Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Fighting Saints used a powerplay attack to neutralize the Waterloo Black Hawks in front of a sellout crowd of 3,274 at the Mystique Community Ice Center on Friday night.
The Fighting Saints struck early on in the first period, with Max Gardiner redirecting a Shane Sooth feed from the right corner past Stephon Williams to make the score 1-0. Eric Freschi picked up the secondary assist on the goal. The Black Hawks answered back late in the period. Vince Hinostroza drove behind the net, stopped hard along the goal line, and sent a crisp backhand pass across the ice to Aaron Pearce in the right circle. Pearce one-timed the puck into the back of the net, tying the game at one.
In the second frame, the Fighting Saints put their powerplay to work. With Dubuque on a 5-on-3 man advantage, Mike Matheson was the first to capitalize for Dubuque. Mike Downing sent the puck from the right point to Milos Bubela in the left circle. Bubela sent a touch pass to Matheson in the slot, who hammered home a blast to give Dubuque the lead. On the ensuing 5-on-4 powerplay, Sooth set up Tyler Lundey in the slot for a rocket shot that gave Dubuque the 3-1 advantage. Downing picked up a secondary assist on that goal as well.
Late in the second period, with Waterloo on the powerplay, Pearce capitalized on a netfront scramble to cut the Dubuque lead to 3-2. Neither team would score in the third period, and the Fighting Saints withstood a Waterloo extra attacker in the final minute of the game to take the 3-2 lead. With Indiana's loss in Muskegon, the Fighting Saints moved ahead of the Ice for second place in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Fighting Saints will take on the Youngstown Phantoms tomorrow night at 7:05 in Dubuque. It will be a crucial Eastern Conference matchup for both teams. The Fighting Saints will hit the road next weekend, travelling to Green Bay and Chicago for games.