PEORIA — Playing the first of their four "home away from home" games at Carver Arena couldn't get the Central Illinois Flying Aces out of their funk.
Alexander Steeves booked a hat trick and the Dubuque Fighting Saints scored four times in the first period en route to a 6-3 victory, handing the Aces their fourth straight loss after three wins to start the season.
Tyler Madden, Matt Gosiewski and Bradley Marek scored for Central Illinois. Goalie Zach Stejskal made just eight stops on 12 shots before being relieved by Kris Carlson with 5:13 left in the first. The Aces' scuffling power play went scoreless again on three chances.
Steeves got the scoring started on a power play five minutes into the game and Chayse Primeau followed a minute later. Steeves then bagged an unassisted goal and assisted Brendan Bushy's tally that sent Stejskal to the bench.
Madden got Central Illinois on the board with 3½ minutes left in the first and Gosiewski's fourth goal of the season cut the Dubuque advantage to two nine minutes into the second. But Santeri Virtanen scored for Dubuque (3-3-1) late in the middle period to keep Central Illinois at bay.
Marek scored 2½ minutes into the third, and Steeves completed his hat trick two minutes later.
Carlson finished with 20 saves while Cole Weaver earned the win with 23 stops for the Saints.
Central Illinois welcomes Waterloo to Peoria for a 4:07 p.m. faceoff Sunday.