October 22, 2017 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Chicago Steel
GENEVA, ILLINOIS - Forwards Blake McLaughlin and Aaro Vidgren each scored twice as the Chicago Steel defeated the Madison Capitols by a 7-2 margin Saturday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena. The Steel (4-1-0-0, 8 pts.) scored on three of four power play opportunities.
In addition to tallying his first two career USHL goals just 14 seconds apart in the third period, McLaughlin also added an assist for his second three-point outing of the season. Jack Dugan recorded his sixth goal of the season, tied for the most in the USHL, and he has registered at least one goal in each of his first five USHL games. Steel goaltender Oskar Autio stopped 22 shots during the contest to improve his record to 4-0-0-0.
As has been the case in each game this season, Chicago got on the board first. Vidgren recorded his first power play goal of the night by cashing in a cross-ice feed from Derek Daschke at 13:04. The Steel took a 2-0 lead just under four minutes later as left wing Brett Budgell scored his first goal of the season on a backhanded shot from the slot. Center Nick Abruzzese set up the goal with a pass from below the goal line.
The Steel extended their lead to 3-0 on a fluky bounce early in the 2nd period. On a delayed penalty call, Capitols goaltender Dryden McKay skated to the bench for an extra attacker. Steel forward Robert Mastrosimone blocked a shot from the point and the puck deflected all the way down the ice and into the empty net. The goal, Mastrosimone's second on home ice this season, would end up being the game-winner.
Madison got on the board just before the eight-minute mark of the frame with a shot from the left point from defenseman Misha Song, as the New York Islanders prospect recorded his first career USHL goal. The Capitols cut the Chicago lead to 3-2 with a shorthanded marker from forward Anthony Callin at 14:06.
Chicago wasted no time responding, restoring their two-goal lead moments later with Vidgren's second tally of the night, a power play goal from near the goal line.
Chicago extended its lead to 5-2 at the 11:10 mark of the third period. Vegas Golden Knights prospect Jack Dugan sent a shot into the back of the net from the left circle during a man advantage.
McLaughlin put the game away for the Steel late in the third period, deflecting a cross-ice pass from forward Austin Magera into the back of the net to give the Steel a four-goal lead, and after the ensuing faceoff, McLaughlin tallied his second goal of the night with a shot from the left faceoff circle to secure the five-goal win.
Both the Steel and the Capitols fired 24 shots on net in the contest, and Chicago was successful in killing off all four Madison power plays.
The Steel now sit alone atop the Eastern Conference standings with eight points through five games.
Chicago makes its first Western Conference trip of the season next weekend with games at the Sioux City Musketeers on Friday, and the Lincoln Stars on Saturday. Friday's game at Tyson Events Center will mark the Steel's return to the arena where they won their first Clark Cup in team history back on May 23. Chicago then returns home on Friday, Nov. 3, and on Saturday, Nov. 4, for two contests against the Green Bay Gamblers. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m. The first 500 fans at both games will receive a Steel magnet schedule. Nov. 4 will also feature a 25th Anniversary Celebration of The Mighty Ducks. 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.
Broadcaster and Media Relations Coordinator
2016-2017 Clark Cup Champions