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 Dubuque Fighting Saints

Saints Hold on for Game 2 Win and Take 2-0 Series Lead

April 30, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Dubuque Fighting Saints News Release


DUBUQUE, IA - The Dubuque Fighting Saints held on after a late push by the Muskegon Lumberjacks to take Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals 4-3 on Monday night and take a 2-0 series lead.

Leading 1-0 just past the midway point of the first period, Erik Påhlsson skated around the Muskegon net while his teammates changed lines. Påhlsson's only option was to fire off a backhanded shot and it beat Shikhabudtin Gadzhiev over the glove. The goal put the Saints ahead 2-0 just 25 seconds before Beckett Hendrickson found Jayden Jubenvill on a rush to make it 3-0.

Noah Powell added to the Saints' lead 1:27 into the second period to put the Saints ahead by four. James Reeder recorded his second assist of the night on Powell's goal. After that, however, Muskegon pulled Gadzhiev for Miles Roberts who made 18 saves on 18 shots the rest of the game. The Jacks got on the board with Bauer Berry shortly after Powell's tally. Then, David Klee scored in the final five minutes of the second to cut the Saints' lead in half into the third.

The Lumberjacks added another at 7:20 of the third to make it a one-goal game. Dubuque held on throughout the Muskegon push in the third. With 2:20 left, Ryan Koering took an interference penalty. The Jacks pulled Roberts to make it 5-on-5, but the Saints held on for the win.

Juraj Pekarcik started the scoring for the Saints just 2:22 into the opening period. Påhlsson logged an assist for his first of two points in the win. Luke Malboeuf added an assist as well to put the Saints ahead 1-0.

The Pekarcik, Påhlsson, Hendrickson line was productive again for the Fighting Saints after nine combined points in the Youngstown series. That line combined for four points in Monday's Game 2 win.

Kevin Reidler helped the Saints to their fifth-straight playoff victory with 20 saves on 23 shots in the victory.

After Game 1 had no penalties called, there were eight combined power plays in Game 2. The Saints had five and Muskegon had three, but both teams' penalty kills held the other off the board.

The teams meet in Muskegon on Thursday for Game 3 with the Saints leading the best-of-five series 2-0.


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