GENEVA, ILLINOIS — In a complete team performance, the Chicago Steel (13-2-4-0; 30 pts.) scored early and never trailed in a 6-2 victory over the Madison Capitols (10-5-1-0; 21 pts.) Saturday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena behind goals from five different skaters and a 30-save night from Steel netminder Gibson Homer.
Steel forward Adam Fantilli extended his league lead to 14 goals on the year with his seventh multi-point game of the season, netting a pair of goals. Luke Levandowski added his second goal in as many nights as Jackson Blake, Joe Miller and Lukas Gustafsson picked up markers of their own.
It didn’t take long for the Steel to jump in front, albeit from a fortunate bounce in the opening minute.
Madison Capitols netminder and former Steel Simon Latkoczy thought he had a puck soaked up after a shot from Adam Fantilli but the puck dribbled out from Latkoczy’s pads in front of the crease. After a Capitols defender got a stick on the loose puck, Jackson Blake poked it home on an aggressive forecheck to tally the first goal of the game.
Joe Miller doubled the Chicago cushion as the recipient of smooth puck movement in the offensive zone. Adam Fantilli began the play in the right circle, finding Austen May at the right point. May then fired a pass to Luca Fantilli on the left side of the zone, opening up a wide open back door for Miller.
The Capitols opened the second period with a solid shift of sustained offensive zone possession but couldn’t beat Homer.
Adam Fantilli, netted his first of the night on a power play, giving the Steel a 3-0 edge. After letting an initial shot fly from the left circle, Fantilli’s rebound was given right back as he rocketed a wrister past Latkoczy.
The first goal for Madison came five minutes after Fantilli’s first marker, cutting the score to 3-1. Capitols forward Blake Dangos made a power move to the net for his second of the year.
Madison’s comeback attempt was short-lived as Chicago snuffed out the momentum with two goals in a span of three minutes.
After forcing a takeaway in the neutral zone, Jack Harvey led a two-on-one rush, saucing a pass to Luke Levandowski who waited out Latkoczy for a backhander to put Chicago up 4-1.
Adam Fantilli’s second goal of the night was of the highlight-reel variety. The University of Michigan commit began the possession by dancing around a Capitols defender on the left side of the offensive zone, firing a shot that was turned away by Latkoczy. The rebound was picked up by Joe Miller who found Fantilli wrapping around the net as he popped the back of the net from an almost impossible angle.
Homer kept the Steel in control, making 12 saves in the final frame, the most stops in any period on Saturday night.
After Landon Flemming cut the score to 5-2 with his first career USHL goal for the Capitols, Chicago netted the final goal of the contest.
Lukas Gustafsson ripped a wrist shot from the slot to seal the 6-2 victory for Chicago, Gustaffson’s third of the season.
With the win, the Steel extended their point streak to six games in becoming the first team in the USHL to reach the 30-point mark in the standings.
Chicago returns to action the day after Thanksgiving with a contest against the Youngstown Phantoms on Friday, November 26 at Covelli Centre at 6:05 pm CT followed by a Sunday afternoon clash against Team USA (U18) at USA Hockey Arena in Michigan on November 28 at 3:05 pm CT.
Tickets for the next Steel home game on Saturday, December 3 against the Dubuque Fighting Saints for Turtle Race Night 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:
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
Saturday, December 18 vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (7:05 pm CT) Scooby-Doo Night | Family Pack Game