Chicago Closes out Weekend with 2-1 Win over Omaha
OMAHA, NEBRASKA - After weather conditions pushed Sunday's game between the Chicago Steel and Omaha Lancers back three hours, fans at Ralston Arena in Omaha, Neb. were treated to a dazzling defensive showdown and a 2-1 Steel victory. Josh Groll scored the game-winner in the second period and Chicago (29-16-1-0, 59 pts.) won the contest and closed out the season series with a pair of 2-1 wins over Omaha (18-20-4-4, 44 pts.).
The teams went nearly the entire first period without a goal before Steel center Jake Schmaltz struck with 6.8 seconds to play in the opening frame. The University of North Dakota commit finished off a cross-crease feed from left wing Gunnarwolfe Fontaine after he corralled a pass from right wing Neil Shea. Schmaltz's goal was his third of the season and first since December 1.
The Steel lead lasted just 20 seconds of game time as the Lancers tied things up 13 seconds into the second period on defenseman Grant Anderson's fifth goal of the season on a low blast from the right point.
Chicago regained the lead less than five minutes later as left wing Josh Groll scored his seventh of the season after a beautiful passing play with his linemates. Steel right wing Mackie Samoskevich, making his USHL debut, sent a pass towards the center of the ice that center Cole Quisenberry kicked across the crease to Groll for the wrist shot past a sliding Omaha goaltender Akira Schmid.
The Steel defense, backed by goaltender Reilly Herbst, came up big in the third period to close out the win, fending off a late rush in the waning minutes of the game. Herbst finished the game with 24 saves including 10 in the third period. Schmid was equally impressive for Omaha, stopping 20 of 22 Steel shots.
Chicago is back in action in a home-and-home for the first matchups of the season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2. Friday's game is in Dubuque, Iowa before the Steel return to Fox Valley Ice Arena on Saturday, March 2 for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff on a night that includes the team's second annual Wiener Dog Races.
Tickets for all Steel home games are on sale now starting at just $10 and stadium seating on the glass is available for just $20. Parking is always free.
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
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