Historic Upsets and Wins: Memorable Moments in Dubuque Fighting Saints History

Dubuque Fighting Saints

The world of hockey is filled with exhilarating moments, with unexpected wins and heartbreaking upsets that leave fans on the edge of their seats. The Dubuque Fighting Saints, a junior ice hockey team based in Dubuque, Iowa, have had their fair share of historic moments throughout their long and illustrious history. From stunning upsets to impressive wins, the Dubuque Fighting Saints have captured the hearts of their fans and solidified their place in the world of hockey.

It’s hard to discuss the Dubuque Fighting Saints without first mentioning the team’s rich history. The team began as the Dubuque Thunderbirds in 1980, with players ranging from the ages of 16 to 20. The Dubuque Thunderbirds joined the United States Hockey League (USHL) in 1980 and quickly made their mark. In their inaugural season, the team won their division and made it to the league championship series, where they ultimately fell to the Waterloo Black Hawks.

However, it wasn’t until the team was renamed the Dubuque Fighting Saints in 1984 that they truly made their mark on the league. The new team name paid homage to the original Dubuque Fighting Saints, a professional hockey team that previously resided in the city from 1980 to 1983. With a new name and renewed spirits, the Dubuque Fighting Saints were ready to take on the USHL and become a dominant force in the league.

One of the most memorable moments in Dubuque Fighting Saints history was their upset victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks in the 1992-1993 season. The Black Hawks had been the reigning USHL champions for three years in a row, and the Dubuque Fighting Saints were seen as the underdogs in the series. However, the Fighting Saints refused to back down and played with an intensity and determination that shocked both their fans and their opponents. In an exhilarating series, the Dubuque Fighting Saints defeated the powerhouse Black Hawks in a 3-1 victory, earning their first ever USHL championship.

In the 2006-2007 season, the Dubuque Fighting Saints once again made history by becoming the first team in the USHL to have two players drafted in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft. Ryan McDonagh was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens at number 12, and Nick Petrecki was drafted by the San Jose Sharks at number 28. The Dubuque Fighting Saints had proven themselves to be a breeding ground for talented players, paving the way for future success in the league.

The 2010-2011 season, also known as the Year of the Saints, was another memorable moment in Dubuque Fighting Saints history. Led by head coach Jim Montgomery, the Saints had one of the most successful seasons in team history, breaking multiple league records and finishing with a staggering 45-11-8 record. The team went on to win both the Anderson Cup (awarded to the regular season champion) and the Clark Cup (awarded to the playoff champion) in dominating fashion. This historic season solidified the Dubuque Fighting Saints as a powerhouse in the USHL.

Another notable moment in Dubuque Fighting Saints history came in the 2018-2019 season, when the team faced off against the Chicago Steel in the Clark Cup Finals. The series was a back-and-forth battle, with both teams winning two games apiece. In the fifth and deciding game, the Dubuque Fighting Saints found themselves down 2-0 late in the third period. However, with their season on the line, the Fighting Saints rallied with two goals in the last five minutes of the game to force overtime. In a thrilling overtime period, forward Quinn Preston scored the game-winning goal, solidifying the Dubuque Fighting Saints as Clark Cup champions once again.

Throughout their storied history, the Dubuque Fighting Saints have provided their fans with countless unforgettable moments on the ice. From historic upsets to impressive wins, the Fighting Saints have proven time and time again that they are a force to be reckoned with in the world of hockey. As the team continues to grow and evolve, fans can only imagine the future historic moments that the Dubuque Fighting Saints will provide.


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