LUMBERJACKS BATTLE PAST STEEL 5-4 SUNDAY
GENEVA, ILLINOIS - In the final contest of a three-game weekend, the Chicago Steel (18-13-1-2, 39 pts.) dropped a back-and-forth decision to the Muskegon Lumberjacks (18-15-1-1, 38 pts.), 5-4, Sunday afternoon at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Defenseman Marc Del Gaizo recorded two of Muskegon's four power-play goals, including the game-winning tally with just 2:29 remaining, breaking the game's fourth tie.
Chicago's Sam Stevens opened the scoring at the 6:17 mark of the first period, spinning behind the goal line and banking a shot off the glove of Muskegon netminder Zach Borgiel. The goal was Stevens' first on home ice this season, and Tim Clifton recorded his first career USHL point with the goal's lone assist.
The Lumberjacks tied the game late in the first period thanks to a power-play goal from defenseman Alex Yakovenko, who fired a shot over Steel goaltender Oskar Autio's glove from the left circle for his first career USHL tally.
The seesaw action continued early in the second period. Muskegon's Anthony Del Gaizo notched his USHL-leading 27th goal of the season at the 0:17 mark, then Jordan Seyfert bounced a rebound in from the top of the crease just 1:49 later, tying the game, 2-2.
The Lumberjacks regained the lead later in the period when Marc Del Gaizo fired a shot off a Steel defender's leg for a power-play tally, giving the visitors a 3-2 lead heading into the second intermission.
Chicago's C.J. Walker tied the game, 3-3, at the 1:50 mark of the third period, deflecting in a point shot from Robbie Stucker.
Less than three minutes later, Muskegon center Jachym Kondelik slid the puck in on the stick-side for a power-play goal but Chicago once again found the equalizer. Robert Mastrosimone sniped a shot from the top of the left circle, far-side, beating Borgiel over the glove at 13:42.
On a four-minute power play late in the game, Del Gaizo recorded the game-winning goal, as the defender stickhandled his way down the slot and snuck a shot in low from the top of the crease, beating Autio on the stick side.
Chicago outshot Muskegon by a 43-28 margin. The Steel registered 18 goals over the three-game weekend, going 2-1-0-0.
The Steel are home for two games next weekend against the Youngstown Phantoms.
• Discuss this story on the United States Hockey League message board...
United States Hockey League Stories from January 29, 2018
- RELEASE -- Stars Host Sioux City on Taco Tuesday - Lincoln Stars
- Storm Storylines - Tri-City Storm
- Storm Defeat Lancers 3-2 in a Shootout - Tri-City Storm
- Storm Stop Lancers in Shootout - Omaha Lancers
- LUMBERJACKS BATTLE PAST STEEL 5-4 SUNDAY - Chicago Steel
- Stampede Sweep Weekend Road Swing with OT Win in Waterloo - Sioux Falls Stampede
- Recap: Stampede Elude Hawks in Overtime - Waterloo Black Hawks
- PHANTOMS' DEFENSE HOLDS STRONG AS SAINTS FALL SHORT - Dubuque Fighting Saints
- PROSVETOV, POWER PLAY, AND PENALTY KILL PROPEL PHANTOMS TO 2-1 WIN - Youngstown Phantoms
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.