Steel Fall 4-2 in Road Battle against Madison
MADISON, WISCONSIN - The Chicago Steel (20-8-6-0; 46 pts.) suffered a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Madison Capitols (18-16-2-0; 38 pts) Friday night at Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena in Wisconsin.
Capitols forward Kyle Kukkonen scored two goals within 34 seconds of each other and Simon Latkoczy made 19 saves in the crease for Madison, Latkoczy's third win in four games this season against his former club.
Steel defenseman Luca Fantilli scored his first goal of the season and Sam Lipkin tallied a goal on a Chicago power play, a man advantage unit that entered Friday's matchup as the top power play in the league, capitalizing at a 28.8% success rate. Despite earning five opportunities on the man advantage, Chicago went 1-for-5 (20.0%) in the loss.
The Steel were whistled for the game's first infraction early in the first and while the shorthanded unit kept the Capitols off the scoreboard for the full penalty kill, Madison reached the scoreboard just after the penalty expired. With the Steel defense in the midst of a change, Madison gained the offensive zone as Barrett Brooks centered a pass to Matthew McGroarty who one-touched the puck past Steel goaltender Christian Manz.
Chicago earned two power play chances in the opening frame but despite multiple shots on Latkoczy, the Capitols were able to hold their ground.
Chicago defenseman Luca Fantilli opened the scoring for the visitors as he was sent in on a breakaway off a pass from Casy Laylin. Fantilli beat Latkoczy with a wrister, his first goal of the season after registering 11 assists to open the year.
Using an odd-man rush to their advantage, the Capitols re-claimed the lead when Kyle Kukkonen took the middle of the ice, directing home a feed from Jake Dunlap, putting Madison up 2-1 just under a minute after the Steel tied the game.
On the very next shift, Kukkonen added his second goal of the night to extend the lead to 3-1 in favor of the home team. After picking off a pass in the neutral zone, the Michigan Tech University commit patiently brought the puck across the blue line then let rip a long-distance wrister that beat Manz.
The only marker in the middle frame came on a Steel power play, cutting the Madison lead to 3- 2.
After Jackson Blake worked the puck from the left circle to the middle of the ice, Adam Fantilli ripped a shot that was turned away by Latkoczy but retrieved by Fantilli who followed up with another chance. Sam Lipkin, posted up on the doorstep for the entire sequence, cleaned up the
loose puck, finally solving Latkoczy for a Steel power-play goal on the third opportunity of the game.
On the opposite end of the special teams battle, the Steel penalty kill was put to the test with a pair of shorthanded stretches to finish the second.
The Steel spent four of the last seven minutes of the period shorthanded, turning in a pair of kills to push the game to the third with a 3-2 score.
The Steel finished the game with a 3-for-3 (100%) performance on the penalty kill.
Starting at the midway point of the third, Chicago and Madison went chance for chance, each with sustained offensive zone pressure.
The Steel went back to the power play looking for the equalizer with just over three minutes to play in regulation.
Despite Chicago holding possession in the offensive zone, Latkoczy and the Capitols defense fought off the pressure until the Steel pulled Manz for an extra attacker as the power play expired.
Madison again stood tall defensively, leading to an empty-net chance for Brendan Lamb who tucked home his seventh goal of the year to seal the 4-2 win for Madison.
The loss was the fourth consecutive defeat for Chicago.
The Steel wrap up the weekend with a road contest against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Saturday night at ImOn Ice Arena in Iowa with a 7:05 pm puck drop.
The next home games for Chicago are Saturday, Feb. 5 and Sunday, Feb. 6 against the USHL- leading Tri-City Storm. Wiener Dog Races headline Saturday's showdown at 7:05 pm CT while Sunday is a 3:05 pm CT puck drop for Rusty's Birthday Celebration and a Steel Family Pack Game with a special ticket deal featuring 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 chips, 4 sodas/waters and 4 chuck-a-pucks for just $50.
Single-game tickets start at just $10 and are available in person at the Steel Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena, by phone at 855-51-STEEL and online at chicagosteelhockeyteam.com. The Steel offer single-game ticket discounts for kids 12 and under and military.
Steel games may be heard on Mixlr at http://mixlr.com/chicago-steel/ (AUDIO) and video may be streamed on available devices through HockeyTV at www.hockeytv.com (VIDEO).
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
Chicago Steel Upcoming Home Games presented by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush:
Saturday, February 5 vs. Tri-City Storm (7:05 pm CT) Wiener Dog Races
Sunday, February 6 vs. Tri-City Storm (3:05 pm CT) Rusty's Birthday | Steel Family Pack Game
Saturday, February 19 vs. Team USA (U17) (7:05 pm CT)
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United States Hockey League Stories from January 28, 2022
- Stampede's Rally Comes up Short in Sioux City - Sioux Falls Stampede
- Gamblers Fall in Return to Resch - Green Bay Gamblers
- Steel Fall 4-2 in Road Battle against Madison - Chicago Steel
- Lancers Pick up a Point, But Fall in a Shootout to Waterloo - Omaha Lancers
- Hutson's Two Goals Lift Muskegon over Green Bay 5-4 - Muskegon Lumberjacks
- Storm Seeks to Tie Team Record in Frosty Cup - Tri-City Storm
- Mike Picozzi Named New Majority Owner of the Lancers - Omaha Lancers
- USHL, Omaha Lancers Announce New Majority Owner - USHL
- Stars Get to Overtime, Fall to Tri-City - Lincoln Stars
- Storm Defeat Stars in Overtime 3-2 - Tri-City Storm
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