GENEVA, ILLINOIS — The Chicago Steel climbed out of an early two-goal hole Saturday night and turned the deficit into a 5-3 win over the Dubuque Fighting Saints at Fox Valley Ice Arena. While Steel forwards Josiah Slavin (2-0-2) and Robert Mastrosimone (1-2-3) lit up the ice, defending champion dachshund Monty kept his crown as he beat out 20-other wiener dogs in the team’s 2nd Annual Wiener Dog Races. Chicago (30-17-1-0, 61 pts.) avenged its Friday night loss to Dubuque (22-19-3-4, 46 pts.) in the back half of a home-and-home matchup.
Saturday’s game got out to a fast start with five combined goals in the first period. Dubuque opened the scoring with a pair of goals in the first four minutes on a pair of two-on-one conversions.
Steel goaltender Justin Robbins came up big minutes later as he made a net-front save to keep the Steel within a pair of goals. Chicago used the momentum to its advantage and scored to cut the Dubuque lead to 2-1 midway through the opening frame. The goal came off the stick of leading Steel goal-scorer Robert Mastrosimone for his 23rd of the season and second in as many games. The Boston University commit collected a pass from right wing Neil Shea and circled to the slot where he unleashed a wrist shot that beat Fighting Saints goaltender Matthew Thiessen.
Chicago nearly tied the game just seconds later as center Cole Quisenberry had a chance that trickled wide. The teams went on to trade goals in the final five minutes of the game as Dubuque’s forward Matias Maccelli scored his team-leading 24th goal of the season to give his team a 3-1 lead. However, Chicago’s Josiah Slavin struck on the powerplay with 45 seconds left in the first period to pull the Steel within one goal at the end of the first period.
The Steel used the crowd’s excitement from the second-annual Wiener Dog Races during the first intermission to tie the game early in the second. The equalizer came off the stick of Shea, his second point of the night. The winger was sprung on a breakaway from defenseman John Spetz’s clearing pass off the side boards. Shea then raced into the zone, beating out a Dubuque defenseman, and roofed a backhand shot over a sprawling Thiessen.
Both teams had opportunities to break the 3-3 tie, but Thiessen and Robbins both made key stops to keep the game tied going into the third period. Thiessen made a sliding save on Chicago right wing Mathieu De St. Phalle midway through the frame with the Steel on the powerplay. Robbins then made a trio of crucial saves in the waning minutes of the second period.
Chicago’s game-winning goal came early in the third as Slavin picked up his second powerplay goal of the night after finishing off a four-man passing play that started with Gunnarwolfe Fontaine and then touched the sticks of Mastrosimone and center Nick Abruzzese on its way to Slavin.
Dubuque pulled Thiessen for the extra attacker late in the third, but a tenacious play by De St. Phalle sprung left wing Josh Groll for the empty net goal to seal the win. Robbins finished the game with 20 saves and Thiessen turned aside 19 of the 23 he faced.
The Steel are at home the next two weekends in a stretch of five-straight games at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Next weekend features LEGOLAND Night on Friday, March 8 for a 7:05 game against the Sioux Falls Stampede. The contest is a Raising Cane’s Kids Day –kids 12 and under can receive a red zone ticket, Steel drawstring backpack and Raising Cane’s kids combo card for just $10. Fans are invited to put on their favorite onesies on Saturday night for The Pajama Game, a 7:05 p.m. puck drop against Team USA U-17. Saturday is a Steel Family Pack Game with four tickets, hot dogs, sodas and chuck-a-pucks available starting at just $48. The Family Pack must be purchased in advance and is not available on the day of the game.
Tickets for all Steel home games are on sale now starting at just $10 and stadium seating on the glass is available for just $20. Parking is always free.
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.