GENEVA, ILLINOIS — The Chicago Steel (4-0-0-0) remain undefeated after Johnny Walker and Reggie Lutz each tallied power play goals in a 3-1 triumph over the Bloomington Thunder (1-2-1-0) Saturday at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Netminder Tommy Nappier registered 28 saves to record his third consecutive victory and Jack Badini secured the victory with an empty-netter for his first goal with the Steel.
Special teams were the story of the first period. On an early power play, Bloomington center and Calgary Flames prospect Mitchell Mattson found a rebound in front of the net and snuck one past Nappier at 1:05.
Later in the period, the Steel responded on a 5-on-3 advantage. Walker tied the game with a slap shot from the slot at 10:12. Just over a minute later, Lutz buried a rebound past the stick of Bloomington netminder Logan Halladay to give Chicago a 2-1 lead. Chicago recorded a season-high 21 shots on goal in the opening period while Bloomington registered nine.
The second period was filled with even more penalties than the first, but neither team was able to light the lamp, as the game remained 2-1 Steel at the second intermission. Bloomington outshot Chicago 12-10 in the middle frame.
In the third period, Bloomington pressured on the power play while also pulling Halladay in favor of an extra attacker. Chicago was able to kill off the tripping minor against defenseman Reilly Walsh. Shortly after exiting the box, Walsh located the puck and fed it ahead to Badini, who fought his way through defenders and fired a shot into the open net to secure the 3-1 victory.
Chicago finished the game with a season-high 40 shots on goal. It was the third consecutive game in which Chicago gave up the opening goal and battled back to win.
The Steel rematch with the Thunder on Friday, Oct. 14 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.The following night, Saturday, Oct. 15, the Steel return home to Fox Valley Ice Arena to host the Madison Capitols at 7:05 p.m. Chicago will be debuting its new alternate jerseys in this game. For tickets or more information, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.