Dubuque Fighting Saints

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This article is about the current Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL established in 2010. For the former team of the same name that played from 1980 to 2001, see: Dubuque Fighting Saints (1980–2001).
Dubuque Fighting Saints
Dubuque Fighting Saints Logo.svg
City Dubuque, Iowa
League USHL
Conference East
Founded 2010
Home arena Mystique Community Ice Center
Colors Red & White
Owner(s) Northern Lights Hockey, LLC (Brad Kwong, managing partner)
General manager Kalle Larsson (2017–18)
Head coach Oliver David (2017–18)
Media Telegraph Herald, KIYX, KCRG-TV, KWWL, KGAN
Franchise history
2010–present Dubuque Fighting Saints
Regular season titles Anderson Cup
1 (2012–13)
Conference Championships 3 (2010–11, 2012–13,
Playoff championships Clark Cup
2 (2010–11, 2012–13)

The Dubuque Fighting Saints are a Tier I junior ice hockey team playing in the United States Hockey League (USHL) and are based in the city of Dubuque, Iowa, on the banks of the Mississippi River at the border intersects of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Home games are played at the Mystique Community Ice Center (capacity: 3,079). Home and away games are broadcast live on KIYX, with Jordan Kuhns handling play-by-play with select games televised locally each season on KCRG-TV channel 9.2.


The original Dubuque Fighting Saints played at the multi-purpose Dubuque Five Flags Center arena situated in downtown Dubuque from 1980 to 2001. In the early years of the franchise the Saints enjoyed much success with a number of championship seasons. In later years, the team struggled on the ice and crowds in the stands decreased putting the team into some financial trouble. During the 2000–01 season, team owner/GM/coach Brain Gallagher announced plans to relocate the team following the season to Tulsa, Oklahoma to play as the Tulsa Crude. In their first and only season in Tulsa, Gallagher's team would finish last in the league (12-43-6) and failed to generate the necessary fan support, and the franchise ceased operations.

To replace the hockey void in Dubuque, the Fighting Saints were replaced in the 2001–02 season by the Dubuque Thunderbirds in the Tier III Minnesota Junior Hockey League and later the Central States Hockey League. The Thunderbirds would prove to be a success and would win league championships in 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2009 while setting league attendance records along the way.

In the fall of 2009, construction began on the new Mystique Community Ice Center. Around that same time several former hockey teammates from Harvard formed Northern Lights Hockey, LLC. which included former team captain, Brad Kwong; Philip Falcone (part owner of NHL's Minnesota Wild); Peter Chiarelli (past GM of the NHL's Boston Bruins/current GM of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers); and former University of Denver player Mark Falcone (board member of the NHL's Minnesota Wild). The purpose of their group was to assemble and develop plans to obtain ownership of an USHL expansion team, announcing in late 2009 their intentions to bring USHL hockey back to Dubuque. The new team replaced the successful Dubuque Thunderbirds in 2010. After completion of voting from local hockey fans, it was revealed that the "Fighting Saints" moniker would once again represent Dubuque in the USHL.[1]


In their first year back in the USHL, the Saints would inaugurate the brand new Mystique Community Ice Center with Dubuque native Brooks Bertsch scoring the first goal. The expansion Fighting Saints had a successful season compiling a 37–14–9 record and taking first place in the Western Conference.[2] The Saints would earn a 9–2 playoff record, defeating the Fargo Force 3-games-to-0 in the quarterfinals, Sioux Falls Stampede 3-games-to-1 in the semifinals, and defeating the defending Clark Cup Champion Green Bay Gamblers 3-games-to-1 in the best-of-five USHL Clark Cup championship series.[3] Saints LW Rookie Johnny Gaudreau was recognized as the USHL Rookie of the Year and Jim Montgomery was recognized as the USHL General Manager of the Year.


After an off-season conference realignment by the USHL, the Saints were moved to the Eastern Conference. The defending champions would finish in third place with a 36–20–4 record and claim the inaugural "Cowbell Cup".[4] They would go on to win the opening best-of-three qualifying round of the playoffs 2-games-to-0 over Team USA. The Saints were then swept in the best-of-five quarterfinals by the Indiana Ice.[5]


The Fighting Saints would roll through the season with a 45–11–8 record, finishing first in the Eastern Conference and the overall league leaders, securing their first Anderson Cup regular season championship since the former Saints in the 1982–83 season, and repeat as Cowbell Cup champions.[6] After securing a bye for the qualifying round, the Saints skated to a 3-games-to-0 quarterfinals win over the Muskegon Lumberjacks. The Youngstown Phantoms took Dubuque to a decisive game 5 in the Clark Cup Semifinals, with the Saints advancing with the win. In the Clark Cup Finals, the Saints would seal the championship with a win on the road, taking down the Fargo Force 3-games-to-0.[7] Dan Lehv was recognized as the USHL Executive of the Year and Jim Montgomery was once again recognized as the USHL General Manager of the Year. Montgomery had served as the team's head coach and general manager from 2010 through the end of the 2013 season. In May 2013, Matt Shaw was hired as head coach and GM to replace Montgomery who was hired as head coach of the University of Denver Pioneers.


Prior to the start of the season, first-year coach Shaw and the Saints were invited to play in the Junior Club World Cup in Omsk, Russia finishing with the bronze medal. Returning home, the defending champions skated to a 33-23-4 regular season record, finishing third in the Eastern Conference[8] and qualifying for the postseason for the fourth time in four years.[9] Prior to the start of the season, the USHL reduced the number of playoff teams from each conference from 6 to 4, eliminating the opening qualifying round. In the playoffs, the Saints would face-off in the quarterfinals against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders for the first time and would win the series 3-games-to-1. The Saints were then swept out of the semifinals by the eventual Clark Cup Champion Indiana Ice, 3-games-to-0.[10]


The Saints finished the regular season in third place in the Eastern Conference with a 36–19–5 record.[11] For the fifth straight year since returning to the USHL, they qualified for the Clark Cup playoffs, extending the longest active playoff streak in the league. The Saints also claimed their third "Cowbell Cup" in the Prairie Farms Cowbell Cup Series over Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. The playoff quarterfinals pitted the Saints in a 2014 quarterfinals rematch against rival Cedar Rapids, a team that Dubuque had aa 6-2 regular season record against. Dubuque would sweep Cedar Rapids 3-games-to-0 in the best-of-five series to move on. The best-of-five semifinals pitted Dubuque against the Muskegon Lumberjacks. In a back and forth five-game series with neither team notching back-to-back wins, Muskegon would prevail in game 5 by holding off a late game rally for the 3-4 win and take the series.[12] Following the season, head coach Matt Shaw announced that he would be leaving the Saints after accepting a position as an assistant coach at the University of North Dakota


The Saints under direction of first year coach Jason Lammers, would wrap up the 2015–16 regular season in third place in the Eastern Conference (39-19-1-1). For the sixth straight year, the Saints qualified for a spot in the Clark Cup playoffs, further extending the longest active playoff streak in the league. Each of the four Eastern Conference playoff teams finished the season with better records than all teams in the Western Conference, gaining the eventual Eastern Conference champions a guaranteed home-ice advantage in the finals. In the quarterfinals, the Saints would close out a 3-games-to-1 series win against the second seeded Green Bay Gamblers. In the Eastern Conference finals, Dubuque took the first of a back and forth series against the Bloomington Thunder and took the series to game five at home in Dubuque, prevailing in a 3-0 shutout to earn a spot and home-ice advantage in the Clark Cup finals. Even with the home-ice advantage, the Fighting Saints would be swept in three games in the finals by the Tri-City Storm. Following the season, Saints net-minder Hunter Miska was recognized by USA Hockey as the Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year.[13]


The Saints finished the 2016–17 regular season in second place in the Eastern Conference (36-17-5-2) with forward Zach Solow garnering the USHL regular season scoring title. The Saints qualified for a spot in the Clark Cup playoffs a seventh straight year continuing the longest active playoff streak in the league. In the quarterfinals, the Saints faced the third seeded Muskegon Lumberjacks in a series with both teams almost statistically identical.[14] Dubuque would skate to a 3-games-to-1 series win. The Saints faced off against top seeded Chicago in the Conference Finals. After splitting the first two games on the road, the Saints would be stopped in both games at home, dropping the series 3-games-to-1. Second year coach Jason Lammers announced that he would be accepting the head coaching position at Niagara University at the conclusion of the season.[15] After leading the league in scoring, Saints forward Zach Solow was bestowed the Dave Tyler National Junior Player of the Year, the first Dubuque player to receive the honor.[16]


The Fighting Saints team colors are red and white and a secondary color silver. Their main logo is a Gothic style D with a sword piercing the D and a halo on the top.

Season records[edit]

Season GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA PIM Regular Season Results Clark Cup Playoff Results Playoff Record Trophies
2010–11 60 37 14 9 -- 83 195 152 961 1st, Western Conference Quarterfinals (W) 3-0 vs Fargo
Semifinals (W) 3-1 vs Sioux Falls
Clark Cup Finals (W) 3-1 vs Green Bay
9 - 2 Clark Cup
2011–12 60 36 20 4 -- 76 189 169 940 3rd, Eastern Conference Qualifying round (W) 2-0 vs Team USA
Quarterfinals (L) 0-3 vs Indiana
2 - 3 Cowbell Cup
2012–13 64 45 11 8 -- 98 247 154 1055 1st, Eastern Conference;
League Champions
Quarterfinals (W) 3-0 vs Muskegon
Semifinals (W) 3-2 vs Youngstown
Clark Cup Finals (W) 3-0 vs Fargo
9 - 2 Clark Cup, Anderson Cup,
Cowbell Cup
2013–14 60 33 23 4 -- 70 201 186 957 3rd, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (W) 3-1 vs Cedar Rapids
Semifinals (L) 0-3 vs Indiana
3 - 4
2014–15 60 36 19 5 -- 77 207 167 1327 3rd, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (W) 3-0 vs Cedar Rapids
Semifinals (L) 2-3 vs Muskegon
5 - 3 Cowbell Cup
2015–16 60 39 19 1 1 80 209 159 1082 3rd, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (W) 3-1 vs Green Bay
Semifinals (W) 3-2 vs Bloomington
Clark Cup Finals (L) 0-3 vs Tri-City
6 - 6 Eastern Conference Champions
2016–17 60 36 17 5 2 79 201 163 1038 2nd, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (W) 3-1 vs Muskegon
Semifinals (L) 1-3 vs Chicago
4 - 4

Cowbell Cup Champions[edit]

Started in 2011–12 season and sponsored by Prairie Farms, the Cowbell Cup is awarded to the highest finisher in the "Cowbell Cup Regular Season Series" between the eastern Iowa USHL rivals; Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Dubuque Fighting Saints, and Waterloo Blackhawks. At the start of the 2015–16 season, Dupaco Community Credit Union became the primary sponsor of the renamed "Dupaco Cowbell Cup". The Fighting Saints have won the Cowbell Cup in the following seasons:

  • 2011–12
  • 2012–13
  • 2014–15

Head coaches[edit]

Jim Montgomery (2010–13): Assembling the new Fighting Saints was placed on shoulders of the new coach and general manager, Jim Montgomery. Montgomery was a standout at the University of Maine (301 points, 103 goals, 198 assists over 170 games) captaining 1992–93 NCAA Champions and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award before playing over a decade in the NHL. During Montgomery's three-year tenure at the helm, his teams was 118–45–21 in the regular season and 20–7 in three trips to the postseason winning two Clark Cup playoff championships and one Anderson Cup regular season championship. Montgomery was twice awarded the USHL's General Manager of the Year award. After three successful seasons with the Fighting Saints, Montgomery was hired to fill the head coaching position at the University of Denver Pioneers.

Matt Shaw (2013–15): Came to Dubuque with 20 years of coaching experience including several coaching positions from 2007 to 2012 in the NHL. In his two seasons with the Saints, Shaw would guide the team to back-to-back Clark Cup semifinals appearances, with a 69–42–9 regular season record and notching an 8–7 playoff record. Shaw accepted a position as an assistant coach at the University of North Dakota following the 2014–15 season.

Jason Lammers (2015–17): Arrived with 15 years of coaching experience after previously working in assistant and associate coaching positions at UMass Lowell, making four NCAA tournament appearances and advancing once to the Frozen Four. Prior to UMass, Shaw was an assistant coach at Colorado College and Ohio State. After two seasons, Lammers' Fighting Saints teams compiled a 75–36–9 record, reaching the conference finals twice and advancing once to the Clark Cup finals. During the 2017 Clark Cup playoffs it was announced that coach Lammers would be filling the head coaching position at Niagara University following the season.[17]

Oliver David (2017–present):[18] A former assistant coach for the Fighting Saints under Shaw and Lammers, David was most recently an assistant with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.

Alumni in the NHL[edit]

"Saints For Life"
Dubuque Fighting Saints Logo.svg

DubuqueFightingSaints.com Alumni

Johnny Gaudreau (2010–11) - Selected as the Calgary Flames' fourth-round, 104th overall, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. "Johnny Hockey" was a member of the Boston College Eagles 2012 NCAA National Championship team, a finalist for the 2013 Hobey Baker Award, and the winner of the 2014 Hobey Baker Award as the top National Collegiate Athletic Association men's hockey player. He made his NHL debut with the Flames in the final game of the 2013–14 NHL season, scoring a goal in his first game. Selected as a rookie to play in the 2015 NHL All Star Game where he registered an assist. Johnny was a 2015 Calder Memorial Trophy finalist, finishing 3rd for the NHL rookie of the year award. Johnny has been selected as an NHL All Star on Team Pacific in 2016 and 2017.[19]

Zemgus Girgensons (2010–11, 2011–12) - Selected as the Buffalo Sabres' first-round selection, 14th overall, in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut with the Sabres during the 2013–14 NHL season, scoring a goal in his first game and becoming the first former Saint to play in the NHL since its return as a franchise. Zemgus was a member of Latvia's 2014 Olympic Men's Hockey Team held in Sochi, Russia. Zemgus was the first place vote-getter for the 2015 NHL All Star Game.[20]

Michael Matheson (2011–12) - Selected as the Florida Panthers' first-round selection, 23rd overall, in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. After three seasons at Boston College, Matheson, a defenseman and team captain, signed with the Panthers and played with their AHL affiliate before making his NHL debut on February 20 of the 2015–16 NHL season.[21]

Matthew Benning (2012–13) - Selected by the Boston Bruins in the sixth-round, 175th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. After four seasons at Northeastern University, the defenseman signed an entry level contract with the Edmonton Oilers and made his NHL debut against the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 1, 2016.


As of January 27, 2017.[22]

# S/P/C Player Pos Ht Wt DoB Hometown Previous team College commitment
2 Finland Tiuraniemi, Veli-MattiVeli-Matti Tiuraniemi D 6' 0" 182 lb 1997-06-17 Pietarsaari, Finland Kärpät U20 (Nuorten SM-liiga) Miami
4 Ontario Kudla, PatrickPatrick Kudla D 6' 3" 180 lb 1996-04-02 Guelph, Ontario Oakville (OJHL) Arizona State
6 Texas Baum, JeffJeff Baum (A) D 5' 10" 183 lb 1996-06-17 Dallas, Texas Wichita Falls (NAHL) Providence
7 Michigan Semik, JacobJacob Semik D 6' 0" 164 lb 2000-03-10 Canton, Michigan Compuware U16 (Midget AAA) Michigan
9 Minnesota Staum, CaseyCasey Staum D 5' 11" 181 lb 1998-01-08 Falcon Heights, Minnesota Hill-Murray (USHS–MN) Omaha
10 Arizona Boyle, MichaelMichael Boyle D 6' 2" 214 lb 1997-09-16 Phoenix, Arizona Sioux City (USHL) Denver
11 Minnesota Brierley, TaylorTaylor Brierley (A) D 5' 10" 180 lb 1996-07-31 East Grand Forks, Minnesota Cedar Rapids (USHL) Union
12 Minnesota Brumm, DavidDavid Brumm F 6' 1" 175 lb 1997-08-17 Maple Grove, Minnesota Vancouver (WHL) None
13 Michigan Theisen, ColinColin Theisen (A) F 6' 0" 194 lb 1997-04-24 Monroe, Michigan Coulee Region (NAHL) None
14 California Hamacher, JacobJacob Hamacher F 5' 8" 168 lb 1997-04-20 Corona, California Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (NAHL) RIT
16 Michigan Preston, QuinnQuinn Preston F 5' 10" 179 lb 1997-10-21 Trenton, Michigan Topeka (NAHL) None
18 Minnesota Bushy, BrendanBrendan Bushy D 6' 2" 210 lb 1998-08-23 Thief River Falls, Minnesota Thief River Falls (USHS–MN) St. Cloud State
19 California Guttman, ColeCole Guttman (A) F 5' 10" 167 lb 1999-04-06 Los Angeles, California Los Angeles Jr. Kings U16 (Midget AAA) St. Cloud State
20 Minnesota Gerads, DallasDallas Gerads (C) F 5' 10" 199 lb 1996-06-01 Blaine, Minnesota Rio Grande Valley (NAHL) Minnesota State
21 New Hampshire Steeves, AlexAlex Steeves F 5' 10" 165 lb 1999-12-10 Bedford, New Hampshire Sioux City (USHL) Notre Dame
24 Virginia Cavanagh, RegenRegen Cavanagh F 5' 10" 174 lb 1997-02-01 Chesapeake, Virginia Corpus Christi (NAHL) None
25 Indiana Corbett, ScottScott Corbett F 6' 1" 187 lb 1998-04-14 Carmel, Indiana Coulee Region (NAHL) None
26 Missouri Rueschhoff, AustinAustin Rueschhoff F 6' 7" 237 lb 1997-09-07 Wentzville, Missouri Austin (NAHL) None
27 Michigan Suthers, KeenanKeenan Suthers F 6' 8" 220 lb 1998-04-27 Macomb, Michigan Muskegon (USHL) St. Lawrence
28 Florida Solow, ZachZach Solow F 5' 10" 184 lb 1998-11-06 Naples, Florida Janesville (NAHL) Northeastern
29 Switzerland Holdener, MakaiMakai Holdener F 6' 0" 161 lb 1997-05-03 Geneva, Switzerland EHC Biel (NLA) None
30 Illinois Fear, EvanEvan Fear G 6' 2" 184 lb 1999-07-05 Winnetka, Illinois Springfield (NAHL) None
40 Arizona Castor, JaxonJaxon Castor G 6' 3" 191 lb 1997-03-14 Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix Jr. Coyotes U18 (Midget AAA) Arizona State


  1. ^ "Dubuque Fighting Saints Team History". Dubuque Fighting Saints. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  2. ^ http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/standings.html?leagueid=49&seasonid=5967
  3. ^ http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/brackets.html?leagueid=49&seasonid=6932
  4. ^ http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/standings.html?leagueid=49&seasonid=7561
  5. ^ http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/brackets.html?leagueid=49&seasonid=8558
  6. ^ http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/standings.html?leagueid=49&seasonid=9358
  7. ^ http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/brackets.html?leagueid=49&seasonid=10673
  8. ^ http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/standings.html?leagueid=49&seasonid=11221
  9. ^ http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/standings.html?leagueid=49&seasonid=11221
  10. ^ http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/brackets.html?leagueid=49&seasonid=12634
  11. ^ http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/standings.html?leagueid=49&seasonid=12983
  12. ^ http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/brackets.html?leagueid=49&seasonid=14225
  13. ^ http://www.usahockey.com/news_article/show/651467-2016-usa-hockey-annual-award-winners-announced
  14. ^ http://www.ushl.com/view/#/team-stats?standingsType=division&context=overall&specialTeams=false&season=58&sortKey=points&league=1&league_code=USHL
  15. ^ http://www.dubuquefightingsaints.com/news_article/show/784606?referrer_id=1289232
  16. ^ http://www.usahockey.com/news_article/show/795888?referrer_id=752796
  17. ^ http://www.ncaa.com/news/icehockey-men/article/2017-04-24/college-hockey-niagara-tabs-jason-lammers-third-head-coach
  18. ^ "Oliver David Named Head Coach of Dubuque Fighting Saints". USHL. May 31, 2017. 
  19. ^ https://www.nhl.com/flames/news/gaudreau-named-2017-nhl-all-star/c-285520884
  20. ^ http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=746923
  21. ^ http://panthers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=870169
  22. ^ "2016–17 Dubuque Fighting Saints". Dubuque Fighting Saints. Retrieved January 27, 2017. 

External links[edit]