GENEVA, ILLINOIS — The Chicago Steel (12-2-4-0; 28 pts) went back-and-forth with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (7-7-0-0; 14 pts.) on Friday night, trading goals until Steel forward Sam Lipkin scored in the final three minutes to help Chicago escape with a win at Fox Valley Ice Arena, keeping the club’s home record without a regulation loss intact at 7-0-1-0.
Luke Levandowski kicked off the scoring with his first of the season and Steel forward Nick Moldenhauer scored his first career USHL goal before Lipkin sealed the victory for Chicago.
Steel netminder Gibson Homer stopped 31 shots from Cedar Rapids, improving his record to 5-1-4-0 between the pipes this season.
The first frame started with a decent pace, as both teams settled into the game with the Roughriders and Steel exchanging a handful of chances in the first 10 minutes of play with Cedar Rapids holding an early edge in shots on goal.
Steel forward Luke Levandowski buried his first goal of the season and the Steel’s first goal of the game to give Chicago a lead late in the first. Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jackson Blake crashed the cage after Levandowski’s initial shot. With Blake’s stick tied up, Levandowski wrapped around the net to tuck home the game’s first goal, sending the Steel to the intermission up by one.
Gibson Homer stood tall in the middle frame, stopping 12 shots, including denying RoughRiders forward Zacch Wisdom with just under three minutes to play in the second on a fantastic glove save to keep Cedar Rapids off the scoreboard.
The RoughRiders tied the contest with 20 seconds remaining in the second. Logan Morrell followed up on a bang-bang play behind the Steel net and slammed home a rebound, knotting the score at 1-1 heading into the third.
The Steel took the lead briefly on a beautiful power drive to the net from forward Nick Moldenhauer. The Mississauga, Ontario, native barreled his way to the net and lifted a backhander behind Cedar Rapids netminder Connor Hasley for his first career USHL goal.
With just over 10 minutes to play in regulation, Steel netminder Gibson Homer made a flurry of saves including a breakaway stop from RoughRiders forward Conor Lovett.
Nate Hanley pulled the RoughRiders even at 2-2 with a one-timer, his second goal of the season, with just under seven minutes to play.
Steel co-captain Sam Lipkin played hero, thrilling the crowd at Fox Valley Ice Arena with a go-ahead goal with 2:57 to play. The Arizona Coyotes prospect had a wide open cage to pick his spot after a deflected puck from Joe Miller trickled to Andon Cerbone and Cerbone backhanded the puck to Lipkin in the right circle.
The win kept the Steel undefeated in regulation on home ice, improving the club’s record to 7-0-1-0 at Fox Valley Ice Arena.
Chicago closes out the weekend homestand with a 7:05 pm CT puck drop against the Madison Capitols for Video Game Night.
Tickets for Saturday’s showdown start at just $10 and are available in person at the Steel Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena, by phone at 855-51-STEEL and online at chicagosteelhockeyteam.com. The Steel now offer single-game ticket discounts for kids 12 and under and military.
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
Chicago Steel Upcoming Home Games presented by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush:
Saturday, November 20 vs. Madison Capitols (7:05 pm CT) Video Game Night
Friday, December 3 vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints (7:05 pm CT) Turtle Races
Saturday, December 11 vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks (7:05 pm CT) Winterfest Presented by Illinois Aviation Academy with Special Jersey Auction to Benefit Cyclones Amateur Hockey Association | Post-Game Skate