GENEVA, ILLINOIS — After giving up two goals in the first period, the Chicago Steel (9-0-0-0, 18 pts.) battled back to a 4-2 victory Saturday over the Omaha Lancers (5-5-0-0, 10 pts.) at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Mitch Lewandowski tallied the game-winning goal late in the second period, while Johnny Walker extended his USHL-best goal-scoring streak to six games. Ales Stezka made 27 saves in net to record his fourth win of the season.
Omaha was able to up the scoring for an eighth time in 10 games this season. Jacob Paganelli redirected Emilio Pettersen’s shot past Steel netminder Ales Stezka at 3:20. It was the 88th shot Stezka faced this season and the first to get past him, ending a shutout streak of 205:50, good enough for fourth longest in USHL Tier I history. Later in the period, the Lancers doubled the lead when Brandon McManus stole the puck from Steel defender Matt Kiersted, raced down the ice and bounced in a breakaway goal at 17:54. Omaha’s 2-0 lead was carried into the first intermission, with the Lancers outshooting the Steel, 14-13.
It was all Steel in the second period. Jack Badini tallied his fourth goal of the season, bouncing a shot in front past Thome at 4:28. Two and a half minutes later, Walker gathered a loose puck in the corner, cut toward the slot and buried his team-leading seventh goal of the season at 6:58. The Steel then got their first lead of the game at 18:19 when Adam Karashik made a centering pass to Lewandowski, who sent a shot past the stick of goaltender Peter Thome at 18:19.
Following an unsuccessful power play, the Lancers pulled Thome in favor of an extra attacker with 1:38 remaining. Chicago forced a turnover in the neutral zone and with 7.3 seconds remaining, Walker Duehr cashed in on the empty net, securing the 4-2 win.
Omaha's five-game win streak came to an end. All but one of the league-low 10 goals allowed by Chicago this season have come in the first period.
Up next for the Steel is a home game against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Friday, Oct. 28. Face-off is set for 7:05 p.m. It’s Momtober Night, featuring a celebration of mothers and a pre-game Hockey 101 session for women. For tickets or more information, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.