Collin Lemay showed no signs of his inexperience, backstopping the Fighting Saints to a 3-0 shutout win over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in his first USHL start. The Quad City Jr. Flames goaltender of the 3HL was called up to Dubuque and promptly won his first start in the USHL.
The first period was a defensive struggle for both the RoughRiders and the Saints. Scoring chances, shots, and certainly goals were hard to come by as both teams’ defensive corps shut down the other sides’ offensive units. The Saints did get on the board late in the first, as Shane Sooth took a puck and sent it in front of the Cedar Rapids goaltender, Matt McNeely, and Max Gardiner redirected the pass into the net to give the Saints a 1-0 lead heading into the second period.
The Fighting Saints were able to throw many more pucks at McNeely in the second frame, as they outshot the RoughRiders 15-7 in that period. The Saints were able to pad their lead late in the frame as Shane Sooth got open with the Saints on the penalty kill. Mike Matheson sent a long lead pass to Sooth, who went in on McNeely 2 on 1 with Tyler Lundey. Sooth passed the puck to Lundey, who sent a shot in on the Cedar Rapids netminder who made the initial save. The puck ended up trickling in anyways, and the Saints would take the 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.
The Saints had plenty of opportunities to add on a third goal in the final period. The best chance came from Gardiner nearly scoring a powerplay goal, but it was waved off as the referee determined that he had kicked the puck in. With 1:25 remaining, the RoughRiders pulled McNeely, and Ryan Siiro added an empty net goal to give the Saints the 3-0 lead and victory.
Saturday’s game was highlighted by two new faces in the Fighting Saints’ lineup. Collin Lemay got his first USHL start in net and the shutout win. This move gave Gabe Antoni, who had played in every single game since Matt Morris went down with an ankle injury nearly a month and a half ago, a well-deserved night off. Lemay stopped all 19 shots that he faced.