Chicago Stops Dubuque in 3-2 Saturday Night Win
GENEVA, ILLINOIS - The Chicago Steel scored three-straight goals and held off a late rally en route to a 3-2 win over the Dubuque Fighting Saints Friday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena. The Steel (31-19-2-0, 64 pts.) held off a third period rush by the Fighting Saints (24-21-3-4, 55 pts.) as the visitors attempted to tie the game in the final frame. With the win, Chicago's magic number to earn their third-straight playoff berth is at 2.
Dubuque was able to strike first Saturday night thanks to a breakaway goal from forward Riese Gaber, his fourth goal in three games against Chicago this season. Gaber received a breakout pass from linemate Dylan Jackson before tucking a forehand shot around the outstretched leg of Steel goaltender Reilly Herbst. The assist was Jackson's fourth in three games against Chicago.
The Steel had a chance to tie the game later in the first as center Nick Abruzzese drew the defense towards him and fed left wing Gunnarwolfe Fontaine for a one-time shot that sailed just wide.
The second period began with near misses as Steel defenseman Matteo Pietroniro used his skate to break up a three-on-one chance for the Fighting Saints less than three minutes into the middle frame. Chicago later swarmed the Dubuque net midway through the period as the Steel forward unit of Fontaine, Sam Colangelo and Jake Schmaltz buzzed around Fighting Saints netminder Matthew Thiessen.
Chicago would not be denied as they recorded a pair of goals in the back half of the second. Steel left wing Robert Mastrosimone tied the game on a five-hole wrist shot for his third goal of the weekend. Mastrosimone now has 43 career Steel goals, which is tied for second in franchise history, just three back of the leader.
The Steel took the lead on Pietroniro's 17th goal of the season as he strode in two-on-none and slipped a shot through the five-hole of Thiessen with just more than a minute to play in the second.
Chicago extended its lead to two in the final frame as left wing Josh Groll scored his ninth goal of the season. Abruzzese had the set-up pass for his 104th career Steel point, moving him into a tie for third all-time in franchise history.
A Dubuque timeout re-energized the Fighting Saints who answered with a goal less than four minutes later from forward Matias Maccelli to cut the Steel lead to 3-2 midway through the third.
Thiessen was pulled for an extra attacker with a little more than one minute to play in the game but strong defensive play from the Steel left Dubuque without a quality chance to find the equalizer.
The Steel could punch their ticket to the playoffs as soon as Sunday, March 17. If the Central Illinois Flying Aces lose in regulation in their game vs. Sioux City, the Steel clinch their third-straight playoff berth.
The Chicago Steel are back in action for a trio of games next week, including a pair of road tilts in Green Bay on Tuesday and Friday night for a pair of 7:05 p.m. puck drops. The Steel are back in front of the home crowd Sunday, March 24 for Daddy Daughter Princess Day featuring Rapunzel presented by Wausau Homes North Aurora in a 3:05 p.m. faceoff against the Lincoln Stars. Sunday's game is a Steel Family Pack as fans can purchase four tickets, hot dogs, sodas and chuck-a-pucks starting at just $48. Fans are invited to stick around after the game to Skate with the Steel.
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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United States Hockey League Stories from March 16, 2019
- Recap: Storm Thrash Lancers 8-1 on Rivalry Weekend - Tri-City Storm
- Chicago Stops Dubuque in 3-2 Saturday Night Win - Chicago Steel
- Central Illinois Bested by Sioux City in the Shootout - Central Illinois Flying Aces
- Sioux City Picks up Two Points in a Shootout - Sioux City Musketeers
- Hawks Bring Back a Win - Waterloo Black Hawks
- Dubuque's Comeback Effort Falls Short, Chicago Holds on 3-2 - Dubuque Fighting Saints
- Lumberjacks Drop Saturday Game 3-1 to Des Moines, Split Series - Muskegon Lumberjacks
- Gameday Preview: Storm Set to Close out Rivalry Weekend against Omaha - Tri-City Storm
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