Fighting Five: Saints Host Stars for First Time Since 2019

December 1, 2023 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Dubuque Fighting Saints News Release

DUBUQUE, IA - The Dubuque Fighting Saints (14-4-1-2, 31 pts) host the Lincoln Stars (5-13-0-2, 12 pts) on Saturday night at ImOn Arena.

Here are five things to know ahead of the matchup:

1. Teddy Bear Toss

Saturday night is the Fighting Saints' annual Teddy Bear Toss game. Presented by Cardinal Logistics, fans will throw teddy bears on the ice after the Saints' first goal of the game.

All teddy bears collected will be donated to Toys for Tots after the game. Saints' forward Teddy Merrill has four goals and eight points in his first USHL season.

2. Long Time, No See

Saturday will be the first meeting in Dubuque between the Saints and the Stars since a 5-1 Dubuque win on Nov. 16, 2019. Riese Gaber scored twice in the win, while Erik Portillo stopped 19 of 20 shots. Ty and Dylan Jackson each had a goal and an assist in the win as well.

Overall, it will be the first meeting between these two teams since Jan. 25, 2020. That game was played in Lincoln and was a 4-2 win for the Stars.

3. About Last Night

For just the third time all season, the Saints were held under four goals on Friday night. However, their lone goal in a 2-1 loss to Des Moines on the road was their 100th tally of the season. The goal was Lucas St. Louis' fifth of the year with Joona Väisänen and Juraj Pekarcik getting assists.

Lincoln trounced Cedar Rapids on Friday night with a 5-1 win on the road. Goaltender Lucas Massie recorded his first win of the year, while Lincoln's leading scorer Jared Mangan scored twice for his 8th and 9th goals of the season.

4. Short Memory

Friday night was the Saints seventh overall loss of the season through 21 games and just their fourth in regulation. The Fighting Saints have been able to rebound after all of the previous six losses to earn at least a point in their next game.

Dubuque is 5-0-0-1 after a loss this season, with their only back-to-back losses coming on Nov. 4 at Sioux City and Nov. 10 in a shootout against Youngstown.

5. Star Gazing

Goaltender Yan Shostak leads the way for Lincoln, recording a .901 save percentage through 11 games played. At the other end of the ice, the Stars have struggled to score goals. Prior to their last three games, the Stars scored more than three goals just once all season. That came in a 4-1 win over Youngstown on Oct. 14.

In their last three games, the Stars have put together a seven-goal night against Sioux Falls and a five-goal game against Cedar Rapids. The latter of those came on Friday night.

Lincoln has won two of its last three after an 11-game skid that began after the win on Oct. 14.

Saturday's puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CST. Tickets can be purchased here. The game can be heard on Eagle 102.3 and seen on FloHockey.

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