The Gamblers fell in a close home opener against the Dubuque Fighting Saints. In a game that featured seven different goal scorers, the final score was 4-3.
Dubuque struck first with a goal through Juraj Pejarcik who scored at 14:17 in the first period. The Slovakia native split the Gambler defenders for a shot on goal that was saved by fellow Slovakia native Adam Gajan, the rebound fell into the path of Pejarcik who put it in the four hole for a 1-0 lead. The Fighting Saints outshot the Gamblers 10-9 in the first.
Dubuque was able to score again quickly in the second period to double their lead through Michael Barron. The Fighting Saints strung a couple of passes together with Joona Vaisanen sending the puck across to Josh Giuliani, who sent the puck right in front of the crease for Barron to put it away at the 4:13. The Gamblers dominated the rest of the period, as they outshot Dubuque 14-5, but were unable to find the back of the net.
In an action packed third period, the Gamblers finally found the back of the net through Ben Poitras at the 8:14 to make it a 2-1 game. The Ontario native put the puck in the roof of the net to score off a rebound and score his second goal of the season. The Gamblers were dealt another blow less than a minute later when Gavin Cornforth received a pass in front of the crease, deked Gajan, and passed to Erik Pahlsson, who scored at the 9:04 to restore the Fighting Saints two goal lead. The Gamblers scored less than a minute after that through Luke Baker. Baker received the puck at the point and fired a rocket into the three hole at the 10:14 to cut the deficit to one. With the game now 3-2, both teams fought hard for the next goal. Knowing that it would be crucial for the outcome of the game. The Fighting Saints were the ones to take advantage of their chances when Cornforth scored at the 12:26 on a powerplay. The Boston native found himself all alone for an easy goal after Chase LaPinta fired a pass across the ice to seal a Dubuque victory. The Gamblers were later able to add a consolation goal through James Duerr at the 14:46 to end the scoring at 4-3. Dubuque outshot Green Bay 16-11 in the final period.
Overall Green Bay outshot Dubuque 34-31, while Dubuque were more clinical on powerplays going 1-4, while Green Bay went 0-3.
First: Gavin Cornforth – 1 goal, 1 assist
Second: Kevin Reidler – 31 saves
Third: Ben Poitras – 1 goal