OMAHA, NEBRASKA — Aaro Vidgren scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner early in the third period, and the Chicago Steel (22-20-1-4, 49 pts.) earned a gritty 2-1 road victory Friday night against the USHL-leading Omaha Lancers (31-13-2-1, 65 pts.). Goaltender Oskar Autio stopped 29 of 30 shots he faced to backstop the strong effort.
Vidgren’s multi-goal performance was his third such game of the season and first since Jan. 27. Jack Dugan (21-29–50) also became the first Steel player this season to hit the 50-point mark with an assist on Vidgren’s second goal.
Vidgren opened the scoring for the Steel with 13:17 gone in the first period after he collected a Baker Shore pass and aggressively split the Omaha defense, driving through the slot and shoveling a shot over the glove of goaltender Zach Driscoll.
Omaha defenseman Nick Perbix was one of the defenseman that Vidgren beat on the goal, but he made up for it with a goal of his own 5:46 into the second period. With Omaha on their second power play of the night, Perbix received a pass along the blue line from Filip Suchy and fired a deflected wrist shot from the high slot over Autio’s right shoulder.
Vidgren put the Steel ahead for good with his second goal of the game, and 18th of the season, redirecting a Dugan point shot just 27 seconds into the third period.
Autio made several key saves down the stretch, including a kick save on Suchy – who is tied for the USHL lead in points (28-28–56) – with just over four minutes to play in the game. The Penn State commit stood strong as the Lancers pressured with an extra attacker for the final two minutes of the game.
The Steel head to South Dakota on Saturday night to take on the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL Game of the Week — free in HD on HockeyTV. The 7:05 p.m. contest will also be carried live on Mixlr (free audio). For more information, visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com/broadcast.
Following a Wednesday game at Muskegon, Chicago returns home Saturday, March 17, and Sunday, March 18, for a weekend set against the Tri-City Storm. March 17 features a Salute to Heroes. March 18 includes a Rusty Bobblehead Giveaway presented by Waubonsee Community College for the first 500 fans in attendance. The Steel Family Sunday game also features the Steel Family Pack offer — purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas (or waters) and four chuck-a-pucks starting at just $48. 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.