BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS – The Chicago Steel (5-0-0-0) struck twice in the first period and never looked back, defeating the Bloomington Thunder (1-3-1-0) 4-1 Friday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Tommy Nappier recorded 25 saves for his fourth consecutive victory, while Jake Jaremko recorded a three-point (1+2) night to extend his point streak to three games. Chicago remains the only unbeaten team in the USHL.
For the first time since Opening Night, the Steel were able to open up the scoring. On a two-on-one rush, Jaremko kept the puck on the left wing and fired a shot past Bloomington netminder Logan Halladay’s stick at 5:42. Just over a minute later, Walker Duehr rang a shot off the far post which then bounced back to his stick. Duehr’s second shot connected to the back of the net, giving the Steel a 2-0 lead at 7:05.
Bloomington responded at 14:22 when Mitchell Chaffee was able to redirect a point shot from Thunder captain Tarek Baker past the glove side of Nappier. Chicago held the 2-1 lead at the first intermission.
The Steel out chanced the Thunder in the second period, firing 15 shots on net. One of the 15 went in; Johnny Walker blasted a shortside one-timer from Wyatt Aamodt, beating Halladay on the stick side for his third goal of the season at 17:26.
Late in the third period, Bloomington pulled their goalie in favor of an extra attacker but was unable to convert. The Steel, however, took advantage of the empty net, as Baker Shore scored in the final seven seconds of the game, securing the 4-1 victory.
Chicago is now 3-0-0-0 in the I-55 rivalry this season. The Steel have allowed a league-low six goals against this season. Each team went 0-for-3 on the power play.
The Steel return home Saturday to host the Madison Capitols at the Fox Valley Ice Arena. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and Chicago will be debuting its new red 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.