URBANDALE, IOWA — The Chicago Steel (9-4-1-2, 21 pts.) were shutout for a second consecutive game as they fell to the Des Moines Buccaneers (7-9-0-1, 15 pts.) 3-0 Friday night at Buccaneer Arena.
In a game that featured an all-around strong defensive effort from the home team, Buccaneers goaltender Ryan Snowden recorded his first career shutout, stopping all 23 shots from the Steel. Chicago netminder Justin Robbins stopped 35 of 37.
The game remained a scoreless tie through the first 40 combined shots on goal. In the closing seconds of the second period, Buccaneers forward Sam Hentges fired a shot off the post. Des Moines captain Chase Ellingson found the rebound and jammed the puck past the blocker side with just 2.4 seconds remaining on the clock.
Early in the third period, Steel left wing Blake McLaughlin had a chance to tie the game, racing with the puck into the offensive zone. The University of Minnesota commit tried to send a backhanded shot home, but Snowden denied with the left pad to make his biggest save of the night.
At 12:26 of the final frame, the Buccaneers added a shorthanded goal to extend their lead to 2-0. Julian Napravnik jumped on a loose puck in the bottom of the left circle after a dump-in and fired it home on the stick side for his sixth tally of the season. The shorthanded goal was the seventh the Steel have given up this season, most in the USHL.
After the Steel pulled Robbins for an extra attacker, Napravnik sealed the victory with an empty netter from his own end with under two minutes remaining.
Neither team found success on the power play. Chicago finished 0-for-5 and Des Moines went 0-for-4.
The Steel return home Saturday to host the Waterloo Black Hawks at 7:05 p.m. The team will host a birthday celebration for Britney Spears, while also honoring the IHSA Class 7A State Champion Batavia High School football team. It’s 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 or to purchase tickets, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.