Doan Scores Four Goals As Steel Top Muskegon
GENEVA, ILLINOIS - Josh Doan became the first Steel player in 14 years to score four goals in a game, as theChicago Steel (37-11-3-2; 79 pts.) defeated the Muskegon Lumberjacks (34-15-2-2; 72 pts.) 6-4 Friday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena.
The prolific performance was the first four-goal game by a Chicago Steel player since Andy Miele tallied four markers on Nov. 23, 2007. Doan's outing matched the highest number of goals scored in a single game in the USHL this season (Tyler Carpenter - OMA).
Luca Fantilli added his first multi-goal game in the league, scoring goals in the final frame that tied the game at 3-3 and put the Steel ahead 5-4.
Chicago overcame a 3-1 deficit and outscored Muskegon 4-1 in the third period. Steel goaltender Simon Latkoczy made 21 saves between the Steel pipes, improving his record to 12- 2-0-2 this season.
Sean Farrell assisted on all four Doan goals, bringing his USHL-record total to 69 helpers for the season.
A penalty-filled opening frame resulted in a pair of power-play tallies, one for each club, to start the scoring in a battle between the teams that will finish first and second in the Eastern Conference.
The Steel jumped in front early when Ryan Ufko and Sean Farrell teamed up to find Doan on a designed power play rush. Farrell dished a pass to Doan in the Steel offensive zone, giving Doan a lane to laser a wrister past Muskegon netminder Nathan Reid.
The Lumberjacks tied the game with a Quinn Hutson marker on the man advantage just past the halfway point of the first period. Nick Portz found Hutson on the doorstep for an easy tap-in goal, his 15th of the year.
Muskegon's leading scorer, Danil Gushchin, took control in a short span of the contest, scoring two goals within five minutes of game action. The San Jose Sharks prospect picked up a giveaway in front of the Steel net to score his 30th of the season with just 47 seconds left in the first, then put the Lumberjacks ahead 3-1 with a goal following a deflection off the stick of Steel defenseman Ian Moore.
Doan cut the lead to one goal, showing elite hand-eye coordination on an offensive rush alongside Farrell. The Arizona State University-bound forward knocked a pass from Farrell out of midair, giving himself a split second to gather it and shoot, beating Reid for the second time. Trailing 3-2 heading into the final frame, Luca Fantilli joined Doan to register a pair of clutch performances to help the Steel gain control on home ice.
Just over a minute into the third, Fantilli netted his second goal of the season with weaving stick work through the Lumberjacks defensive zone. The Nobleton, Ontario, native caught a pass in stride from Adam Robbins, navigating a move from his backhand to his forehand around a Muskegon defender. Fantilli fired from the slot to tie the game 3-3.
Less than a minute later, Guschin netted a hat trick for the visitors, a wrap around goal for his 32nd of the season, the second-most in the USHL.
Doan's night was far from over as he helped Chicago claw its way back against the Lumberjacks.
On a power play, Adam Fantilli found Farrell on the right-wing boards as Farrell waited for Doan to gain position in front of the net. Doan lost his defender and Farrell lasered a pass that was tipped home by Doan between his own legs, tying the game at 4-4.
Luca Fantilli and Doan struck with lightning-quick goals to put the Steel ahead for good. Fantilli's second of the night came on the doorstep after a beautiful setup from Joe Miller, giving Chicago a 5-4 edge.
Less than a minute later, Doan brought the Fox Valley Ice Arena faithful to their feet one last time with his fourth goal of the night, following a furious forecheck from Farrell and Adam Fantilli. The pair of forwards forced a turnover behind the Lumberjacks net and Fantilli spun a backhand pass in front of the net where Doan extended the lead to 6-4.
With just under three minutes to play, the Steel penalty kill unit successfully cancelled out their sixth infraction of the game, this time with a 6-on-4 due to Muskegon's empty net. The two teams meet in the regular season finale on Saturday, April 24 at 7:05 pm CT at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Following the contest, the Steel will enter the Clark Cup Playoffs as the #1 overall seed and the Lumberjacks with the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Steel will face either Dubuque or Team USA Eastern Conference Semifinals series beginning Friday, April 30. Dubuque needs one point against Green Bay or a USA loss to Youngstown to clinch the final spot. Team USA needs to defeat Youngstown and a Dubuque regulation loss to Green Bay in order to qualify.
Tickets for Saturday's game, and next weekend's Eastern Conference Semifinals series are on sale now by calling 855-51-STEEL, visiting ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com or at the Steel Box Office open at 10 a.m. on the day of each home game.
Chicago Steel games can be heard on Mixlr at http://mixlr.com/chicago-steel/ (FREE AUDIO) and video may be streamed on available devices through HockeyTV at www.hockeytv.com (STREAM).
Chicago Steel Upcoming Games presented by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush:
Saturday, April 24 vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks (7:05 pm CT) Fan Appreciation Weekend presented by Xfinity with Steel puck giveaway (first 250 fans)
Friday, April 30 vs. TBD (7:05 pm CT) Eastern Conference Semifinals - Game 1 presented by River Front Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram
Saturday, May 1 vs. TBD (7:05 pm CT) Eastern Conference Semifinals - Game 2 presented by River Front Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
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United States Hockey League Stories from April 24, 2021
- Lincoln Ends Season with 3-2 Win in Sioux Falls - Lincoln Stars
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- Stars Finish Home Slate with 3-1 Win over Stampede - Lincoln Stars
- Big Second Period Lifts USA Past Phantoms 7-4 - Youngstown Phantoms
- Hawks Upend Buccaneers Friday - Waterloo Black Hawks
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