Irish Night and Special Jerseys to Benefit Geneva Schools Highlight Weekend Home Games
GENEVA, ILLINOIS - The Chicago Steel host a pair of home games this weekend at Fox Valley Ice Arena, kicking off St. Patrick's Day Weekend on Friday and wearing specialty jerseys on Saturday to support the Geneva Academic Foundation. Friday is Irish Night and a Raising Cane's Kids Day. On Saturday night, Chicago will host a Geneva Academic Foundation (GAF) Powerplay for Students: A Night to Benefit Geneva Schools presented by FONA International.
Chicago again has a chance to wrap up a berth in the Clark Cup Playoffs with a pair of wins and some help as the team's playoff magic number is currently at five. The Steel (30-18-2-0, 62 pts.) remain in second place in the Eastern Conference with Cedar Rapids and Youngstown charging with just 12 games remaining in the regular season.
The weekend begins with Irish Night with themed promotions and music including Brian McKee, a bagpiper with the City of Chicago Pipe Band who will be performing several times during the game. For Raising Cane's Kids Day on Friday, kids 12 and under can receive a red zone ticket, Steel drawstring backpack and Raising Cane's kids combo card all for just $10. The Steel hope to employ the luck of the Irish as they take on the red-hot Youngstown Phantoms (27-18-1-4, 59 pts.). Youngstown comes into the weekend having won its last three games and five of the last six overall including back-to-back 3-0 shutouts in their last two road games. The Phantoms are now fourth in the Eastern Conference, just three points behind the Steel in second.
Chicago has already secured a season series victory with Youngstown and will search for its fifth win in six tries against Youngstown after winning the previous four matchups, including a 4-0 shutout of the Phantoms in the last matchup on February 2.
Friday night's matchup features the two highest individual point totals in the USHL this season as Chicago forward Nick Abruzzese (23-43-66) and Youngstown forward Brett Murray (34-29-63) square off. Each player has scored seven points in the previous five matchups against the other. Abruzzese's total (1-6-7) is tied for second on the team while Murray's total (5-2-7) leads the Phantoms. Chicago will also look for offensive production from forward Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, who has a team-high eight points (6-2-8) against Youngstown, while fellow forwards Mathieu De St. Phalle (2-5-7) and Travis Treloar (1-6-7) have each registered seven points.
On Saturday night, the Steel have partnered with the Geneva Academic Foundation (GAF) and FONA International to present GAF Powerplay for Students: A Night to Benefit Geneva Schools presented by FONA International. This is the third consecutive season the Steel and FONA International will celebrate education and raise funds to benefit Geneva Schools and the Geneva Academic Foundation. When Chicago takes the ice against Dubuque, they'll do so in specially designed GAF jerseys that will then be auctioned off through a silent auction during the game.
This season's jerseys are primarily black with gray and white striping, as a GAF symbol sits on the shoulder and the FONA International logo is emblazoned on the chest opposite the USHL shield. All fans attending the game can receive autographs from the entire team after the game.
Chicago and Dubuque split the first two matchups of the season in a weekend home-and-home in early March that saw the home team win each game, 5-3. Saturday's matchup is one of two remaining this regular season as the teams will meet a final time on Saturday, Apr. 6 at Mystique Ice Arena in Dubuque, Iowa.
Steel forward Robert Mastrosimone led the way against the Fighting Saints in the previous weekend matchup with a pair of multi-point performances en route to a five-point (2-3-5) weekend. Abruzzese (0-3-3) and fellow forward Neil Shea (1-2-3) each registered three points in the weekend. Dubuque forward Ty Jackson also had a five-point (1-4-5) weekend while forward Riese Gaber scored three goals in a four-point weekend. Ty's brother Dylan pitched in a trio of assists while Dubuque leading scorer Matias Maccelli scored a goal in each matchup.
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.
* Five Steel players enter the weekend with current point streaks including forwards Abruzzese (4 games, 2-4-6), Mastrosimone (4 games, 3-2-5), De St. Phalle (3 games, 1-3-4), Josiah Slavin (3 games, 2-2-4) and defenseman Owen Power (2 games, 1-1-2). * Other Steel players have found offensive success recently including defenseman John Spetz who has 11 points (2-9-11) in his last 14 games. Forward Neil Shea has points in six of the last seven (2-5-7) while forward Gunnarwolfe Fontaine and defenseman Matteo Pietroniro each have two goals and three assists in the last six games. * Abruzzese recorded a point last Friday night, becoming just the fourth player in Chicago Steel franchise history to hit the 100-point mark in regular season Steel games. * Defenseman Ville Rasanen scored his first career USHL goal on Friday night. He now has two points (1-1-2) in the last three games. * Goaltender Justin Robbins is 2-1-0-0 this season against Youngstown with a 3.32 goals against average and .848 save percentage and split his starts against Dubuque with a 1-1-0-0 record, 3.53 goals against average and .863 save percentage. Reilly Herbst is a perfect 2-0-0-0 against Youngstown this season with a 2.51 goals against average and .889 save percentage and has not seen Dubuque yet this season. * Treloar (1-6-7) has seven points in five games against Youngstown this season as he looks to snap a current eight-game scoring drought. Defenseman Uula Ruikka will also try to end a drought on Friday. His last point came in the form of an assist on December 16 in Youngstown.
MEET THE OPPONENTS:
* Chicago and Youngstown (27-18-1-4, 59 pts.) meet for the final time in the regular season on Friday night. * Youngstown is currently fourth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the Steel. * Forward Brett Murray leads the Phantoms this season with 63 points (34-29-63) in 50 games. The Buffalo Sabres prospect is three points behind Steel forward Nick Abruzzese for the USHL lead in points. * Goaltender Christian Stoever is 1-1-0-0 this season against the Steel in five appearances with a 4.34 goals against average and .851 save percentage. Chad Veltri has a 0-1-1-0 record with a 4.84 goals against average and .722 save percentage against Chicago. * Chicago and Dubuque (23-20-3-4, 53 pts.) meet for the third of four regular season meetings this season and for the final time at Fox Valley Ice Arena. * Dubuque holds the sixth and final playoff spot for the Eastern Conference with 53 points with a six-point gap on the Central Illinois Flying Aces and nine points removed from the Steel in second. * Forward Matias Maccelli leads the Fighting Saints this season with 59 points (25-34-59) in 50 games. He scored a goal in each of his two matchups with the Steel so far this season. * Goaltender Matthew Thiessen has a 16-16-3-4 record in 40 games this season and was in net for both games against Chicago. The Vancouver Canucks prospect registered a .860 save percentage and 3.53 goals against average in the weekend split against Chicago.
Friday, March 8 vs. Sioux Falls Stampede, L, 4-7 RECAP / STATS
Saturday, March 9 vs. Team USA U17, OTL, 4-5 RECAP / STATS
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
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United States Hockey League Stories from March 13, 2019
- Irish Night and Special Jerseys to Benefit Geneva Schools Highlight Weekend Home Games - Chicago Steel
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