PEORIA, ILLINOIS — Simon Butala broke a 1-1 tie in the third period as the Central Illinois Flying Aces (6-4-0-0, 12 pts.) defeated the Chicago Steel (7-2-0-1, 15 pts.) 2-1 Sunday at Carver Arena at the Peoria Civic Center. C.J. Walker scored Chicago’s lone goal of the game for his first career USHL tally.
The Steel were outshot 13-6 and killed off two penalties in a scoreless first period. Walker’s tally came at the 3:19 mark of the second period. The Boise, Idaho native converted a Central Illinois turnover, jamming a bouncing puck from the top of the crease and beating Flying Aces netminder Kris Carlson on the glove side for an unassisted goal.
Central Illinois found the equalizer late in the second period. Griffin Lunn received a pass from Cameron Burke and sent a shot from the right circle past Oskar Autio’s glove at 17:55.
Butala scored what would turn out to be the game-winner 2:01 into the third period. The defenseman fired a shot from the left point into the upper corner, beating Autio over the blocker. Trailing for the first time in the game, the Steel earned a power play chance in the game’s final 1:49. Autio was pulled to make it a 6-on-4 advantage in the final minute, but Carlson stood his ground and denied Chicago’s final chances.
The loss was Chicago’s first in regulation in nearly a month (Oct. 7). The Steel went 0-for-4 on the power play, marking just the second time this season the USHL’s top power play has been held scoreless. Chicago was outshot 34-25 in the game. Central Illinois earned its third straight win. The Steel finished their first three-game weekend of the season earning three of a potential six points.
The I-55 rivals will meet up five more times this season with the next matchup taking place Feb. 9.
The Steel are on the road the next two weekends, starting with a visit this Friday, Nov. 10 to the Dubuque Fighting Saints at 7:05 p.m. All Steel games are carried live on Mixlr (free audio) and Hockey TV (iPPV). For more information, visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com/broadcast.
Chicago’s next home game is Friday, Nov. 24 at 7:05 against the Lincoln Stars. It’s Superhero Night and a Meijer Kids Day – kids 12 and under can receive an Attack Preferred ticket, popcorn, Steel light-up wand and post-game autographs, all for just $10.
For more information on the Chicago Steel, or to purchase tickets, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.