GENEVA, ILLINOIS — On a night celebrating the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park, it was the Chicago Steel who ruled the Fox Valley Ice Arena, defeating Team USA U-17 6-3 Saturday night in front of a season-high 1,577 fans. The game featured a wild third period that saw the teams combine for eight goals. Chicago (16-10-1-0, 33 pts.) took a 1-0 lead just nine seconds into the game and never trailed despite the wide-open third period against Team USA (9-10-1-2, 21 pts.)
Steel right wing Neil Shea scored the early opener to extend his point streak to five games (3-5-8). After center Nick Abruzzese won the opening faceoff, the puck touched every stick before Abruzzese found Shea alone in the slot where he deposited a wrist shot over the glove of Team USA goaltender Drew Commesso. With the primary assist, Abruzzesse extended his point streak to four games (2-6-8) and has now scored in 20 of his team’s 27 games this season.
With strong goaltending on both sides, neither team was able to find the net again unitl the third which began with a combined three goals in the first five minutes. It was Shea once again with the early tally, scoring his second of the game just 27 seconds into the third period on the powerplay. Right wing Mathieu De St. Phalle found Shea along the far boards where the Northeastern University commit skated in and fired a tough-angle wrist shot past the glove of Commesso.
The teams then exchanged a pair of goals in rapid succession. Team USA forward Luke Tuch scored on the powerplay to cut the Steel lead in half but just 55 seconds later, Steel forward Christian Sarlo finished off a net-front scramble to make it 3-1 Chicago.
Steel defenseman John Spetz scored what would become the game-winning goal 8:52 into the third when he launched a canon of a shot from the slot past Commesso on the powerplay. Team USA forward Daniyal Dzhaniyev scored his first of the season 57 seconds later to bring the game back within two.
Chicago scored the next two goals of the game to ice Team USA. Abruzzese scored a goal of his own at the 13:14 mark before defenseman Matteo Pietroniro added his 11th of the season, scoring on an empty USA net. Pietroniro is now tied with forward Robert Mastrosimone for the Steel team lead in goals and extended his USHL lead for goals amongst USHL defenseman.
After beginning the season, 1-5-0-0 at home, the Steel have now won five-straight on home ice. Justin Robbins stopped 28 of 31 shots to earn his 11th win of the season.
The Steel close out the calendar year with a New Year’s Eve game in Muskegon set for a 7:15 p.m. CT faceoff before playing seven of nine January games on home ice. The Steel will return to Fox Valley Ice Arena on Friday, January 4, hosting the Madison Capitols at 7:05 pm. On Hip Hop and Hockey Night.
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 are offering a special Holiday Pack, which includes three games and four gifts for just $40.
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.