Weaver Posts First Career Shutout as Saints
GREEN BAY, Wis. - In a place where the Green Bay Gamblers had lost only three times prior, once to the Dubuque Fighting Saints, the Saints added to that total. Dubuque scored a goal in each period, and received a 24-save performance from goaltender Cole Weaver for his first career USHL shutout in a 3-0 win on Friday night at the Resch Center.
Weaver and the defense kept things steady throughout the game. A late push by Green Bay proved fruitless, as he made eight saves in the third period to keep the Gamblers off the board. The win was Weaver's eighth, and his first career shutout.
It did not take long for the Fighting Saints' offense to come through. An intentional wide shot by defenseman Josh Maniscalco bounded heavily off the boards and right to the clutches of Santeri Virtanen, who scored his second goal in as many games. The goal came at the 4:46 mark.
Early in the second period, the Gamblers had an opportunity to battle back with a 5-on-3 power play opportunity for 30 seconds, but it was the Saints' penalty kill that came through. Following that penalty, the Fighting Saints were given an opportunity to strike back against a nearly impenetrable Gamblers penalty kill, which had only allowed two power play goals against them all season at home.
Cue Quinn Preston. A quick passing play at the point between Maniscalco and Preston found the forward at the top of the right circle at the 4:20 mark, where he dented the twine for the third power play scored against the Gamblers at the Resch Center.
Adam Tisdale added one more goal for the Fighting Saints, a deflection of a shot in the high slot taken by Aidan Fulp at the blue line that bested Maksim Zhukov to put the Saints up by three with just six and a half minutes to go.
Virtanen and Maniscalco posted multi-point efforts in the game for the Saints in the victory.
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 90-year 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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