GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – John Leonard scored the game-winning goal early in the third period to lead the Green Bay Gamblers (11-6-1-0, 23 pts.) to a 4-2 comeback over the Chicago Steel (12-3-1-1, 26 pts.) Saturday at Resch Center. The Gamblers erased a 2-0 Steel lead with four unanswered tallies, including an empty-netter late in the third period.
Chicago notched the lone goal of the opening period when Adam Karashik connected a cross-ice pass to defensive partner Graham Lillibridge. Lillibridge stickhandled to the top of the crease and flipped a backhanded shot past the glove side of Gamblers goaltender Maksim Zhukov. The goal, scored at the 8:20 mark, was the Geneva native’s second tally of the season.
In the second period, debuting Steel winger Adam Robbins sent the puck along the right wing, and Marc Johnstone rushed down the ice, got around a defender, and retrieved the puck near the right post. The Steel captain then slid a pass to Jack Badini, who buried his sixth goal of the season. The two-goal lead would not last long; just 30 seconds later, the Gamblers tallied their first goal against Chicago this season. With a plethora of bodies clogging the top of the crease, and Steel netminder Ales Stezka sprawled on the ice, Green Bay defenseman fired a shot over everyone and into the back of the net. Then, at the 16:21 mark, Josh Dunne positioned himself at the top of the crease and redirected a shot past the stick side of Stezka to tie the game, 2-2. Much different than the tied (6-6) shot tally in the first period, Green Bay dominated in second period shots, 13-4.
Three minutes into the third period, the Gamblers gained their first lead of the season over Chicago when John Leonard wristed a shot near the right post. Stezka batted the puck down with his glove, but it bounced backward over the goal line. Late in the game, Stezka headed to the bench for an extra attacker, but Green Bay’s Brody Stevens took advantage of the empty net, securing a two-goal win with 33 seconds remaining.
Zhukov made 17 saves in the win, and Dunne and Leonard each recorded a goal and an assist. Chicago’s Robbins recorded an assist for his first career USHL point. The game marked only the second time this season the Steel were outshot by their opponents. Each team went 0-for-3 on the power play.
Including Friday’s shutout loss at Madison, the first-place Steel failed to pick up any points on the weekend for the first time this season.
Chicago’s three-game road trip wraps up Wednesday, Nov. 23 at Cedar Rapids. The Steel then return home to Fox Valley Ice Arena for two games Thanksgiving weekend — Friday, Nov. 25 vs. Lincoln, and Saturday, Nov. 26 vs. Dubuque. The Nov. 25 game is a Steel Family Pack game — purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas (or waters) and four chuck-a-pucks starting at just $48. Saturday’s game features a full-team post-game autograph session. For tickets or more information, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
Chicago Steel 2 at Green Bay Gamblers 4 - Status: Final
Saturday, November 19, 2016 - Resch Center
Chicago 1 1 0 - 2
Green Bay 0 2 2 - 4
1st Period-1, Chicago, Lillibridge 2 (Karashik, Jaremko), 8:20. Penalties-No. 23 Gb (tripping), 10:26.
2nd Period-2, Chicago, Badini 6 (Johnstone, Robbins), 11:58. 3, Green Bay, Binner 1 (Moyle, Spooner), 12:28. 4, Green Bay, Dunne 3 (Berkovitz, Leonard), 16:21. Penalties-Bevilacqua Gb (tripping), 0:43; Tralmaks Chi (cross checking), 1:56; Kiersted Chi (tripping), 13:11; Lillibridge Chi (roughing), 18:01; Jennings Gb (roughing), 18:01; Walsh Chi (hooking), 18:56; Dhooghe Gb (hooking), 19:44.
3rd Period-5, Green Bay, Leonard 6 (Dunne, Berkovitz), 3:00. 6, Green Bay, Stevens 3 (Jennings), 19:27 (EN). Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Chicago 6-4-9-19. Green Bay 6-13-14-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Chicago 0 / 3; Green Bay 0 / 3.
Goalies-Chicago, Stezka 5-2-0-1 (32 shots-29 saves). Green Bay, Zhukov 7-3-0-0 (19 shots-17 saves).
Referees-Brodie Cundy (29), Liam Sewell (25).
Linesmen-Kris Delaney (35), Rhodes Dolan.