Dubuque Fighting Saints Home Opener Brings In-State Rival To Town
Tonight, your Dubuque Fighting Saints kick it into high gear for our regular season home opener presented by ImOn Communications and the Q Casino! It looks to be a thrilling and brutal affair, as in-state rivals the Waterloo Blackhawks make the trip to Dubuque and the newly coined ImOn Arena. By the way, there are some awesome prizes to win!
Your Saints are on quite the run as well, across 6 games (including the USHL Pre-Season) your Saints have put away 32 goals! That's quite the haul and are so far undefeated in regular play only "losing" in overtime to team USA during the Fall Classic in Pennsylvania. OT games lost still earn the Saints a point and are considered a regulation play tie.
Even better your home for Dubuque Fighting Saints Hockey action, Eagle 102.3, will be on hand to get the party started. Join me, Tom Drake, as we gather our local saints and hold those Halos' High. Our broadcast starts at 4:30pm and leads directly into Josh Starr's pre-game show before the puck drops at 7:05pm. Can't cheer on the Saints in person; tune into Eagle 102.3 or stream us for all the action! This match holds serious bragging rights implications as well, since it is the first Dupaco Cowbell Cup matchup of the season. Last year the Saints walked away with the in-state rivalry trophy and look to defend that title yet again on their path to the USHL Clark Cup Playoffs and Championship series.
Lets Break Down Tonight's Big Match-up against the Waterloo Blackhawks as the Saints look at 5 key points:
Dubuque's Depth looks excellent so far. On their way to tying the USA NTDP for most goals scored at the Fall Classic in Pittsburgh with 13, the Saints had 18 of their 22 skaters record a point. Dubuque had eleven different goal scorers in the two games and erupted for eight goals in an 8-3 win against Muskegon on Sunday.
"When you can score and your secondary guys are the ones that contribute, that's a really good sign."
-Kirk MacDonald, Saints Head Coach
Dubuque's big debut on an increasingly amazing stage. The Saints open up their home schedule on Friday against Waterloo at ImOn Arena. It will be the first game played with the arena's new name. The new name is not the only Dubuque debut early this season. Dubuque native Andrew King scored in his USHL debut on Saturday for his hometown Fighting Saints. The Saints also had five other players record their first-career USHL goals at the Fall Classic. In addition, more changes are on the way as big developments including a video wall are still incoming, not to mention the new merchandise store opening to the public tonight.
Specialty Saints; it's all about the power! The Saints' power play went 3-for-9 in the opening weekend, led by Seamus Powell's three power-play points. He scored the first goal of the season on the power-play and assisted on two more. Liam Gilmartin and Chase LaPinta joined him with a pair of power-play assists last weekend, while Erik Påhlsson scored his first-career goal on the power play. Dubuque's penalty kill shut down USA's power play in all five chances on Saturday and killed off 10 of 11 penalties over the weekend. The Saints scored a short-handed goal as well against Muskegon as Josh Giuliani tallied his first USHL goal.
He shoots, he scores! After being held off the scoresheet on Saturday against USA, the Saints top-two returning scorers responded in an emphatic way. Jake Sondreal and James Reeder combined for five points in Sunday's win against Muskegon. Sondreal scored his first of the year and added two more assists in the onslaught against the Lumberjacks, while Reeder scored a goal and an assist.
Will Waterloo be a threat? Rivalry match-ups are always hard because both teams will definitely be up for it. However, Waterloo scored just three goals in the opening weekend at the Fall Classic and had just five players record a point. All three goals the Black Hawks managed came in the third period in their first two games. Goaltender Jack Spicer played both contests for Waterloo in Pittsburgh. He stopped 55 of the 56 shots he faced in two games against Fargo and Madison.