club’s Goalie Coach and Director of Hockey Operations, will play a large part.
“I believe Matt Millar is one of the best young goalie mentors in North America,” said Lammers. “I’m excited to watch him work with Hunter and our group.”
“The ability to have a full-time goalie coach will be great and help take me to next level,” Miska said. “Matt Millar is going to make a great impact on my career and I’m excited to work with new Head Coach Jason Lammers and Oliver David."
Miska, who played in the 2012 All-American Prospects Game, comes from a hockey family. His father, Todd, runs Miska Designs, and has painted goalie masks for some of the world’s best goalies, including NHL greats Ed Belfour, Miikka Kiprusoff and Evgeni Nabokov.
Miska and the Fighting Saints open the 2015-2016 season presented by American Trust with preseason action against Cedar Rapids on September 4. A complete schedule is available at DubuqueFightingSaints.com. Group tickets, Party Zones and Party Suites are now available to book by calling 563.583.6880.
DUBUQUE, IA--The Dubuque Fighting Saints officially announced today that Oliver David has been promoted to the role of Associate Head Coach and Assistant General Manager. David, who joined Dubuque in 2013, will see an increase in responsibilities and play a key role on new Head Coach and General Manager Jason Lammers' staff.
"I'm looking forward to being a part of the player procurement process and communicating with our scouting staff and building the future of the Fighting Saints organization to continue the tradition of excellence established in Dubuque," said David. "It's also gratifying to be recognized by our ownership group and to have the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally in this new role."
David served as the top assistant to Matt Shaw over the past two seasons before Shaw's departure in June to join the University of North Dakota. David has helped guide Dubuque to Conference Final playoff appearances in both his seasons behind the bench, and coached the club to a Bronze Medal win at the 2013 Junior Club World Cup in Omsk, Russia.
With the Fighting Saints, David plays a large part in the Dubuque community, speaking at the team's "Live Like A Saint Program" which visited over 20 schools and educated over 7,000 students about character development and hockey last year. He also works with players in the Dubuque Youth Hockey Association through various clinics and camps to help grow the game.
David is also active in USA Hockey's Pacific District, becoming a sought-out speaker, and lends his talents to coaching clinics and certification seminars, in addition to being an evaluator for over 10 years.
A California native, David joined the Fighting Saints from the Kenai River Brown Bears of the North American Hockey League. He was the club's Head Coach from 2010-2013 after serving as Assistant Coach and Interim Head Coach in 2009. He also served as the club's Director of Hockey Operations and sat on the NAHL's Board of Governors. During his tenure in Alaska, David transformed Kenai River into a successful organization, guiding the club to 87-74-17 record, including a franchise best 31-25-4 mark in 2011-2012. Kenai River graduated numerous players to the NCAA ranks under David's watch, with the Brown Bears advancing approximately 10 players per year, one of the league's top marks, to the collegiate ranks.
David broke into coaching in his native California in 2005. From 2005-2009 he coached with many of the state's top programs at every level, winning a USA Hockey National Championship with the California Wave in 2006, and winning District and State titles every year from 2005-2009. He spent time with the California Wave (2005-2007), the Anaheim Jr. Ducks (2006-2007) and the LA Selects (2007-2009).
In addition to David's promotion, Goalie Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Matt Millar will see an increase in responsibilities under Lammers direction and will continue to benefit the organization's goaltenders with daily instruction.
Millar is entering his third season with the Fighting Saints. Prior to his time in Dubuque, Millar was an amateur scout for the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes from 2009-2011 and was a regional scout and goaltending mentor for US National Team Development Program. He also spent time with Sioux Falls Stampede and Omaha Lancers in the USHL, as well as time in Minnesota High School Hockey with Roseau and Hill-Murray.
The 2015-2016 Dubuque Fighting Saints season is just around the corner and we're ready for puck drop. Just like our fans, we here at DubuqueFightingSaints.com are counting the days until the sixth season of Fighting Saints hockey begins. To get prepared for the new year, we are putting together a list of the Top Plays from the 2014-2015 season and WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Now that they have been narrowed down to the Top 5 in each category, we're looking to rank them 1 to 5. Watch the video clips on the right and vote for your favorite play in each category. You may vote once per day.
Hockey is almost here. Get ready for the season and vote today!