GENEVA, ILLINOIS — Geneva native Graham Lillibridge’s first goal with the Chicago Steel (11-1-1-1, 24 pts.) was the game-winner in a 4-2 triumph Friday over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (0-12-1-1, 2 pts.) at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Chicago registered three second-period goals in the comeback. With the win, the Steel have now earned points in 13 of 14 games this season and improved to 3-0-0-0 versus Cedar Rapids.
It was Excellence On Ice Night: A Benefit for Geneva Schools and the Geneva Academic Foundation presented by FONA International. Appropriately, it was Lillibridge, a senior at Geneva High School, who recorded an assist in addition to his goal, and was named the game’s first star.
RoughRiders center Zac Robbins opened up the scoring at the 10:30 mark, catching a cross-ice pass from Matt Kidney and firing a wrist shot from the right wing circle past Chicago netminder Tommy Nappier. Chicago trailed 1-0 at the first intermission despite dominating in shots, 16-7.
In the second period, Reggie Lutz tied the game for Chicago, bouncing a shot past the glove of Cedar Rapids goaltender Zack LaRocque at 5:10. However, just 37 seconds later, the RoughRiders regained their lead when Jason Polin took advantage of a turnover and sent a shot over Nappier’s right shoulder.
Midway through the period, the Steel’s Jack Badini picked up the game’s first penalty, as he was sent to the box for boarding. On the penalty kill, Chicago captain Marc Johnstone forced a turnover and raced down on a breakaway. Johnstone jammed a shot through LaRocque’s legs to register the Steel’s first shorthanded goal of the season, scoring at 10:56.
Chicago then took its first lead of the game at the 15:30 mark of the second period when Wyatt Aamodt connected a pass to Lillibridge, who sent the puck over LaRocque for his first goal with the Steel at 15:30. Chicago took its 3-2 lead into the second intermission, leading in shots in the middle frame, 11-8.
Chicago defenseman Corson Green gave the Steel a two-goal lead at the 11:09 mark of the third period. Green’s shot from the top of the circle beat LaRocque on the glove side.
Down 4-2 with 100 seconds remaining, the RoughRiders pulled LaRocque in favor of an extra attacker, but the Steel defense remained strong. Cedar Rapids registered just three third-period shots and Chicago held on for the two-goal conquest.
Lutz (1-1—2) registered his fourth multi-point game of the season. Eduards Tralmaks recorded an assist for his first USHL point. Nappier made 16 saves in his seventh win of the season.
The Steel complete a home weekend Saturday against the Waterloo Black Hawks. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Fox Valley Ice Arena and it is the first Faith and Family Night of the season. For tickets or more information, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 2 at Chicago Steel 4 - Status: Final
Friday, November 11, 2016 - Fox Valley Ice Arena
Cedar Rapids 1 1 0 - 2
Chicago 0 3 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Cedar Rapids, Robbins 4 (Perunovich, Foley), 10:30. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-2, Chicago, Lutz 6 (Lillibridge, Printz), 5:10. 3, Cedar Rapids, Polin 3 5:47. 4, Chicago, Johnstone 1 11:24 (SH). 5, Chicago, Lillibridge 1 (Aamodt, Lutz), 15:30. Penalties-Badini Chi (boarding), 10:56; Walsh Chi (tripping), 16:47.
3rd Period-6, Chicago, Green 2 (Hakkarainen, Tralmaks), 11:09. Penalties-Sinard Cr (major-boarding, game misconduct-boarding), 3:27.
Shots on Goal-Cedar Rapids 7-8-3-18. Chicago 16-11-9-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Cedar Rapids 0 / 2; Chicago 0 / 1.
Goalies-Cedar Rapids, LaRocque 0-4-1-0 (36 shots-32 saves). Chicago, Nappier 7-0-1-0 (18 shots-16 saves).
Referees-Stan Szczurek (23), Default Referee.
Linesmen-Bill Hancock (91), Ian McCambridge (94).