GENEVA, ILLINOIS — The Chicago Steel (3-0-1-0; 7 pts.) saved the best for last as they overcame 2-0 and 3-2 third period deficits to beat the Muskegon Lumberjacks (0-1-1-1; 2 pts.) 4-3 in overtime at Fox Valley Ice Arena on Saturday night.
Jayden Perron, Sam Lipkin and Jackson Blake all scored in an action-packed third period and Adam Fantilli capped the comeback with an overtime game-winner in front of the first crowd of the season at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Netminder Nick Haas stood tall with 31 saves in net to push his record to 2-0-0-0 this season.
The Steel kicked off the home portion of the 2021-2022 regular season by putting a bow on the team’s 2021 Clark Cup title with a pregame championship ceremony. Returning staff and players received their championship rings and the Eastern Conference Championship, Anderson Cup and Clark Cup banners were unveiled by Steel season ticket holders.
The Lumberjacks were quick to quiet the opening night crowd with a goal from Tyler Dunbar just over a minute into the game. With traffic in front of Haas, Dunbar was able to sneak a loose puck home for his first marker of the season.
The teams traded power play opportunities through the second with neither team scoring as the pace slowed and the score stayed at 1-0 in favor of the Lumberjacks.
In a defensive battle through 40 minutes, Muskegon jumped in front by a pair of goals early in the third period when Phillip Tresca re-directed a shot on the power play from Jacob Guevin.
Fresh off a two-goal performance in Friday night’s overtime loss against the Madison Capitols, Steel rookie Jayden Perron opened the scoring for the home team with a tally on the man advantage. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native gathered a loose puck on the right side of the net, flipping a backhander past Muskegon netminder Jan Skorpik to cut the deficit in half.
Sam Lipkin kept the atmosphere at Fox Valley Ice Arena at a fever pitch when he blistered home a puck from the left doorstep with just over three minutes to play to tie the game 2-2.
Muskegon answered with a quick strike off the stick of Joey Larson just over a minute later, putting the Lumberjacks back in front with a 3-2 edge with 2:07 left.
With the goaltender pulled, Chicago forward Adam Fantilli found the puck in the offensive zone, circling to the point where he wristed a shot towards the net. Jackson Blake, stationed in front, directed it past Skorpik to tie the game with 52 seconds remaining.
It was the brothers Fantilli who put an end to the game in overtime. Defenseman Luca Fantilli waited patiently in his own zone with the puck before he found his younger brother Adam fresh off the bench at the Muskegon blue line. Adam caught the pass and streaked to the net, putting a shot on next while hauled down from behind. The puck trickled past Skorpik sealing the come-from-behind win for the Steel.
Chicago returns to action with back-to-back games on the home ice of Fox Valley Ice Arena next weekend. Team USA (U17) makes the trip for Pokemon Night on Friday, October 8 and a 2021-2022 Magnet Schedule giveaway on Saturday, October 9 with both games starting at 7:05 pm CT.
Chicago Steel Upcoming Home Games presented by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush:
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 (first 500 fans)
Saturday, October 23 vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints (7:05 pm CT) 19 Promotions We Missed in 2020 | Family Pack Game
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.