November 5, 2017 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Chicago Steel
STEEL DOWN GAMBLERS 5-4 IN OVERTIME
Daschke records game-winner to cap thriller
GENEVA, ILLINOIS - Chicago Steel captain Derek Daschke tallied the game-winning goal with 22.4 seconds remaining in overtime, firing a wrist shot from the left circle, as the Steel defeated the Green Bay Gamblers, 5-4 Friday at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Steel forwards Jack Dugan and Blake McLaughlin each recorded one goal and three assists.
The Steel improved to 7-1-0-0 (14 pts.) on the season, while Green Bay dropped to 5-3-2-0 (12 pts.). The two teams will play a rematch Saturday night in Geneva.
Chicago opened the scoring for a seventh time in eight games this season when Tyler Gratton snapped a shot from the low slot past the glove of Gamblers goaltender Maksim Zhukov at 6:51.
Green Bay tied the game just over a minute later when Trenton Bliss knocked a shorthanded goal past Chicago netminder Oskar Autio at 8:07. The Steel would take advantage of the power play 29 seconds later, regaining the lead thanks to Gratton's second marker of the night. McLaughlin dished the puck across the ice to Dugan in the left circle. Dugan then fed the puck in front, and Gratton jammed in a backhanded tip from the top of the crease.
The Steel power play connected again at the 12:44 mark when McLaughlin registered his fourth goal of the season. Graham Lillibridge passed the puck to McLaughlin at the right point. McLaughlin stickhanded into the right circle and wristed a shot past Zhukov's blocker to put the Steel up 3-1. The goal came just six seconds into Chicago's power play. Zhukov was pulled from the crease after surrendering three goals on nine shots, and Jake Begley completed the game between the pipes for the Gamblers.
McKade Webster cut the Steel lead to one with just under four minutes remaining in the first period, as the Gamblers forward registered his first career USHL goal, knocking in a low shot past Autio's stick.
In the second period, Green Bay tied the game 3-3 with the only goal of the period as Lean Bergmann went glove-side on Autio at 13:08.
Dugan regained the lead for Chicago with a power play one-timer from the left wing at 5:07 of the third period. With under seven minutes remaining, Tyler Spott recorded the Gamblers' second shorthanded goal of the night, ultimately forcing the game into overtime, Chicago's first extra session of the season.
Chicago ended regulation with a man advantage but were unable to capitalize as overtime began. After the Steel successfully killed off a penalty of their own with strong goaltending from Autio, the Steel began a final push up ice with a half minute to go in regulation. McLaughlin received a pass at center ice from Dugan and found Daschke along the left wing. The defenseman's shot from the faceoff dot sailed high past Begley to secure the victory.
Autio improved his individual record to 7-0-0-0. Dugan has now recorded at least one goal in seven of eight games, while he (9+5) and McLaughlin (4+10) are tied atop the USHL scoring race with 14 points. Despite allowing two shorthanded goals, Chicago's special teams remained strong as the Steel tallied three power play goals while also going 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The first-place Steel, winners of six straight games, rematch with the second-place Gamblers Saturday at 7:05 p.m. The game will feature a 25th Anniversary Celebration of The Mighty Ducks. The weekend then closes with a Sunday, Nov. 5 game against I-55 rival, the Central Illinois Flying Aces, to be played at the Peoria Civic Center at 4:07 p.m. All Steel games are carried live on Mixlr (free audio) and Hockey TV (iPPV). For more information, visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com/broadcast.
For more information on the Chicago Steel, or to purchase tickets, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.