Sports stats

 Chicago Steel

Steel Erase Three-Goal Deficit; Defeat Gamblers in OT

March 2, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Chicago Steel News Release

GREEN BAY, WI - After trailing 3-0 in the opening period, Chicago erased the deficit and received a helping hand from goaltender Louka Cloutier in overtime as the Steel (20-20-3-4, 47 pts.) defeated the Green Bay Gamblers (27-11-5-2, 61 pts.) 5-4 in overtime at the Resch Center Friday night.

Joey DelGreco (18, 19) scored consecutive goals to open the scoring for Chicago, while Mick Thompson (17, 18) celebrated his birthday by scoring the tying goal on the power play and the overtime winner. Charlie Major (22) added a goal that tied the game at four near the end of the second period.

Goaltender Louka Cloutier made 21 saves, including a highlight-reel glove stop in overtime to record his 11th win of the season.

The Gamblers came out with tenacity in the opening period, constantly pressuring the Steel in all three zones, and saw the gameplan work to perfection with a three-goal first period.

Chicago was assessed a tripping penalty four minutes into the game, and the Gamblers' fourth-ranked power play made the man advantage look easy.

Just 13 seconds into the penalty, a perfect passing display with a triangle setup in front of the Steel net resulted in a goal for Blake Bechen to open the scoring.

Three minutes after their power play goal, the Gamblers' Julian Lutz extended his league-leading point streak to 17 games with his 19th goal of the season off a laser from the slot to make it a 2-0 lead.

The Gamblers went to the power play just after the halfway point of the period, and the home team laid the groundwork for a score that came just as the power play expired.

Jayson Shaugabay skated toward the corner to draw in defenders and made a great pass to the slot, finding Charlie Russell alone in front to make it a 3-0 Green Bay lead.

With four minutes left in the first, the Steel upped the offense and found a breakthrough.

The Gamblers attempted to break out of their own zone, but an aggressive Steel forecheck negated the exit and created an opportunity. From below the icing line, Kolin Sisson sent the puck to the front of the net, and DelGreco jumped on it and elevated a quick wrist shot over the right shoulder of Gamblers goaltender Adam Gajan to bring the Steel to within two.

The second period saw the Steel entirely flip the script and go on a scoring tangent.

On what appeared to be a harmless chance, Michael Emerson skated in on the right wing while protecting the puck, then sauced a pass to his left for DelGreco, who fired from one knee for his second goal of the night to make it 3-2.

Twenty seconds after the goal, the Gamblers were assessed an untimely interference penalty that gave the Steel their second power play of the night.

Halfway through the advantage, Chicago put on a masterful display of passing after a great effort from Ben Yurchuk to keep the play alive in the offensive zone.

After Yurchuk won a puck battle, Hage skated in on the right wing with tons of room. Every Gambler on the ice anticipated a shot from Hage, but he instead flung a perfect pass to Thompson at the left faceoff circle who had the entire net to shoot at and tie the game at three.

Later in the frame, the Gamblers momentarily took their lead back following a goal from Shaugabay, but the Steel were persistent and promptly replied.

Chicago went hard on the forecheck two minutes after Green Bay's goal, as Chris Able sent the puck into the slot, allowing Hage to turn and fire a shot that was kicked out by Gajan. A Gambler attempted to clear the puck out of danger, but it ricocheted to Major who fired blocker side on Gajan to tie the game at four.

The Steel outshot the Gamblers 13-8 in the middle frame.

Both teams pushed the envelope to break the tie in the third period, but both Gajan and Cloutier added another chapter to the goaltending battle by making eight and nine saves, respectively, to take the game to overtime.

Of the five games between the two teams so far this season, four of them have reached overtime.

Both squads exchanged looks in the opening portion of the extra frame before the Gamblers created a two-on-one look that had all the looks of a game-ending rush, but Cloutier had other plans.

Following a turnover in the neutral zone, Ryan Humphrey skated to the hash marks on the left wing and rifled a pass to Rasmus Larsson to the right who hammered a one-timer.

With the puck ticketed for the open net, Cloutier made an unfathomable diving stop to his left and snared the puck out of the air with his glove for one of the greatest saves of the season.

The Gamblers won the following offensive zone draw and were a goal post away from getting the win, but the Steel survived the push and worked the other way.

After getting the puck off the left wall at his own blue line, Hage used his speed to skitter his way down the ice and create a two-on-one.

On the right wing, Hage directed a centering pass to a streaking Thompson who deflected the puck past Gajan while falling into the net to cement an incredible come-from-behind 5-4 win.

The Steel will return home for a pair of games against the Omaha Lancers on Saturday, March 2 at 7:05 pm CT and Sunday, March 3 at 3:05 pm CT.

March 2 is the 6th Annual Wiener Dog Races presented by PetSuites, where up to 20 low-flying pups will compete for the title of Top Dog.

The Steel will celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 3, which is a Steel Family Pack game where fans can get four tickets, four hot dogs, four chips, four sodas/waters and four Chuck-A-Pucks starting at just $60.

Single game tickets are on sale now starting at just $10. All Steel tickets are digital and fans are encouraged to purchase online in advance at

For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit

• Discuss this story on the United States Hockey League message board...

United States Hockey League Stories from March 2, 2024

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.

Other Recent Chicago Steel Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central