Blake, Perron Net Two Goals Each in Preseason Win
MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN - The defending Clark Cup champion Chicago Steel put a bow on the 2021 preseason with a 6-4 win on the road against the Muskegon Lumberjacks Sunday afternoon at Mercy Health Arena.
A pair of University of North Dakota commits tallied multi-goal games for the Steel. Forwards Jackson Blake and Jayden Perron each registered two-goal performances, Blake added a helper and netminder Gibson Homer turned away 26 shots to earn the victory between the pipes.
The Steel went 2-for-6 (33.3%) with the man advantage while posting a perfect 3-for-3 (100%) game on the penalty kill.
The first period was packed with scoring chances, ultimately resulting in a 3-1 cushion for the visitors after 20 minutes.
Perron reached the back of the net for the first time this preseason to give the Steel an early edge. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native gathered his own rebound in the slot and put a follow-up opportunity on net, trickling over the top of Muskegon netminder Jan Skorpik.
Muskegon didn't take long to respond as Laker Aldridge was credited with a goal after a tough bounce off a Chicago defender in front of the net less than a minute after the Steel had taken the lead.
Blake, selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the Fourth Round (#109 Overall) of the 2021 NHL Draft, caught fire midway through the opening frame, scoring the next two markers for the visitors. Just short of the halfway point of the frame, Blake made a cross-crease move to the right of Skorpik, putting the Steel back in front with a short-range wrister.
Steel forward Andon Cerbone factored in on the second goal of the game by Blake with a patient, puck-possession play. The University of Michigan commit breezed down the left wing, tossing a pass to Blake who re-directed the centering feed to the back of the cage.
The middle frame began with a defensive emphasis for Muskegon as the Lumberjacks killed off a 5-on-3 Chicago power play to start the period.
After the strong penalty kill, Skorpik stood tall in net with a pair of impressive stops on Steel forward Michael Emerson on the same shift, keeping the score at 3-1.
The Lumberjacks rode the momentum to the first marker of the second period, courtesy of Ben Strinden who skated to his right after collecting his own rebound to beat Homer.
Chicago ballooned the lead to 6-2 with three markers in a span of just over five minutes in the middle frame.
Evan Hunter scored his first of the preseason, set up by a beautiful passing play from Emerson and Dylan Robbins, giving Hunter a look at the right side of the cage.
Just over a minute later, Steel forward Sam Lipkin, fresh off his time at Arizona Coyotes development camp after being selected by the club in the 2021 NHL Draft, tallied a power play goal, his first in the exhibition season.
Perron capped the scoring outburst with his second of the afternooon on a power play late into the second. The University of North Dakota commit showed off a sweet touch, calmly transitioning the puck to his backhand on the doorstep, finding space on the left side of the net.
Phillip Tresca helped the Lumberjacks claw back into the game, tallying his second of the preseason before the teams took to the locker rooms for the second intermission.
Charlie Strobel added to the Muskegon comeback attempt, netting the first and only goal of the final frame.
The Steel open the 2021 USHL regular season with a pair of games against Western Conference foes next weekend at the 2021 DICK'S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic in Cranberry Township, Penn.
Chicago faces the Fargo Force on Saturday, September 25 with a 4:00 pm CT puck drop, the first meeting between the teams since May 21, 2021 when the Steel captured the 2021 Clark Cup.
The Steel finish the weekend showcase against the Sioux Falls Stampede on Sunday, September 26 at 4:00 pm CT, a rematch of the 2019 Clark Cup Final.
The Steel open the home portion of the schedule on Saturday, October 2 against the Lumberjacks on Opening Night presented by McCue Chevy. The home opener will feature a championship celebration and the unveiling of the 2021 Clark Cup Championship banner. Tickets are on sale now for all Steel home games in person at the Steel Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena, by phone at 855-51-STEEL and online at ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
Chicago Steel games may be heard on Mixlr at http://mixlr.com/chicago-steel/ (AUDIO) and video may be streamed on available devices through HockeyTV at www.hockeytv.com (VIDEO).
Chicago Steel Upcoming Home Games presented by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush:
Saturday, October 2 vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks (7:05 pm CT) Opening Night with Championship Celebration presented by McCue Chevy with Post-Game Skate
Friday, October 8 vs. Team USA U17 (7:05 pm CT) Pokémon Night
Saturday, October 9 vs. Team USA U17 (7:05 pm CT) GIVEAWAY - 2021-2022 Magnet Schedule
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
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United States Hockey League Stories from September 19, 2021
- Jacks Conclude Preseason with 6-4 Loss to Chicago - Muskegon Lumberjacks
- Blake, Perron Net Two Goals Each in Preseason Win - Chicago Steel
- Hawks Seek VGM Seats of Honor Nominations - Waterloo Black Hawks
- Dubuque's Puck Possession Earns Preseason Finale Win - Dubuque Fighting Saints
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