GENEVA, ILLINOIS — Tommy Nappier made 24 saves to record his first career USHL shutout as the Chicago Steel (10-0-0-0, 20 pts.) blanked the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (0-9-1-0, 1 pts.) 3-0 Friday at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Chicago’s 10th win to start the season ties the USHL Tier 1 all-time record. Johnny Walker registered a goal for a league-leading seventh consecutive game, while Walker Duehr provided his second multi-point (1+1) effort against Cedar Rapids this season.
The Steel managed to open up the scoring for the first time in three games. Duehr registered his sixth tally of the season, bouncing a shot from the left circle past Cedar Rapids netminder Harrison Feeney at 5:39. Chicago led in shots in the first period, 15-7.
Chicago controlled the second period and extended its lead when Duehr made a pass ahead for a racing Jake Jaremko. Jaremko buried a forehanded shot over Feeney’s glove at 13:44. The Steel dominated the middle frame in shots, 17-7.
Just 2:15 into the third period, Johnny Walker’s shot rang off the iron, but he found the rebound and sent a backhanded shot past Feeney to increase the lead to 3-0. Cedar Rapids applied their best pressure of the game in the third period, but Nappier remained strong between the pipes. With just 11 seconds remaining, Nappier made a terrific kick save on a backhanded penalty shot attempt by RoughRiders center Sam Sternschein, securing the shutout and his sixth victory of the season.
Chicago outshot Cedar Rapids 38-24 in the game. Neither team was able to convert on the power play.
The unbeaten Steel will look to set a new USHL Tier 1 record for most wins to start a season on Sunday with a road game at Youngstown. Faceoff against the Phantoms is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. CDT and will be carried live on ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com/broadcast. Chicago then returns home on Friday, Nov. 4 to face the Des Moines Buccaneers at 7:05 p.m. For tickets or more information, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.