GENEVA, ILLINOIS — The Chicago Steel will put their seven-game winning streak on the line when the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders come to town Tuesday night.
The Steel (11-7-1-0, 23 pts.) come into the Tuesday night matchup with the win streak that dates back to November 10. Chicago and Cedar Rapids (10-9-2-0, 22 pts.) meet for the fourth time this season as the Steel lead the season series 2-1-0-0 and have won the last two match-ups.
In the last meeting between the teams, Chicago scored three unanswered goals to erase a Aiden McDonough goal just 71 seconds into the game en route to a 3-1 win on Friday, Nov. 23. Forwards Christian Sarlo, Neil Shea and Travis Treloar scored in the win as goaltender Justin Robbins made 12 saves on 13 shots faced in the win.
The teams split the first two meetings with the road team winning both games. The Steel won an overtime thriller on Saturday, Oct. 27 as forwards Robert Mastrosimone and Cole Quisenberry each scored twice to lead the Steel to a 4-3 win. Chicago tied the game three times before Mastrosimone struck 35 seconds into overtime. Cedar Rapids won the first meeting of the season as they spoiled Chicago’s Home Opener when Blake Pietilla saved all 29 shots he faced in the shutout win.
Forward Nick Abruzzese, who was named USHL Forward of the Week on Monday, leads the Steel with three points (0-3-3) this season against the RoughRiders. Forwards Mastrosimone (2-0-2), Quisenberry (2-0-2), Treloar (1-1-2) and Shea (1-1-2) as well as defenseman Luke Reid (0-2-2) all have two points against Cedar Rapids this season.
The Steel will be without Mastrosimone, who is representing Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge, for six games beginning with Tuesday night’s game. The Steel will also be without forward Josh Groll who is serving a one-game suspension stemming from an altercation during Saturday’s game against Central Illinois.
The RoughRiders are currently led by forwards Liam Walsh (7-7-14) and Nathan Smith (2-12-14) who each have 14 points in 21 games this season. The other four skaters with double-digit point totals are all forwards as the leading defenseman Will Zmolek (1-7-8) has eight points this season. Cedar Rapids will be without leading goaltender Blake Pietila who has played in 18 games this season and currently has a 9-7-2-0 record with a 2.99 goals against average and .901 save percentage. Like the Steel’s Mastrosimone, Pietela will also be representing the USA at the World Junior A Challenge. Forward Grant Silianoff (21 games, 6-6-12) and defenseman Mitchell Miller (21 games, 2-5-7) will also miss Tuesday’s game.
Tickets for Tuesday’s game are on sale now starting at just $10 with stadium seating on the glass still available for just $20. Parking is always free.
The Steel have two games this weekend including a road game Friday, Dec. 7 against Des Moines (12-8-1-1, 26 pts.) and then a home game Saturday, Dec. 8 against the Omaha Lancers (6-12-0-2, 14 pts.).
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