GENEVA, Ill., - A closely contested battle for 55 minutes saw the Chicago Steel pull away with two late, third-period goals to seal a 3-1 victory over the Madison Capitols at Bob Suter’s Ice Arena on Friday night. Netminder Ian Shane made a season-high 33 saves as he helped the team extend its record to 9-3-1-0 this season.
Coming into the game, the Capitols had allowed 23 goals-against during the opening 20 minutes of play, last in the league, but netminder Simon Latkoczy turned that trend in the different direction for the evening, stopping 15 Chicago shots in the first period.
Ian Shane came up big for Chicago early and often. The Manhattan Beach, Calif., native made 11 saves in the opening frame between the Steel pipes to keep the game scoreless as the teams headed to the first intermission with zeros on the scoreboard.
It wasn’t long into the middle frame that both teams ended their scoring droughts. Forward Matty De St. Phalle was the first to find the back of the net at the 2:04 mark of the second as he gathered a stretch pass from blueliner Jack Babbage and let go a wrister from the right circle, beating Latkoczy to put the Steel ahead 1-0. De St. Phalle became the first Chicago skater to reach double digits in goals this season, as the marker was his 10th of the year.
The Steel weren’t able to enjoy the lead for long as the Capitols came right back just two minutes later. Madison’s captain, Kristoff Papp, beat Shane with a point-bank shot on the power play, his sixth tally of the season.
Just like that, the game was all even and the Capitols looked to continue the momentum in their favor.
Shane had other ideas as he came up clutch in a huge sequence late in the second. The netminder stopped Madison’s leading scorer, Carson Bantle, on a breakaway with just under six minutes remaining in the frame, then fought off a shot attempt from behind the net, losing his goalie stick in the process but never losing his cool, as Sam Colangelo skated the puck out of danger and into the neutral zone.
The final frame began with the teams knotted up at 1-1 and trading chances until Colangelo took over, putting the visitors in front for good.
The Northeastern University commit pick-pocketed Madison defender Jan Stibingr at the red line and flew down the right side, cranking a wrister past Latkoczy’s blocker, off the post and in. The Steel grabbed a 2-1 lead that would soon expand.
Less than 30 seconds later, blueliner Uula Ruikka joined an offensive-zone chance as he picked up a puck in the slot and stuffed home a wrister, extending the lead to two goals with just under five minutes to play.
The team’s two goals in 30 seconds provided the Steel some breathing room and enough of a cushion to put the game out of reach.
Shane continued to shine in net, turning away every Madison shot in the final minutes to seal the victory for Chicago by a 3-1 margin. The goaltender made 33 stops on the night, the most of any Steel netminder this season.
After the 3-1 Chicago victory, both teams travel to Fox Valley Ice Arena for the second game in as many days. Faceoff on Sat., Nov. 9 is set for 7:05 pm as the Steel host 80s Night, an evening of nostalgia, 80s jams and 80s trends for fans in attendance.
Sat., Nov. 9 vs. Madison Capitols 7:05 pm (80s Night)
Sat., Nov. 16 at Sioux City Musketeers 7:05 pm
Sun., Nov. 17 at Sioux City Musketeers 3:05 pm
For more information and to purchase Steel tickets, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.