Dubuque Fighting Saints Take Tough OT Losses Away From Home
The Dubuque Fighting Saints were looking at the USHL’s longest winning streak at five games, when they arrived at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan this past weekend. Their grit, determination, and fighting spirit led them on 2 great comebacks that unfortunately both fell just short Friday and Saturday in back-to-back overtimes.
Against the U17 National Development Team, Dubuque started down two goals in the opening 6:11. Turnovers and loose play burned the Saints in those opening ten minutes and twice more in the second period. Twice, the Saints were able to cut the USA lead to a goal at 2-1 and then 3-2 in the second period, with goals from James Reeder and Max Montes. Dubuque continued to press in the third period and finished the chances they created. Jaden Jubenvill made it a one-goal game for the third time Friday night followed by a Michael Burchill goal to tie the game at 4-4 and force overtime. Team USA’s U17s scored shortly into overtime and closed out the game 5-4.
Unfortunately the same can be said of the Saturday night match-up against the USA U18s. The Dubuque Fighting Saints found a way again to force overtime before ultimately falling 4-3 in overtime. A scoreless and tightly contested first period led to an exciting battle of wills, but team USA were ahead 2-0 with just 4 minutes left in the 2nd. Here’s where the Saints roared back to life, Brayden Morrison cut it to a one goal game, followed by Montes scoring his second of the weekend to tie the game at 2-2 going into the third period. Team USA’s Gabe Perault continued his fine form picking up his 3rd assist of the evening to make it 3-2. That’s when Saints Head Coach Kirk MacDonald pulled goalie Marcus Brännman with two minutes left and Nils Juntorp scored to force overtime for the second straight night. Unfortunately, that was again the extent of the comeback with Team USA’s Will Staring scoring his hat-trick on the evening and ending the game at 4-3.
The Dubuque Fighting Saints picked up a point for the seventh consecutive game and can now turn their attention to a three-game weekend with the first two matches at home. Thursday night, the Saints take on the Waterloo Black Hawks, followed by Friday nights match-up against the Green Bay Gamblers. Then the Saints follow Green Bay home for a match on Saturday night. Puck drops at 7:05 pm each night this week. Tune in for the pre-game report with Blake Theisen, before the live hockey action at 6:45 each evening on Eagle 102.3.