GENEVA, ILLINOIS — The Chicago Steel (27-11-7-1; 62 pts) fell 2-1 to the Green Bay Gamblers (20-22-2-1; 43 pts) Saturday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena Sunday evening on Teddy Bear Toss Night presented by Geneva Family Dental.
Steel forward Jayden Perron made it rain teddy bears with the only Chicago goal of the night, sending 408 total teddy bears onto the Fox Valley Ice Arena ice surface in a junior hockey tradition. The stuffed animals collected by the Steel players and staff will be donated to Salvation Army Tri-City Corps and Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora.
Green Bay put a halt to a six-game point streak for the Steel, earning the road victory.
Earning a power play early in the game, Chicago’s best chance to score in the first period was a wrister from co-captain Sam Lipkin that rang off the post and away from danger.
Neither team could reach the back of the net in the game’s opening period until Nicholas Van Tassel got a piece of a rebound and buried it behind Homer with just over a minute left in the period. It was Tassel’s 11th marker of the season, putting his club in front 1-0.
In the middle frame, Cam Lund extended the Gamblers lead after tipping a seeing-eye shot from the left point.
The Bridgewater, Mass., native jumped into a tie for the team lead in goals with his 16th marker of the season. Lund got his stick on a wrister from Kent Anderson to double the lead before Chicago responded.
With players cramped in tight around the crease fighting for a loose puck, Perron corralled a rebound and separated from the pack to fire a shot that found the top right corner.
Despite Gibson Homer keeping the Steel in the game, the Chicago offense could not solve Gamblers netminder Rastislav Elias as the Kosice, Slovakia, native made 33 saves. Elias’ most crucial moments came in the final minutes, killing off a penalty faced with just over five minutes remaining.
The Steel pulled Homer for an extra attacker with just over two minutes left and peppered some of their best chances of the night on Elias including opportunities from USHL leading goal-scorer Adam Fantilli in the final seconds.
The Steel host a pair of games next weekend at Fox Valley Ice Arena, Meme Night presented by Meyer Signs and Graphics on Friday, March 11 at 7:05 pm against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Ferris Bueller’s Day at a Steel Game presented by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush with a ‘Save Ferris’ Rusty bobblehead giveaway for the first 500 fans.
Steel single-game tickets 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 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, March 11 vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (7:05 pm CT) Meme Night presented by Meyer Signs and Graphics
Saturday, March 12 vs. Madison Capitols (7:05 pm CT) Ferris Bueller's Day at a Steel Game Presented by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush | GIVEAWAY - Rusty 'Save Ferris' Bobblehead (First 500 fans)
Saturday, March 19 vs. Youngstown Phantoms (7:05 pm CT) Military Appreciation Night presented by McCue Chevy with special jersey auction to benefit Wounded Warrior Project