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Dubuque's Strong Third Not Enough against Muskegon

February 21, 2020 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Dubuque Fighting Saints News Release

Dubuque's comeback effort fell short on Friday as Muskegon used a three goal second period to beat the Saints 4-3. The loss was the third in a row for Dubuque, the first time that has happened all season. The Saints will look to salvage two points on the weekend as they duke it out with Muskegon again tomorrow.

1st Period:

-Muskegon was strong in the first period, especially below the circles as they controlled zone time against the Saints. Muskegon generated double the scoring chances in the first period and McCarthy had to stand tall in net for the Saints.

-Riese Gaber's 52nd career goal gave the early lead to the Saints. He scored just 1:17 in on the first shot of the game. It was the fifth time Gaber has scored the first goal of the game for Dubuque. Gaber's first period goal was also his 30th of the season.

-Muskegon continued their forecheck pressure after the goal but couldn't solve McCarthy. The Saints also did a solid job of keeping the Lumberjacks to the outside in the attacking zone.

-Muskegon evened the score when Danil Guschin notched his 21st goal of the season on the penalty kill. Guschin skipped a backhander past McCarthy to tie things up heading in to the second period.

2nd Period:

-Both teams traded decent chances to begin the second period. There were only two play stoppages in the first 8 minutes of second period play as the strong pace continued.

-Muskegon grabbed their first lead of the game on a broken play from the point. Cam Berg fired a shot that hit traffic and plopped down on the tape of Alex Gaffney. Gaffney deposited the puck over the glove of McCarthy for his 13th of the season.

-Muskegon exploded in the second half of the period for two more goals, separated by just 58 seconds. Rhett Pitlick secured the third of the game for the Jacks and Gaffney grabbed his second of the contest to extend the advantage.

3rd Period:

-Dubuque struck first in the third as Antonio Venuto grabbed his 14th goal of the season on a power play. Gaber grabbed the primary assist to close the lead to two for Muskegon.

-The Saints crept closer as they pulled within one on Gaber's second of the gane. It was his third point of the night, 31st goal of the season and career point 98 for Gaber.

-Dubuque couldn't muster many grade A chances in the final stages of the period as they failed to score with the goalie pulled.

The Fighting Saints will take on the Lumberjacks for a second time this weekend as they square off at 7:05 tomorrow night. The game will conclude the season series between the two squads. Dubuque finishes the month of February with two home games against Sioux City next Friday and Sioux Falls next Saturday.

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