GENEVA, ILLINOIS — This weekend marks a great opportunity for families to visit the Fox Valley Ice Arena as the Chicago Steel, currently on a six-game home winning streak, are offering two special offers to go along with two fun promotions including Star Wars Night this Saturday.
The Steel (17-12-1-0, 35 pts.) continue a busy January home schedule beginning on Friday night, a 7:05 p.m. faceoff against the Youngstown Phantoms (14-12-0-3, 31 pts.). Friday is a Raising Cane’s Kids Day. Kids 12 and younger can receive a Red Zone ticket, Steel drawstring bag and free Raising Cane’s kid’s combo card for just $10. Fans are invited to bring their own bagged milk and ketchup chips as the team hosts So Canada Night.
Chicago closes out the weekend with a Saturday night matchup against the Green Bay Gamblers (11-15-3-1, 26 pts.) and a Steel Family Pack game. The Steel Family Pack features four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and four chuck-a-pucks starting at just $48. The Family Pack must be purchased in advance and is not available on the day of the game.
Steel fans in attendance Saturday will also have the opportunity to see some of their favorite Star Wars characters, as members of the 501st Legion Midwest Garrison will be in attendance.
Friday’s matchup with Youngstown will be the first since the two teams met for a three-game weekend in Youngstown December 14-16. The Phantoms won the first game of the series as they scored three goals in a span of 3:04 in the third period to complete the 6-5 comeback win. The Steel got their revenge the next night in a 7-2 win that included five-straight goals by the visitors. Chicago battled back on Sunday after falling down 3-1 as they scored three unanswered goals in the second period and held off a late push by the Phantoms in the third for the 4-3 win.
Forward Travis Treloar led the Steel with three-straight multi-assist games in a seven point (1-6-7) weekend. Center Nick Abruzzese and right wing Neil Shea teamed up on the second line for a pair of five-point (1-4-5) performances over the weekend while goaltender Reilly Herbst picked up both wins.
Treloar (3-1-4) and forward Cole Quisenberry (2-2-4) are the players to watch Saturday against Green Bay as each has four points against the Gamblers this season. The teams have met three times with Chicago winning two of the contests. A quartet of forwards including Abruzzese (1-2-3), Robbins (1-2-3), Robert Mastrosimone (1-2-3) and Josh Groll (2-1-3) all average a point a game against the Gamblers so far this season. Goaltender Justin Robbins played in all three games with a 3.39 goals against average.
- Nick Abruzzese enters the weekend with 38 points (11-27-38), which is one point behind a tie for the USHL lead between Waterloo’s Matej Blümel (19-20-39) and Youngstown’s Brett Murray (16-23-39). Abruzzese and Murray will meet Friday night when the Steel host the Phantoms. Murray has scored in every game against Chicago this season (4-2-6) while Abruzzese has five points (1-4-5) in the three games against Youngstown. Abruzzese enters the game after scoring in both games last weekend (3-1-4) and has registered a point in 15 of the last 18 games. He currently leads the Steel with 12 multi-point games this season.
- Defenseman Matteo Pietroniro enters the weekend amongst the best offensive blueliners in the USHL. His 24 points (11-13-24) is second to only Muskegon’s Alex Yakovenko (8-19-27), but Pietroniro’s 11 goals and four game-winning goals each lead all USHL defensemen. The Captain has points in seven of the last nine games for the Steel.
- In six combined games against this weekend’s opponents, Travis Treloar has collected 12 of his 21 points this season. The Swedish forward is tied for eighth in the USHL among rookie scorers with 21 points (9-12-21). Treloar has a point in six of the last eight games for the Steel.
- Last weekend’s newly-assembled second line of Christian Sarlo – A. Robbins – Treloar will be a trio to watch this weekend as they have combined for 20 points (9-11-20) against this weekend’s opponents despite Sarlo not being on the roster for the games against Green Bay. The trio combined for three goals and six points in two games last weekend.
- Sarlo is currently sixth among USHL rookies with 0.89 points per game as he has 16 points (9-7-16) 18 games into his rookie campaign. He scored two goals last weekend and has a goal in four of the last six games for Chicago.
- Neil Shea is currently second on the team with 27 points (9-18-27). He and Abruzzese, the leading Steel’s leading scorer, have been on the same line for 15 of the last 17 games. In that time, Abruzzese has seven multi-point games while Shea has six.
- Reilly Herbst has won six of his last eight starts and has allowed three or fewer goals in all but two of his 11 appearances this season. His 2.64 goals against average is currently fourth among USHL goaltenders.
MEET THE OPPONENTS:
- Chicago kicks off the weekend hosting Youngstown Friday night at 7:05 p.m at Fox Valley Ice Arena.
- Youngstown (14-12-0-3, 31 pts.) currently sits in sixth place in a competitive Eastern Conference, just four points removed form second-place Chicago.
- Forward Brett Murray is currently tied for the USHL lead with 39 points (16-23-39) through 29 games. The Buffalo Sabres prospect enters the game on an 11-game point streak (10-12-22) in which he is averaging two points a game.
- Youngstown has played a rotation of goaltenders this season including Christian Stoever (14 games, 7-4-0-2, 3.72 GAA, .868 SV%), Vinnie Purpura (11 games, 4-5-0-1, 3.17 GAA, .879 SV%), and Chad Veltri (11 games, 5-2-2-1, 3.67 GAA, .875 SV%). All three were acquired during the season.
- The Steel close the weekend against Green Bay on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m at Fox Valley Ice Arena.
- Green Bay (11-15-3-1, 26 pts.) is looking to turn its momentum as they have lost their last three games and currently sit in seventh place.
- Forwards Jesse Tucker (7-11-18) and Jackson Perbix (2-16-18) are currently tied for the team lead with 18 points while 13 Gamblers have double-digit point totals.
- Goaltender Evan Fear has appeared in 19 games this season and carries an 8-9-2-0 record into this weekend’s games. The Chicago Mission product has a 3.42 goals against average and .899 save percentage with two shutouts this season.
Monday, Dec. 31 at Muskegon, L, 0-2 RECAP / STATS
Friday, Jan. 4 vs. Madison, W, 7-1 RECAP / STATS
Saturday, Jan. 5 at Central Illinois, L, 4-6 RECAP / STATS
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.