GENEVA, ILLINOIS — For the first time in history, the Chicago Steel will play a game on an outdoor rink when the USHL-leading Steel (21-4-1-0, 43 pts) take on the Eastern Conference rival Green Bay Gamblers (11-10-1-3, 26 pts) at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas on Fri., Jan. 3 at 5:00 p.m..
The inaugural USHL Frosty Cup includes a game between the Steel and Green Bay on Thurs., Jan. 2 at Comerica Center in Frisco, Tex., at 7:30 p.m. Following the Thursday matchup, the teams head to the same site used for the 2020 NHL Winter Classic between the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars that took place on New Year’s Day.
Friday’s matchup between the Steel and Gamblers at the Cotton Bowl is the HockeyTV Free Game of the Week with a stream available at www.hockeytv.com. It is the first time a USHL game is being played at the site of the NHL Winter Classic.
Head Coach Brock Sheahan has previous coaching experience in an outdoor game. The Lethbridge, Alberta, native was a volunteer coach at his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, when the Fighting Irish played against Boston College at Fenway Park in 2014.
“The lights are different, you don’t know how hot it’s going to be, how slow or soft the ice could be, it’s just different,” said Sheahan. “What I do know is that they’re a lot of fun no matter how many people are in the stands, it’s really neat. It brings you back to your roots. Being from Alberta, playing on the pond, that’s something that brings a smile to your face and I’m excited for our guys to play a league game against a good opponent. It should be fun to watch.”
Chicago has won its last seven matchups, tied for its longest win streak of the season, and the Steel carry the top scoring offense in the USHL this season with 4.88 goals per game.
Sam Colangelo has registered 24 points (12G, 12A) over his last 14 outings. The Northeastern University-bound forward has more three-point performances (six games) than pointless games (five games) during the 2019-20 campaign and currently shares fourth in league scoring with 15 goals and 15 helpers overall.
Sean Farrell paces the league in scoring with 36 points (10G, 26A) while Matty De St. Phalle has registered 16 goals and 18 assists through 26 games, second-most in the USHL.
The Gamblers look to build on their most recent game action, a 7-2 win over Team USA on New Year’s Eve, at the Frosty Cup. Green Bay netminder and Channahon, Ill., native Nicholas Grabko ranks third in the league with a 2.28 goals-against average. Grabko has posted a 6-6-0-2 with two shutouts on the season.
The next game on home ice for the Steel is Fri., Jan. 10 when the Dubuque Fighting Saints (19-5-1-0, 39 pts) come to Fox Valley Ice Arena for the first of four meetings between the two clubs this season.
Chicago Steel Upcoming Home Games:
Friday, January 10 vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints 7:05 pm (Superheroes Night, Raising Cane’s Kids Day)
Friday, January 17 vs. Omaha Lancers 7:05 pm (Year 2000 Throwback Night)
Saturday, January 18 vs. Omaha Lancers 7:05 pm (Giveaway: Year 200 Rusty the Mascot Bobblehead)
For more information and to purchase Steel tickets, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.