CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA — The Chicago Steel (8-0-0-0, 16 pts.) battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the first period Friday, scoring five unanswered goals to defeat the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (0-7-1-0, 1 pt.) 5-2 at Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. Chicago winger Reggie Lutz tallied two goals, including the wraparound game-winner in the second period. Johnny Walker extended his goal scoring streak to five games while Jake Jaremko added two assists. Tommy Nappier made 24 saves to improve to 5-0-0-0 between the pipes for Chicago.
Cedar Rapids opened up the scoring just 23 seconds into the first period when Zac Robbins sent the game’s first shot, a wrister from the high slot, over the left shoulder of Nappier. The RoughRiders then took a two-goal lead when Tyler Gratton was sent to the box on a tripping call and Aleksi Halme knocked in a one-timer from the far post past the glove side of Nappier at 11:11.
Chicago answered back when Gratton tallied his first USHL goal, a shot from the low slot that beat RoughRiders netminder Drew DeRidder on the stick side at 13:56. The Steel tied the game less than two minutes later when Jaremko made a turnaround pass to Walker Duehr and Duehr buried the puck into a mostly-open net at 15:37. The score remained 2-2 at the first intermission with Chicago leading in shots, 11-6.
Chicago kept the ball rolling in the second period, taking its first lead of the night when Lutz wrapped around to the far post and knocked home a shot at 8:09. The Steel didn’t stop there. Johnny Walker rifled a shot from the slot over the shoulder of DeRidder at 18:47.
Things heated up in the third period, including 16 combined penalties. Lutz tallied an empty-net, power play goal with 33 seconds remaining to secure the 5-2 victory.
Chicago limited Cedar Rapids to single-digit shots in each period. The Steel went 1-for-6 on the power play and 7-for-8 on the penalty kill. Chicago remains the only unbeaten team in the USHL.
Chicago returns home to Fox Valley Ice Arena on Saturday, Oct. 22 to host the Omaha Lancers at 7:05 p.m. It’s the first Family Pack game of season — purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and four chuck-a-pucks starting at just $48! The night is a Halloween Costume Preview; fans can trick or treat with the Steel plus receive full-team autographs after the game. For tickets or more information, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.