Steel Down Saints in Overtime, 3-2 Saturday Night
DUBUQUE, Iowa - Charlie O'Connor scored on a breakaway 2:33 into overtime to give the Chicago Steel a 3-2 win over the Dubuque Fighting Saints Saturday night from The Edge Ice Arena. The Steel scored the game's final three goals after Dubuque jumped out a 2-0 lead early in the first period.
The Fighting Saints clung to a 2-1 lead after the first period until the 11:21 mark of the third period when Landon Smith scored to tie the game at 2-2. Shane Eiserman shot the puck in on Dubuque goalie Arthur Brey. The puck hit Brey's goal stick and as the netminder attempted to control the rebound on a harmless looking shot, Smith beat him to it, and roofed the puck into the net over a fallen Brey to even the score.
Dubuque's Mike Szmatula and A.J. Fossen both notched a goal and an assist in the loss. Szmatula scored his team leading 17th goal of the season 3:08 into the game. The Northeastern commit deflected a Kyle McKenzie point shot between the legs of Chicago goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos to make it 1-0. Just six minutes later Szmatula setup A.J. Fossen for a goal on a partial break. Szmatula fed the puck to the slot to Fossen, who lifted a backhander over Sakellaropoulos' blocker to make it 2-0. Eric Freschi also assisted on the tally. Chicago would cut the lead to 2-1 under a minute later on an Alex Roos goal from Brian LeBlanc at 9:52 to make the score 2-1.
Dubuque struggled on the powerplay, going 0-for-5 in the loss. Dubuque outshot the Steel 24-22 in the game. With the loss in overtime, the Fighting Saints do pick up a point in the standings and now have 46 points and a record of 22-4-2. Chicago improved to 12-12-3.
The Fighting Saints next game in on New Year's Eve in Fargo. Puck drop versus the Force is slated for 6:05 p.m. on Monday night. Dubuque returns home for a pair of games on Friday, January 4 versus Waterloo in Prairie Farms Cowbell Cup play at 7:35 p.m., and Saturday, January 5 versus Green Bay at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available for both games by calling 563.583.6880 or online at DubuqueFightingSaints.com.
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