CRANBERRY TWP., PENNSYLVANIA – The Chicago Steel (4-1-1-0 preseason) closed the 2016-2017 preseason with a 7-6 victory against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (1-6-0-0 preseason) Saturday at the USHL Fall Classic in suburban Pittsburgh. Jack Badini, Jake Jaremko, Reggie Lutz and Johnny Walker each recorded two point efforts in the win.
RoughRiders center Marc McLaughlin opened up with a rebound goal at 3:38. Chicago struck back quickly at 7:58 when Badini set up Greg Printz for a backhanded tally. The tie would last long, as Cedar Rapids regained the lead when T.J. Walsh scored on the power play, sneaking a shot through the five-hole of Steel goalie Ales Stezka at 9:18. That lead lasted for just 84 seconds before Jake Jaremko setup Walker Duehr for a backhanded equalizer past the stick side of RoughRiders netminder Zack LaRocque. Just over a minute later, Chicago gained their first lead of the game Chicago when Johnny Walker deflected a point shot from Adam Parsells at 11:46. The game became tied for a third time with just eight seconds remaining in the period, as McLaughlin tallied his second of the period with a highlight reel spinning backhand shot over Stezka’s shoulder. The game remained tied, 3-3, at the first intermission, with Chicago leading in shots on goal, 11-7.
The goals continued to rack up in the second period. Cedar Rapids scored on a backhanded shot from Liam Walsh at 4:17, and a one-timer from Matt Gosiewski at 8:29, to take a 5-3 lead. Chicago responded with two goals of their own; Walker jammed home his second of the night, off a play by defenseman Graham Lillibridge, then Tony Pappila cashed in a backhanded, power play rebound of Bobby Hampton’s shot. The game was tied, 5-5, at the second intermission.
The Steel took control in the third period, quadrupling the RoughRiders in shots, 16-4. Lutz broke the tie early in the third off a pass from Jaremko at the goal line, scoring from the bottom of the left circle at 3:23. Less than a minute later, the Steel took a two-goal lead when Badini skated into the zone and snuck one past LaRocque at 4:14. The RoughRiders were able to get back within one, 7-6, as Scott Perunovich sent a one-time shot into the net at 6:08. The Steel were able to hold off the RoughRiders for the remainder of the third, registering the victory.
Chicago outshot Cedar Rapids 34-22 in the game. Jaremko, the team’s leading scorer in 2015-2016, finished the preseason with a team-best six points (1+5) in five games played.
All USHL teams must now make necessary roster drops to get to their 23 man protected list by Monday, Sept. 19 (11:59 PM Central).
Chicago finishes the preseason 4-1-1-0, including at least one point (2-0-1-0) in each game at the Fall Classic. The Steel now return home to open the regular season on Saturday, Sept. 24 against the Green Bay Gamblers. The first 500 kids (14 and under) in attendance will receive a complimentary Steel replica youth jersey. For more information or to purchase tickets visit the Steel box office inside Fox Valley Ice Arena, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.