GENEVA, ILLINOIS — The Chicago Steel scored twice on the powerplay against the league’s best penalty kill, but the Muskegon Lumberjacks remained unbeaten on the season with a 5-3 win Friday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Chicago (2-4-1-0, 5 pts.) tied the game three times but Bobby Lynch’s third period goal proved to be the difference.
Muskegon (7-0-0-0, 14 pts.) bookended the scoring in the first period as forwards Christoffer Bjork and Egor Afanasyev each found twine for the Lumberjacks. Sandwiched between was Steel defenseman Matteo Pietroniro’s second goal of the season and his first on the powerplay. After a set up pass from center Nick Abruzzese, Pietroniro fired a one-time blast from the blueline past the glove of Muskegon goaltender Brandon Bussi.
The Steel tied things up with their second powerplay goal of the game, this one coming 14:36 into the second period. Left wing Neil Shea banked the puck in off of Bussi’s back after great scoring chances from forwards Gunnarwolfe Fontaine and Adam Robbins.
Muskegon answered back with just more than a minute to play in the period when forward Bobby Lynch sent the puck past Steel goaltender Justin Robbins. The Quinnipiac commit made the initial save but Lynch was able to find the rebound first and tap in the puck for a 3-2 Muskegon lead.
Abruzzese got one of his own in the third period to tie the game at three with 14:59 to play. After left wing Robert Mastrosimone received a cross-ice pass, he tapped it over to Abruzzese alone in the slot who then rifled a wrist shot that deflected past the blocker of Bussi.
The tie didn’t last as Lynch struck again, this time with a one-timer on the powerplay, to put the Lumberjacks ahead just 1:16 later.
Muskegon forward Mikael Hakkarainen sealed the game with an empty net goal with 57 seconds remaining after the Steel pulled Robbins for an extra attacker.
The Steel close out the weekend with a road trip to Green Bay, Wis. tomorrow for the second matchup of the season with the Gamblers. Saturday’s matchup is the HockeyTV game of the week so fans can tune into the HockeyTV video broadcast for free. The game will also be carried on Mixlr (free audio).
The Steel will return home November 2 and 3 for a pair of games against Green Bay and Muskegon, including the first post-game Skate with the Steel on Saturday, November 3. Tickets for all Steel home games are on sale now starting at just $10 and stadium seating on the glass is available for just $20. Parking is always free. The Steel offer discounted tickets for groups and season ticket plans start at just 5 games for $45.
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.