Des Moines Beats Chicago in Goalie Duel, 3-1
DES MOINES, IOWA - The Chicago Steel saw their eight-game winning streak snapped as the Des Moines Buccaneers beat the Steel 3-1 Friday night in a highly-entertaining USHL battle at Buccaneer Arena. In a game where Chicago's (12-8-1-0, 25 pts.) Justin Robbins and Des Moines' (14-8-1-1, 30 pts.) Roman Durny each came up with big saves throughout the game, the Buccaneers grabbed a lead and held on despite relentless Chicago pressure in the final minutes. Robbins finished with 19 saves while Durny turned aside 28.
The Des Moines win marked Chicago's first loss since November 9 and first away from home since October 13.
The scoring opened when Buccaneers forward Reed Lebster collected his own rebound and sent it past Robbins with 4:13 to play in the first period. The goal came just minutes after Robbins made a three-on-one save to keep the game scoreless.
Robbins kept the game 1-0 when he made a breakaway save just 4:25 into the second period as he denied forward Casey Carreau's forehand shot. Later in the second period, it was Durny's turn to keep the score 1-0 as he stopped a breakaway shot from Chicago forward Adam Gajarsky. The Steel forward split the Buccaneers defense but couldn't get the forehand shot past the glove of Durny.
The Buccaneers doubled their lead when forward Rylee St. Onge sent a one-time slap shot through the five-hole of Robbins just 3:51 into the third period. Des Moines forward Mac Welsher set St. Onge up with a backhand feed as traffic in front of the net hindered Robbins' view of the shot.
Down 2-0, Chicago had an extended five-on-three powerplay with 8:07 to play in the third period but Des Moines managed to kill off the opportunity.
Moments later, with the teams skating four-on-four, Chicago left wing Gunnarwolfe Fontaine finished off a net-front scramble to cut the lead in half with 6:34 to play. Steel defenseman Owen Power had a chance to shoot but patiently held the puck before his pass was blocked and trickled out to the slot where center Nick Abruzzese sent in a one-time shot towards Durny. The Des Moines goaltender made the initial save but Fontaine was at the side of the net to jam home the rebound.
Fontaine's goal was his third in two games after scoring his first career USHL goal on Tuesday. The rookie forward now has 12 points (3-9-12) this season. With the assist, Abruzzese extended his point, and assist, streak to seven games (3-8-11).
Robbins was pulled for the extra attacker with 100 seconds remaining in the game but Des Moines held off the frantic Chicago rush. Steel defenseman Matteo Pietroniro looked to tie the game multiple times in the final minute, including a shot that rang off the post with 30 seconds to play. An empty net goal by Lebster with less than a second remaining capped the scoring.
The Steel close the weekend at home on Saturday with a 7:05 p.m. faceoff against the Omaha Lancers. The Steel will celebrate mascot Rusty's Birthday, featuring a Mascot Hockey Game during the intermission. After the game, fans are invited 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. The Steel offer discounted tickets for groups and are offering a special Holiday Pack, which includes three games and four gifts for just $40.
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
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