DURHAM DOMINATES IN SAINTS SHUTOUT OF RIDERS
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - With a shutout streak already at 74 minutes and 14 seconds, following a shutout effort by teammate Cole Weaver, goaltender James Durham would not be outdone in his debut. In his first start in the USHL, he made 32 saves for the Dubuque Fighting Saints en route to a 3-0 win over the rival Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
Durham was routinely spectacular in his Saints debut, with stop after stop on grade-A Cedar Rapids chances. The Riders' attack got stronger as the game went along, as they outshot the Saints 12-7 in the third period. While under conventional wisdom, that would be taking advantage of a team on tired legs with the Saints in the midst of their third game in three nights, Durham never wavered.
The game-winning goal took just 37 seconds to score. Following a turnover in the defensive zone, Quinn Preston turned and rifled a shot towards the Cedar Rapids net, and goaltender Blake Pietila couldn't handle the opportunity. Chayse Primeau crashed the post and buried the opportunity at the side of the net to put the Saints up 1-0.
The offense did not relent in the second period, as the 14-shot onslaught created scoring chances for the Saints. Jan Kern created a nifty zone entry, and as Josh Maniscalco funneled the puck to the net, Pietila's rebound slid right to Kern's stick, who buried the goal. It was his sixth of the season, and it ended a 10-game goal drought.
Durham held the fort in the third period for the Saints, who held the lead into the latter stages of the third period. Deep in the offensive zone, Preston was knocked down to the ice by Marc McLaughlin, leading to a penalty against the Riders. Once the dust settled, and Pietila on the bench for the extra attacker to put the game at 5-on-5, Alex Steeves' bid to the empty net was blocked, and while falling to the ice, Scott Corbett knocked the puck home to extend the lead to 3-0.
The Saints' shutout streak now stands at 134 minutes and 14 seconds, dating back to the third period of Thursday's game in Madison.
The road trip continues for Dubuque as they travel to Plymouth, Michigan to take on the NTDP U17s on Friday, January 26, and then head to Youngstown to take on the Phantoms for a back-to-back set on January 27 and 28.
About the Dubuque Fighting Saints: The Fighting Saints returned to USHL play in the brand new Mystique Community Ice Center during the 2010-11 season, winning the Clark Cup in their first year back in the USHL. The Fighting Saints continued their success with a historic season in 2012 - 13, finishing with a franchise best 45 - 11â=80=908 record. The team claimed the Anderson Cup as the USHL's regular season champions for the first time in 30 years, and also earned the Clark Cup for second time in three seasons. In August 2013, the team took the Bronze Medal while representing the United States at the Junior Club World Cup in Omsk, Russia. The Fighting Saints have reached the Clark Cup Final three times in the past seven seasons, and has made it to the Clark Cup Playoffs for seven consecutive seasons. The club has produced a number of players that moved on to NCAA Division I hockey and have been drafted by NHL teams, including Zemgus Girgensons, Johnny Gaudreau, Mike Matheson and Matt Benning. The original Fighting Saints competed in the USHL for 21 seasons (1980-2001). The club won the Clark Cup as playoff champions on three occasions (1981, 1983, 1985) under head coach Jack Barzee. One of the most well-known alumni of the original Fighting Saints was Gary Suter, a 17â=80=90year NHL veteran, two-time Olympian, Stanley Cup champion, and member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
About Northern Lights Hockey, LLC: Northern Lights Hockey, LLC is the company that owns and operates the USHL franchise in Dubuque, Iowa. The owners of Northern Lights Hockey, LLC collectively provide an extensive background in both business and hockey, and represent interests on a national and local level. Philip Falcone, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of HC2 Holdings, Inc. and former part owner of the NHL's Minnesota Wild, is the company's principal owner. The ownership group also includes Peter Chiarelli, Edmonton Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, Mark Falcone, and Brad Kwong, Managing Partner of Northern Lights Hockey, LLC. Philip Falcone, Chiarelli and Kwong all played hockey together at Harvard University in the mid-1980s. The group also includes local Iowan partners Mark Falb and David S. Field, M.D. Falb currently serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Westmark Enterprises, Inc. and Kendall / Hunt Publishing Company. Dr. Field has practiced orthopedic surgery for over 30 years and has been the driving force behind hockey in Dubuque. Dr. Field also owned the Dubuque Thunderbirds, the USA Hockey Tier III team that competed in the Central States Hockey League through the 2009-10 season.
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