Saints Give Thanks Early With Win Over Chicago

Courtesy: Dubuque Fighting Saints

DUBUQUE, IA—Sometime statistics don't lie. The league's best penalty kill was successful ten times against the league's worst powerplay as the Dubuque Fighting Saints pulled away from the Chicago Steel, earning a 6-2 win Wednesday Night at the Mystique Community Ice Center. Chicago, ranked last on the powerplay in the USHL, went 0/10 on the man-advantage while Dubuque was 3-for-9 and also tallied a shorthanded goal in a penalty filled game.
Seamus Malone has "wowed" Dubuque fans with his impressive puck skills over the last season, but Wednesday night he took things up a notch. With Dubuque on a powerplay in the opening period, Malone notched his fifth goal of the season. The future Wisconsin Badger got the puck on the right-wing sideboards. With a man in front, Malone looked pass, and goaltender Chris Nell took the bait. As Nell started to slide to his right, Malone, appearing to have the puck on a string, deked right around Nell and tucked the puck past the goaltender's glove to make it 1-0 Fighting Saints at 4:07. Malone's goal was assisted by Robby Darrar and Alexx Privitera.
The Steel tied the game six minutes later on a goal credited to Nate Kwiecinski. With Danny Fetzer in front, a shot found its way through the pads of Dubuque goaltender Hayden Stewart to tie the game at one.
Dubuque responded at the 18:08 mark of the first period on a shorthanded goal by Brett Boeing. Dylan Gambrell rushed the puck down the right wing and sent a pass to Boeing in the slot. The puck was in the forward's skates as his stick was tied up. Eventually after fanning on a shot, Boeing got control of the puck and chipped it over Nell to make it 2-1 Dubuque.
Penalties were the story in the second period. The teams were whistled for 14 penalties in the game's middle frame. Nine infractions were on the home team, however it was Dubuque tallying the lone special teams goal of the period. Only 3:48 into the period Gambrell scored a five-on-three powerplay goal to make it 3-1. Alexx Privitera, the game's first star, fed Gambrell with a beautiful pass and the team's leading scorer one-timed a shot home from the left wing to put Dubuque up 3-1.
Chicago had numerous powerplay chances and five-on-three advantages, but despite this, could not score in the middle frame and were outshot 10-6.
The third period saw the Steel make things interesting. Dubuque goaltender Stewart, making his first start at home of the season, had been strong all night long, but a C.J. Smith shot from a bad angle somehow found its way through the goaltender to cut Dubuque's lead to 3-2 at 11:56.
However just a minute and a half later, Dubuque regained its two goal lead. Karson Kuhlman blasted an Alexx Privitera pass into the net for his team leading seventh goal of the season to give Dubuque at 4-2 lead at 13:16. Privitera picked up his third assist of the game, and Darrar also notched an assist on the powerplay goal.
Dubuque would send the crowd of 2,712 home on a happy note by adding a pair of late goals. Max McHugh scored from center ice into the empty net to give Dubuque a 5-2 lead at 18:51. Just 30 seconds later, Eric Robinson fired a Jason Ford pass into the back of the net for his second goal of the season to give Dubuque a 6-2 win, and give Fighting Saints fans something else to be thankful for prior to Thanksgiving Day.
The Fighting Saints outshot the Steel 35-21 on the evening and improved to 9-0-0 at home, and 13-4-1 on the season. Dubuque has won all four contests versus the Steel this season.
The Fighting Saints players will celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow with their billet families before hitting the road for Sioux Falls Thursday afternoon. The Fighting Saints play the Stampede Friday night before heading to Fargo for a rematch of the 2013 Clark Cup Final on Saturday.
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