Chicago Steel win 3-2 over Team USA U-17 in a shootout.
Before this game, the Chicago Steel finalized their roster, which you can see here. The most significant development from this was the return of goaltender Adam Miller, who was traded back to the Steel from the Tri-City Storm for future considerations.
Now, onto the game, which was held at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.
The Steel needed this win to really get people on board with this team after last year’s abysmal season, and they did not disappoint. After Team USA goalie Curtis Frye was called for tripping less than thirty seconds into the game, baby-faced giant Zach Saar notched his first goal of the night at 1:08 in the first period. Jeff Kubiak picked up the assist. But Saar wasn’t done yet; he tallied another power play goal early in the second period to give the Steel a 2-0 lead (Michael Fallon got the assist this time).
Of course, this is the Steel, and this team never seems to make it easy on themselves. Two goals by Team USA later in the second period (by J.T. Compher and Trevor Hamilton, respectively), the score was tied. Despite two penalties in the third period, the Steel managed to escape with the tied score intact. No one could get the extra point in overtime, so it was onto everyone’s favorite parlor game — the shootout.
Phillip Marinaccio scored the first shootout goal for the Steel, but Team USA answered back with a goal by Connor Chatham. Neither Bo Pieper nor Tyler Kelleher could find the back of the net for their respective teams, so it all came down to Theo DiPauli versus Kevin Labanc. DiPauli nets it, Labanc doesn’t, and the Steel get two points to start the season right.
The Steel outshot Team USA 43-34 and converted on two of their seven power plays. Not a bad start at all.
The Steel’s next game is their home opener on Friday, October 7 at 7:30pm against the Youngstown Phantoms at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville. Tickets are still available online via their site. The game is a Guaranteed Win night, which means that, if the Steel don’t win, you’ll get a voucher good for a ticket to another predetermined home game. It’s also Skate With The Steel Night, so you can come out and skate with your favorite Steel players. I’m going to be there (as part of the media, so no skating for me), and I hope you will be, too.
Of course, if you can’t make it out on Friday, the Steel have another home game on Saturday, October 8 against the Muskegon Lumberjacks. That game starts at 7:00pm. Hope you can all come out and check out the Steel soon!