GENEVA, ILLINOIS — The Chicago Steel scored two third period goals to force overtime, but Team USA escaped with a 5-4 win Saturday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Steel (30-19-1-0, 61 pts.) goaltender Reilly Herbst made a save on a penalty shot in overtime but Team USA (24-17-2-4, 54 pts.) found the winner with 20 seconds remaining in the extra frame.
The scoring started early as Team USA and Chicago exchanged a pair of goals just 36 seconds apart less than four minutes into Friday’s action. Team USA forward Landon Slaggert picked up his fourth goal of the season as he tucked a sneaky five-hole shot past Herbst.
Steel defenseman Owen Power answered right back to level the score as his wrist shot from the high slot found room pas the glove of Team USA netminder Noah Grannan. Power’s eighth of the season came on a feed from left wing Robert Mastrosimone who extended his point streak to four games (3-2-5).
Team USA struck for the next two goals to open up a 3-1 lead midway through the frame on goals from forwards Tanner Latsch and Chase Yoder.
Chicago answered back less than two minutes after Team USA made it 3-1 as center Nick Abruzzese struck for his 22nd goal of the season. The Harvard commit snuck a wrist shot through the five-hole after a setup pass from right wing Mathieu De St. Phalle sprung Abruzzese on a two-on-one. Both players extended point streaks on the play as Abruzzese’s was stretched to four games (2-4-6) and De St. Phalle’s moved to three (1-3-4).
Each team was held off the scoreboard for nearly 20 minutes until Team USA extended its lead to 4-2 with 12:32 gone in the second on a wrist shot from forward Hunter Strand.
Chicago struck twice in the first 91 seconds of the third period to tie the game 4-4. De St. Phalle struck first as he took advantage of a misplay by Team USA goaltender Drew Commesso who missed his man with the pass and found De St. Phalle instead for the easy goal.
Following the goal, the first line of left wing Neil Shea, De St. Phalle and Abruzzese stayed on the ice and had a brilliant shift that ended with Abruzzese’s second goal of the night. Moments after a point shot from Steel defenseman Owen Power appeared to trickle past the goal line, fellow defenseman Jimmy Dowd kept the puck in and Abruzzese pounded home a wraparound to tie the game.
Chicago and Team USA remained tied after 60 minutes and played a thrilling overtime that began with the Steel on the powerplay for the first 1:04 of the extra frame. Herbst was called upon midway through overtime to make a save on the first penalty shot of the season for a Steel opponent, poking the puck off of forward Thomas Bordeleau’s stick as he made a move on net.
Team USA eventually registered the overtime winner on the stick of defenseman Eamon Powell who stripped a Chicago skater of the puck at his own blue line before skating into the offensive zone two-on-none, sending a wrist shot past the glove of Herbst.
The Steel are back in action next weekend with another pair of 7:05 p.m. puck drops on Friday and Saturday night. Friday is Irish Night as the Steel celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Weekend with a matchup against the Youngstown Phantoms. Friday is a Raising Cane’s Kids Day as kids 12 and under can receive a Red Zone ticket, Steel drawstring backpack and Raising Cane’s kids combo card all for just $10. Chicago heads back to the ice Saturday for GAF Powerplay for Students: A Night to Benefit Geneva Schools presented by FONA International. The Steel will wear custom gray and black jerseys during the contest that will be bid on while Chicago and the Dubuque Fighting Saints square off on the ice. Auction proceeds will benefit the Geneva Academic Foundation.
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.