WATERLOO, IOWA — The Chicago Steel’s comeback attempt fell short Saturday, dropping a 4-3 decision to the Waterloo Black Hawks at Young Arena. Garrett Wait’s empty-net goal for Waterloo (35-14-2-2, 74 pts.) ended up the game-winner.
Wait put the Black Hawks up 4-2 with 39 seconds remaining, but Chicago (34-13-2-3, 73 pts.) climbed back within a goal when Eduards Tralmaks lit the lamp with 13.9 seconds remaining. Time ran out on the Steel’s rally effort as the team suffered its third one-goal regulation loss of the season.
Waterloo tallied the lone goal of the first period when Emil Ohrvall connected a pass from the goal line to Kevin Charyszyn, who registered his 28th goal of the season, sending a shot past Chicago netminder Ales Stezka at 15:07.
The Steel tied the game midway through the second period when Reggie Lutz picked up his 20th goal of the season, carrying the puck from the right-wing wall to the high slot and slapping a shot past former Chicago goaltender Peter Thome at 9:04.
Waterloo quickly responded to regain the lead just 48 seconds later. Ethan Spaxman’s shot from the left point was deflected wide off the end wall, bouncing to the stick of Black Hawks winger Yuki Miura, who rushed a shot past Stezka’s glove side to give Waterloo a 2-1 lead going into the second intermission.
The Black Hawks took their first two-goal lead of the game when Jackson Cates found an end-wall rebound and buried a shot past the glove side of Stezka at 8:31.
Jack Badini got the Steel back within a goal, registering his team-leading 27th goal of the season with a shot past Thome’s stick side at 12:25.
Chicago pulled Stezka late in favor of an extra attacker, but gave up the empty-net goal to Wait. The Steel, down by a pair, brought Stezka back to the bench, helping Tralmaks score on a quick shot off a right-wing faceoff, but that would be the game’s final tally as the Black Hawks evened the season series, 1-1, with one game remaining (Apr. 4 at Waterloo)
Thome made 22 saves while Stezka had 31. Badini registered a game-high three-point outing for Chicago.
Next weekend, the Steel play three games in three days with matchups against potential USHL playoff teams. Steel will play Friday and Saturday night in Iowa, visiting Dubuque for an Eastern Conference showdown on Friday (7:35 p.m.), and Des Moines (7:05 p.m.) on Saturday before returning home on Sunday, March 26 for a 3:05 p.m. matinee against the Youngstown Phantoms. It’s a Steel Family Pack game – purchase 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 sodas and 4 chuck-a-pucks starting at just $48. Fans are invited to join the entire team on the ice for a post-game Skate with the Steel. For tickets or more information, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.