FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA — Behind two key goals from playoff MVP Adam Fantilli and another strong defensive effort, the Chicago Steel defeated the Fargo Force 3-1 on Saturday night in Game 4 of the Clark Cup Final, winning the best-of-five series by a 3-1 margin to claim the second Clark Cup title in franchise history, the first coming in 2017.
Jackson Blake registered his first goal of the postseason, the ultimate game-winner and netminder Simon Latkoczy made 27 saves in his fifth playoff performance with one or fewer goals allowed.
Both clubs reached the scoreboard in a competitive opening frame.
The Steel netted the game’s first goal thanks to Fantilli, one of the youngest players on the ice. The rookie forward teed off on a one-timer after cross-ice passes from Sean Farrell and Colton Huard found the 16-year-old all alone in the left circle.
Just over a minute later, the home team responded to even the score.
Cody Monds reached the back of the net for the second consecutive game, scoring his fifth of the postseason off assists from Matthew Crasa and Tristan Broz.
Jackson Blake put the Steel ahead for good with a scoring touch from point blank range in front of the net. After a shot from Adam Robbins was deflected to the left side of the crease, Blake slid the puck through the five-hole of Miller.
Force defenseman Charlie Lurie nearly tied the game when he blistered a shot off the left post with three minutes to play in the middle frame, deflecting away from the Steel net and out of danger.
The Steel withstood the Fargo attack in the third period, stifling the Force offense with repeated zone exits and several key Latkoczy saves until Fantilli put the game and the Clark Cup title away.
The 16-year-old picked up a puck on the doorstep of the net with two minutes to play, pushing the Steel to a 3-1 edge, the eventual final score.
With 10 seconds left and the Fargo net empty at the other end of the ice, Chicago cleared one final puck setting off the celebration as the Steel bench emptied to mob goaltender Simon Latkoczy.
The Steel have now won two of the last four Clark Cup titles dating back to the 2016-2017 season.
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.