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PK unit drives Dubuque to top of USHL

10/24/2013, 11:15am MDT
By Tom Robinson - Special to

A spotless penalty-killing unit has propelled the Dubuque Fighting Saints to the top of the United States Hockey League.

Dubuque killed all 11 opposing power-play situations it faced in two weekend wins to improve to 6-0-0 on the season. The Fighting Saints have made it through all 27 short-handed situations this season and even have a short-handed goal by Seamus Malone for one of his two game-winners.

The Fighting Saints became the last USHL unbeaten when the Omaha Lancers lost Oct. 17. Dubuque then went out and defeated Team USA 4-3 Friday and the Chicago Steel 1-0 Saturday.

Jarrid Privitera scored twice, including the game-winner Friday. Hayden Stewart made 39 saves and Jacob Benson scored the only goal against Chicago. Dubuque has allowed a league-best 1.00 goals per game.

The Fighting Saints took over that lead after the Lancers had their season-opening shutout streak end at 309:41 when the Waterloo Black Hawks’ Zach Sanford scored midway through the first period of a 4-2 win. The Lancers bounced back with two weekend victories.

IMPRESSIVE DEBUT: The first-year Marquette Royals swept three games from the second-place Illiana Blackbirds to increase their winning streak to 14 games and stretch their lead in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League Great Lakes Division.

Drew Jarvis had four goals and three assists in three games to help Marquette improve to 14-2-0-0.

The Royales have the league’s top four scorers, including Lane King, who is first with 38 points and 32 assists, and Dallas McLaughlin, who has a league-high 19 goals.

WINNING STREAKS: The Eastern Hockey League Northern Division’s top two teams are both on winning streaks.

The New Hampshire Junior Monarchs have won seven straight to improve to 11-2-0-0 while the Northern Cyclones have won five straight to improve to 7-1-0-0.

New Hampshire leads the league in power-play percentage at 30.7 percent and is allowing a league low 2.00 goals per game. Shawn Nelson, Payton Baldillez and Eric Berglund have combined for more than 4.5 points per game.

The Cyclones lead the league offensively with 6.88 goals per game. Kevin Valenti, Chris Zuccaro and Dalton Carter are the top three in the league individually in points per game.

The Philadelphia Junior Flyers have won four straight following a 1-3 start after Jonathan Ruiz scored the game-winners on the power play in a pair of low-scoring weekend contests. He connected with 1:07 left for a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Little Flyers on Sunday.

COLLEGE COMMITMENTS: Evan Okeley, a forward for the North American Hockey League’s Wichita Falls Wildcats, has committed to the Air Force Academy, beginning the fall of 2015. The 18-year-old from Carmel, Ind. has four assists in nine games for the South Division leaders.

John DeRoche, a forward on the 16U Junior Bruins and the United States Premier Hockey League’s leading scorer, has committed to Quinnipiac University. DeRoche has 20 goals and 23 assists to help the team to a 20-5-1 overall record. He is a 15-year-old from Lynnfield, Mass.

ONE-TIMERS: Eric Brenk scored with 10 seconds left in regulation Friday to lift the Brookings Blizzard to its first win of the NAHL season, 2-1 over the Bismarck Bobcats. … The Flint Generals improved the NA3HL’s best record to 11-0-1 in the league’s only game Wednesday night with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Toledo Cherokee after Toledo’s Aaron Callan extended the game with 51 saves. … The Bellingham Blazers ended the West Sound Warriors’ perfect Northern Pacific League start at seven games with a 5-3 win Sunday.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Tag(s): News & Features