MIDDLETON, WISCONSIN — An adrenaline-filled late comeback by the home team forced the Chicago Steel (2-0-1-0; 5 pts.) to overtime where the Madison Capitols (1-1-1-0; 3 pts.) earned a 3-2 victory at Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena in Wisconsin on Friday night.
Despite Steel netminder Gibson Homer making 38 saves on numerous ‘Grade A’ chances from Madison, the Capitols scored twice in the last six minutes of regulation to force overtime, sparked by a pair of former members of the Chicago Steel.
Madison netminder Simon Latkoczy made 27 saves in the win while forward Quinn Finley scored the overtime winner for the home team. Both players spent the 2020-2021 season with the Steel, helping the team to the 2021 Clark Cup title after Madison was unable to compete in the 2020-2021 season. Both players were selected by Chicago in a dispersal draft prior to last season with their rights going back to Madison for the 2021-2022 campaign.
The Capitols got off to a blistering start in their first game action in front of a home crowd since the 2019-2020 campaign, putting early pressure on the Steel in the first period.
Madison tilted the ice in the first 10 minutes, outshooting the Steel by a 6-3 margin, while hemming the defending champion in their own end, limiting offensive opportunities for Chicago until the game’s first power play.
The Steel earned a man advantage late in the first as Capitols forward Tyler Haskins was sent off for tripping.
After being denied on a wrist shot, Steel rookie Jayden Perron slipped to the slot and one-timed a pass from Adam Fantilli, rocketing home his first career USHL goal. With the helper, Fantilli secured a three-game point streak (2G, 2A) to begin the season.
With time ticking down in the first, Madison captain Jack Horbach was sent in alone on Homer but the Steel netminder was equal to his toughest test of the opening frame, turning away the breakaway chance to keep the Caps off the scoreboard.
The goaltending showcase continued in the middle frame, starting with a quick move from Homer in net for Chicago.
Jake Dunlap turned a wrister loose on Homer with a shorthanded chance but the Grand Rapids, Mich., native shut the five hole with a fast twitch of the pads.
Just moments later, Horbach was once again denied by Homer which led to a breakaway for Steel rookie Chris Delaney. The forward glided in on Latkoczy, trying to sneak the puck above the former Steel netminder but Latkoczy deflected the shot away from danger, capping the end-to-end sequence.
Through the end of the second period, Homer had 32 stops while Latkoczy had registered 15 with multiple golden chances on both ends.
Early in the third, Perron struck once again with a laser of a shot from the high slot. After being held off the scoresheet in his first two career USHL games, the Winnipeg, Manitoba, native registered his first multi-goal performance of the season, putting the Steel ahead by two.
Chicago looked to take a comfortable 3-0 lead when a rush from Adam Fantilli led to a rebound goal from defenseman Jake Livanavage just over midway through the final frame. The officials, however, reviewed the play and ruled no goal, taking the score back to 2-0 in favor of Chicago.
The reversed goal call would haunt the Steel as the Capitols fought their way back to tie the game.
With just over five minutes to play in regulation, Reid Pabich netted the first Madison goal of the game, followed by a game-tying goal from Tyler Haskins with just under two minutes to play.
The furious Capitols comeback forced overtime with a familiar face putting an end to the game. Madison forward Quinn Finley added to his season total when he was turned loose on a breakaway, beating Homer for his second goal of the season and the game-winner in overtime.
After earning a point in the standings, the Steel open the home portion of the schedule on Saturday, October 2 against the Muskegon Lumberjacks on Opening Night presented by McCue Chevy. The home opener will feature a championship celebration and the unveiling of the 2021 Clark Cup Championship banner and postgame skate for fans. Tickets are on sale now for all Steel home games in person at the Steel Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena, by phone at 855-51-STEEL and online at ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
Chicago Steel Upcoming Home Games presented by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush:
Saturday, October 2 vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks (7:05 pm CT) Opening Night with Championship Celebration presented by McCue Chevy with Post-Game Skate
Friday, October 8 vs. Team USA U17 (7:05 pm CT) Pokémon Night
Saturday, October 9 vs. Team USA U17 (7:05 pm CT) GIVEAWAY – 2021-2022 Magnet Schedule
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.