Dubuque Fighting Saints Win Clark Cup, Defeat Green Bay 6-1

Courtesy: Dubuque Fight Saints Hockey

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By Aaron Hepker

DUBUQUE, Iowa - The Dubuque Fighting Saints took the ice Saturday night at the Mystique Community Ice Center against the Green Bay Gamblers for the chance to win the Clark Cup in their inaugural season. After their 4-2 win on Friday night, the Saints needed just one more win in front of their home crowd to claim the USHL’s ultimate prize.

Early in the first period, the Saints and the Gamblers exchanged scoring opportunities. The Saints’ best scoring chance came as Zemgus Girgensons got in alone with the Gamblers’ goaltender Ryan McKay, but Girgensons was denied by the right skate of McKay. The Saints were able to get plenty of traffic in front of McKay, but were unable to find twine in the first twenty, and the period ended with no score for either team.

Just 33 seconds into the second period, the Green Bay Gamblers jumped out to an early lead. But for the second straight night, the Saints found their stride in the second frame. Tyler Lundey tied the game up with the assistance of John Doherty and TJ Moor to wake the home crowd back up. A little over three minutes later, Captain TJ Schlueter gave the Saints their first lead of the night and the Mystique Community Ice Center absolutely erupted. The Saints took that 2-1 advantage into the second intermission.

The Saints utilized the third frame by burying the Green Bay Gamblers. Schlueter padded the lead with his second goal on the powerplay just under two minutes into the third off a Shane Sooth pass that gave Schlueter an empty net to shoot at. Later, John Doherty extended the lead to 4-1, a goal that sent Green Bay into full on panic mode. With about four and a half minutes remaining, McKay was pulled for the extra attacker, and John Gaudreau would find the empty net to make it 5-1 Saints. For good measure, Shane Walsh added one more with 2:48 remaining. As time expired, the crowd and the players erupted. Equipment went flying as the Saints celebrated their championship in their inaugural year.

Matt Morris was named the MVP of the USHL playoffs before TJ Schlueter picked up the mammoth Clark Cup. Each player picked up the trophy, raising it above their heads and kissing it. The crowd at the Mystique Community Ice Center never left its feet as it clapped and cheered for each player.

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