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

Red & White

Owner(s) Northern Lights Hockey, LLC (Brad Kwong, managing partner)
General manager Jason Lammers (2015-16)
Head coach Jason Lammers (2015-16)
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 2 (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). Located 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 Zack Fisch 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 the heart of downtown Dubuque from 1980 to 2001. In the early years of the franchise the Saints enjoyed much success, posting a number of memorable championship seasons. In later years, the team struggled on the ice and crowds in the stands began to dwindle, putting the team into some financial trouble. During the 2001 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 new 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 a USHL expansion team, announcing in late 2009 their intentions to bring USHL hockey back to Dubuque. The new team replaced the extremely 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 and playing in the brand new Mystique Community Ice Center, the expansion Fighting Saints had a highly successful season compiling an impressive 37-14-9 record and taking first place in the Western Conference.[2] The Saints would go on to 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 win the 2011 USHL Clark Cup, defeating the defending Clark Cup Champion Green Bay Gamblers 3-games-to-1 in the best-of-five finals.[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 a repeat 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 opening quarterfinal round against the rival Cedar Rapids RoughRiders for the first time and would win the series 3-games-to-1. The Saints were then swept out of the playoff 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 first round Clark Cup Quarterfinals pitted the Saints in a 2014 quarterfinals rematch against rival Cedar Rapids, a strong team that Dubuque completed an impressive 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 semi-finals would pit 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 controversial game 5 by holding off a late game rally for the 3-4 win and take the series.[12] Following the season, on Jun 24, 2015 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


Season in Progress


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 PTS GF GA PIM Regular Season Results 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

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

Professional staff[edit]

Hockey Operations Staff

• Jason Lammers, Head Coach / General Manager
• Oliver David, Assistant Coach
• Kalle Larsson, Director of Player Personnel
• Matt Millar, Goalie Coach / Director of Hockey Operations.
• Sean Murdoch, Athletic Trainer
• Trevor Heinzerling, Equipment Manager
• Jim Romagna, Strength and Conditioning Coach
• Patti Schwartz, Housing Coordinator
• JoAnne Gibson, Education Coordinator

Front Office Staff

• (vacant) , President
• Matt Rau, Vice President Business Operations
• Katie Kenne, Director of Sales and Marketing
• Jordan Kuhns, Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations
• Casey Weitz, Manager of Promotions, Merchandise & Community Partnerships
• Bill Snook, Sales and Community Relations Representative
• Eric Prohaska, Video Specialist
• Chris Fleischmann & Elizabeth Peterson, Account Executives
• Julie Conklin, Business Manager

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 team was 118-45-21 in the regular season and 20-7 in 3 trips to the postseason winning 2 Clark Cup Playoff Championships and 1 Anderson Cup Regular Season Championship. Montgomery was twice awarded the USHL's General Manager of the Year Award. After 3 incredibly successful seasons in which the Dubuque Fighting Saints stormed back into the USHL, Coach 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 2007–12 in the NHL. In his two seasons with the Saints, Coach 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. Coach Shaw accepting a position as an Assistant Coach at the University of North Dakota following the 2014-15 season.

Jason Lammers (2015–Present) - Comes to Dubuque with 15 years of coaching experience. Previously working in assistant and associate coaching positions at UMass Lowell, making 4 NCAA tournament appearances advancing once to the Frozen Four. Prior to UMass he was an assistant coach at Colorado College and Ohio State.

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 2012 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 to play in the 2015 NHL All Star Game where he registered an assist. Johnny was a a 2015 Calder Memorial Trophy finalist, finishing 3rd for the NHL rookie of the year award.

Zemgus Girgensons (2010–11, 2012–13) - 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.[13]


External links[edit]