GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN — Brendan Brisson recorded the first goal of the game for the second straight night and added a highlight-reel assist as the Chicago Steel (30-7-1-0, 61 pts) took their second win of the weekend against the Green Bay Gamblers (18-16-2-3, 41 pts), 4-2 on Saturday night at Resch Center.
With the win, the Steel became the first team in the USHL this season to reach the 30-win mark and 60-point plateau in the standings.
Victor Ostman turned away 29 shots and pushed his season record to 20-4-0-0 in net for Chicago. Over his last three games, all victories, Ostman has posted an impressive 1.00 GAA and 0.968 save percentage.
Brisson, the University of Michigan-bound forward, jump-started the scoring as he went post and in on Green Bay netminder Nicholas Grabko midway through the first period. Off a one-time feed from Sam Colangelo, the Manhattan Beach, Calif., native beat Grabko glove side to take an early edge for his club.
With the tally, Brisson secured his 20th goal in his rookie season, just the fourth Steel rookie in franchise history to reach the milestone.
The score held at 1-0 to finish the first despite Green Bay getting 32 seconds of power-play time to finish the frame.
Following the second period faceoff, the Chicago penalty kill held strong for the first of their three successful kills on the night.
Just five minutes into the middle frame, the Steel were hit with another infraction as Uula Ruikka was whistled for tripping.
The Gamblers had their best chance on the man advantage with a scrum in front of the Chicago net. Ostman made the initial stop and got help from defensemen John Spetz and Luke Reid to keep the puck out and the score at 1-0.
Josh Doan extended the Chicago lead to 2-0 with his first goal since the Jan. 3 matchup with Green Bay at the historic Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Doan was parked in front of the net after a shot from Colton Huard on the left point was initially turned away. The Scottsdale, Ariz. native stuffed the puck home beneath the right pad of Grabko for his fourth marker of the year.
The Gamblers got another chance on the power play with just over five minutes to play in the second, capitalizing just after Ruikka was released from the box. The Green Bay forecheck forced a Chicago turnover and Alex Servagno fed Kyler Grundy in front of the net, beating Ostman for the first time on the night.
After tallying a goal of his own to kick off the game, Brisson added to his highlight reel with a between-the-legs helper. Brisson jumped on a puck along the end boards and immediately one-touched a feed between his own skates to hit John Spetz in stride who popped the water bottle for his 11th goal of the year, tops among USHL defensemen this season.
The Steel put 18 shots on goal in the middle frame and took a 3-1 edge into the final period.
With just under five minutes left, Chicago had trouble exiting its defensive zone and turned over a puck resulting in an abbreviated 3-on-2 opportunity for the Gamblers. Former Steel forward Jake Schmaltz was the recipient of another Servagno assist, pulling the home team to another one-goal deficit.
The clock ran down with the Chicago defense protecting the lead when the Gamblers took their timeout with 1:20 left in the game and an empty net in their defensive zone.
Green Bay couldn’t take advantage of the extra attacker as Gunnarwolfe Fontaine forced a neutral-zone turnover and fed Sean Farrell who found the empty cage sealing the 4-2 win for the visitors.
The Steel will look for a three-game weekend sweep when they return to Fox Valley Ice Arena on Sun., Feb. 9 for Daddy Daughter Princess Day featuring an appearance by Belle! Sunday’s 3:05 puck drop against the Muskegon Lumberjacks is a Topgolf Family Pack game.
Chicago Steel Upcoming Games:
Sun., Feb. 9 vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks 3:05 pm (Daddy Daughter Princess Day featuring an appearance by Belle!, Topgolf Family Pack)
Fri., Feb. 14 at Des Moines Buccaneers 7:05 pm
Sat., Feb. 15 vs. Team USA (U17) 7:05 pm (Chicago Blackhawks Night)
For more information and to purchase Steel tickets, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.