October 21, 2017 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Chicago Steel
GENEVA, ILLINOIS - Jack Dugan scored twice Friday to lead the Chicago Steel (3-1-0-0, 6 pts.) to a 3-2 victory over the Dubuque Fighting Saints (1-3-1-0, 2 pts.) at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Oskar Autio stopped 33 shots in Chicago's first home victory of the season.
Chicago forward Samuel Bucek was awarded a penalty shot early in the first period but was denied by the left pad of Dubuque netminder Jaxon Castor. The Steel managed to open the scoring - something they have done in each game this season - when Dugan tallied a power play goal from the slot at 18:41. Baker Shore and Graham Lillibridge recorded the assists.
Chicago and Dubuque traded partial breakaway chances in the second period, but Autio and Castor stood tall for their respective teams to maintain the 1-0 score.
Winnipeg Jets prospect Santeri Virtanen recorded his first career USHL goal to tie the game for the Fighting Saints just under three minutes into the third period. Virtanen's goal came from a one-timer in the right circle while on the power play.
The Steel regained the lead under four minutes later when Finnish left wing Aaro Vidgren netted his first career USHL goal, burying Derek Daschke's rebound past Castor's blocker at 6:43. Dubuque's Chayse Primeau was awarded a penalty shot midway through the frame, but Autio denied with the stick to hold the lead. Dubuque pulled Castor in favor of an extra attacker in the game's final two minutes, and Dugan scored on the empty net to increase Chicago's lead to 3-1. The Saints kept fighting, and Jan Kern redirected a point shot from Jordan Wishman with 42 seconds remaining, but the Steel held on for the one-goal victory.
Dubuque outshot Chicago, 35-25, including an 18-7 margin in the third period. The Steel were 2-for-3 on both the power play and penalty kill. Autio improved to 3-0-0-0 to start his USHL career. Dugan now leads the league with seven points (5+2) on the season, and has tallied at least one goal in each of his first four USHL games. Shore is tied for second in league scoring with six points (2+4).
The Steel complete their home weekend Saturday with a 7:05 p.m. contest against the Madison Capitols. Saturday's game is Paint the Rink Pink Night presented by the Center for Diagnostic Imaging. The Steel will wear special pink jerseys which will be auctioned off at the game with proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.