DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Central Illinois Flying Aces are taken down by the Dubuque Fighting Saints, 6 to 4.
With a little over a minute remaining in the first period, Logan Pietila scored for the Fighting Saints on the power play. He brought the puck into the low slot and snuck it five-hole on his backhand to take the lead.
Early in the second period, Dubuque extended their lead to two after Ty Jackson received a royal road pass from Riese Gaber and buried the puck in the open net on the backdoor.
The Flying Aces got on the board midway through the second on a five-on-three power play. Trevor Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) passed to Philippe Lapointe (Burr Ridge, Ill.) below the goal line. The Michigan commit threaded a pass across the slot to Cal Kiefiuk (Macomb, Mich.) at the low right circle who wristed a shot into the back of the net.
Dubuque restored their two-goal lead late in the second after Jacob Semik cashed in on some tic-tac-toe passing. The Fighting Saints finished the period with a last minute goal from Derek Contessa in the high-slot.
The Fighting Saints scored their fifth goal midway through the third. The goaltender came across to make the initial save on the backdoor, but Bram Scheerer followed up on the rebound to score.
Lapointe scored Central Illinois’s second of the day. Sebastian Dirven (Cornwall, Ont.) shot from the point, and Lapointe corralled the puck and lifted it over the goaltender for his eighth with the Aces.
Contessa tallied his second of the night for Dubuque with a backdoor goal for a final total of six goals for the Fighting Saints.
The Flying Aces continued to fight as the game neared its conclusion. On the power play, the Dubuque goaltender stopped a chance in front of the net, but the puck went back to Ryan Siedem (Madison, N.J.) at the point. Siedem passed to Kiefiuk at the right circle, and Kiefiuk one-timed the puck for his second of the game.
With the Central Illinois net empty, Dirven fired a shot from the point. There was chaos in front of the net, but Bradley Marek (Big Rapids, Mich.) eventually potted the goal from the loose rebound. Joe Dunlap (Windham, N.H.) and Lapointe assisted on the goal. Despite the solid late push, the Flying Aces ran out of time and were unable to complete the comeback with the fourth goal coming with eight seconds remaining.
Next weekend, Central Illinois travels to Lincoln for a two-game series against the Stars on Friday, April 5th, and Saturday, April 6th. Their final home game of the season will be Saturday, April 13th against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders at 7:07 p.m.
For tickets or more information, call the Flying Aces at 309-434-2980 or visit www.flyingaceshockey.com.
ABOUT THE FLYING ACES
Known as the Bloomington Thunder from 2014-17, the newly-rebranded Central Illinois Flying Aces are a member of the top junior hockey league in the United States, the United States Hockey League (USHL). The only Tier I junior hockey league in the country, the USHL has become renowned for developing the next stars of both Division I college hockey and the NHL. The players in the USHL range in age from 16-20 years old, 95 percent of whom will go on to play college hockey at the Division I level. For more information, visit flyingaceshockey.com or ushl.com or download the USHL Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.