GENEVA, ILL., - The Steel were locked in a high-tempo back-and-forth battle with Team USA on Saturday night, salvaging a point in the standings but falling 5-4 in overtime.
Team USA came to town looking to reverse a five-game slide as they began the opening frame. Both teams were held in check until Dylan Duke struck for the visitors, taking a 1-0 lead after 13:56 of scoreless play in the first.
With less than a minute remaining, it looked like Chicago was going to head to the locker room empty-handed but Steel forward Sean Farrell changed that.
The Steel extended their power-play goal streak to five straight games with their first marker of the evening as Tyler Carpenter found Owen Power in the left circle who dished it to Farrell, letting go a wrister that got a piece of Team USA netminder Kaidan Mbereko and trickled in to tie the game.
Team USA forward Jack Hughes led a 1-man rush to finish the frame and followed up his shot, netting his first goal of the season with just two seconds left in the first period. It took a video review of more than five minutes to overturn a no-goal call on the ice.
In a wild opening stanza that saw 14 total penalty minutes and two goals in the last 25 seconds of the frame, Team USA came out of the first 20 minutes with a 2-1 edge.
It didn’t take long into the middle frame for the Steel to even the odds. Defenseman Jack Babbage joined Dawson Pasternak on an odd-man rush, popping the back of the net for his first marker in a Steel sweater.
Chicago feel behind just five minutes later as Dylan Duke got his second of the night, cutting in on Chicago netminder Ian Shane to take a 3-2 lead.
Once again, it was the Steel fighting back from a one-goal deficit. This time it was Matt Coronato who took a drop pass from Pasternak all the way from the blueline in, powering his way to the front of the net and tucking home his second of the season.
The third period began all squared up at three before Chicago took the lead for the first time in the game. Matty De St. Phalle took advantage of a power play, rocketing home a one-timer from a Gunnarwolfe Fontaine setup, snatching a 4-3 edge for the home squad.
Less than a minute after the power-play tally, Team USA answered in the form of Ty Gallagher. The defenseman scored his second of the year to bring the game, once again, back to a dead heat.
Just short of a minute into the overtime 3-on-3 period, Luke Hughes played the hero for the visiting team as his wrap-around attempt just barely snuck by Chicago netminder Ian Shane to finish the contest.
Chicago head Coach Greg Moore was asked about the first tough stretch his team has faced this year.
“I think it’s important that they speak up, they hear each other talk, guide a conversation, they learn from these kind of games. I think they know that the effort wasn’t good enough tonight. The details weren’t good enough,” said Moore.
De St. Phalle, the veteran forward, has been though stretches before and knows how to get the team back to a good mental state.
“There’s definitely something called a snowball effect, especially in this league. I think the biggest thing we can do is, like I said, just kind of reset, take this off day tomorrow and reset and think about things,” mentioned De St. Phalle.
The overtime loss was Chicago’s first defeat in extra time, dropping their record to 5-2-1-0 (11 pts).
Chicago travels to Fargo for a back-to-back set with the Force on Friday and Saturday before returning home for a two-game set, starting with a Friday night matchup against the Youngstown Phantoms on Nov. 1, featuring Second Chance Halloween with Candy Exchange. Saturday’s showdown against the Waterloo Black Hawks includes The Simpsons on Ice presented by the Entrepreneur’s Source as well as the first Topgolf Family Pack game and the chance to Skate with the Steel following the matchup.
Fri., Oct. 25 at Fargo Force 7:05 pm
Sat., Oct. 26 at Fargo Force 7:05 pm
Fri., Nov. 1 vs. Youngstown Phantoms 7:05 pm (Second Chance Halloween with Candy Exchange)
For more information and to purchase Steel tickets, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.