FARGO, N.D., - The Steel washed the sour taste out of their mouths from a 0-1-1 homestand last weekend with a hard-fought 3-1 win over the Fargo Force on Friday in the first of a back-to-back set in North Dakota.
It was only the Force’s fourth game in the month of October and they were aggressive from the jump. Despite both teams coming up with solid chances to start the game, the netminders took center stage in the first period. Fargo’s Cole Brady, who was selected in the fifth round (127th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils, and Chicago’s Victor Ostman made eight stops in their respective nets to open the contest.
Both teams went 0-for-1 on the power play during the opening frame, as the clock ran out in the first, sending the teams to a scoreless tie at the first intermission.
The goaltending clinic continued in the middle frame as the high-danger chances increased for the non-conference foes. Ostman kept the game scoreless with five minutes gone in the second as he made a left-to-right toe save on Fargo forward Kaden Bohlsen.
The tie was broken when Steel blueliner Owen Power netted his second goal of the season. The play began with Jimmy Dowd Jr. going D-to-D with Power who sent a pass towards Dawson Pasternak on the doorstep. The puck deflected off a Force defenseman and by Brady as the visitors snatched the 1-0 lead at the 9:50 mark of the second period.
Chicago forward Mathieu De St. Phalle extended his career-long point streak to eight games with a highlight-reel goal to double the Chicago lead just a minute and a half before time ran out in the middle frame. Matt Coronato came flying down the right side and put a puck on net that was stopped by Brady initially. Coronato gathered his own rebound and centered it to De St. Phalle who dove to get his stick on it, tucking home his first of the night and putting the Steel ahead 2-0.
The Force wouldn’t go quietly into the night as the club fought back to cut the deficit in half with 14 minutes to play in the third frame. Aaron Grounds roofed a shot past Ostman, netting his third goal of the year.
Chicago was able to halt the momentum from Fargo as they went to the power play at the 13:10 mark in the third, alleviating some of the pressure the home squad was starting to produce.
The score remained 2-1 as the Force pulled Brady to get the extra attacker on the ice with less than two minutes to play in the contest. De St. Phalle capped the game as he pick-pocketed Fargo blueliner Noah Beck and found the empty net with 11 seconds left.
The win was Chicago’s first in Fargo since January 8, 2016 as the Steel pushed their record to 6-2-1-0 (13 pts).
It will be déjà vu all over again as the teams meet again on Saturday night at 7:05 pm at Scheels Arena to close the two-game season series before Chicago returns to Fox Valley Ice Arena for two games next weekend. The homestand starts with a Friday night matchup against the Youngstown Phantoms on Nov. 1, featuring Second Chance Halloween with Candy Exchange. The showdown on Sat., Nov. 2 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.
Sat., Oct. 26 at Fargo Force 7:05 pm
Fri., Nov. 1 vs. Youngstown Phantoms 7:05 pm (Second Chance Halloween with Candy Exchange)
Sat., Nov. 2 vs. Waterloo Black Hawks 7:05 pm (The Simpsons on Ice presented by The Entrepreneur’s Source)
For more information and to purchase Steel tickets, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.