Steel Head to Fall Classic to Begin Regular Season
GENEVA, ILLINOIS - The Chicago Steel are set to kick off the 2022-2023 USHL regular season with a pair of non-conference matchups against the Fargo Force and defending Clark Cup champions, the Sioux City Musketeers at the DICK'S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic in Cranberry Township, Penn., this week.
In what has become a premier scouting event for professional and college scouts, all 16 USHL teams will be in action at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex starting Thursday, Sep. 22 and continuing through Sunday, Sep. 25.
Entering the 2022-2023 regular season, Steel forward Jack Harvey holds the lead among active Chicago skaters for career goals with 35. Harvey, a Boston University commit, can reach the top 10 in the Chicago all-time goals list with just seven more markers which would pull him into a tie for 10th with Matty De St. Phalle, Nick Abruzzese and Rene Gauthier.
Making his head coaching debut for the Steel is Mike Garman. The former Steel assistant coach served as general manager during the 2021-2022 season and steps into the dual role of head coach and general manager for the 2022-2023 campaign. Garman was a part of the Steel coaching staff from 2018-2021 helping lead the team to a Clark Cup championship (2021), two Anderson Cup titles for best regular season record (2020, 2021) and two Eastern Conference titles (2019, 2021).
Chicago faces off against the Fargo Force on Thursday, Sep. 22 at 4:30 pm CT, a rematch of the 2021 Clark Cup Final in which the Steel prevailed 3-1 in the best-of-five series.
The Force return their top point-getters from the 2021-2022 regular season, forwards Bret Link and Cole Knuble.
Link, a Colorado College commit, posted 50 points (20G, 30A) across 61 games played including a five-point outburst (1G, 4A) on Dec. 31 in an 8-2 victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede.
Knuble's 49 points (20G, 29A) ranked second among Fargo skaters a season ago. The University of Notre Dame-bound forward put together two separate five-game point streaks during the 2021-2022 campaign.
In a battle of the last two Clark Cup winners, the Steel take on the defending Clark Cup Champions, the Sioux City Musketeers, on Friday, Sep. 23 at 1:30 pm CT.
After earning the second overall seed in the Western Conference, the Musketeers defeated the Waterloo Black Hawks 2-1 in the best-of-three Western Conference Semifinals before sweeping the Tri-City Storm in the best-of-five Western Conference Final. Sioux City squared off against the Madison Capitols in the Clark Cup Final, winning the best-of-five series in four games to capture the team's second Clark Cup in the Tier I era of the USHL.
Former Musketeers head coach Luke Strand was hired by Ohio State University as an assistant coach while former Sioux City general manager Andy Johnson joined the Los Angeles Kings in a scouting role.
Jason Kersner steps into the head coaching role for the Musketeers after his most recent role, head coach of the New Jersey Rockets in the NCDC from 2020-2022. Troy Ward joined the Musketeers as general manager, bringing with him previous experience across the NHL, AHL, ECHL, NCAA Division I and III and USHL, among other leagues.
The Musketeers roster includes one NHL prospect, defenseman Garrett Brown who was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the Fourth Round (#99) Overall of the 2022 NHL Draft. Brown, a 6-foot-3, 191-pound blueliner, was the only defenseman to appear in all 62 regular season games for Sioux City last season, posting 16 points (4G, 12A) in that stretch.
In four exhibition contests leading up to the Fall Classic, the Steel went 2-2-0-0 and were led offensively by forwards Chris Delaney and Cameron Johnson. Delaney, a second-year forward committed to UMass-Amherst, totaled three points (2G, 1A) over four appearances while Johnson, a native of Vancouver, B.C., netted a pair of goals across three games.
Netminder Christian Manz went 1-1-0-0 in two games between the Steel pipes, posting a 3.00 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.
Following the DICK'S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic, the Steel journey to Michigan for a matchup on Friday, Sep. 30 at 6:10 pm CT against the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
The home opener at Fox Valley Ice Arena is Saturday, Oct. 1 against the Green Bay Gamblers as the Steel host Turtle Races courtesy of the St. Charles Park District. After the game, fans are invited for the first Post-Game Skate with the Steel of the season.
Chicago Steel games can be streamed on FloHockey (subscription required) with free audio available on Mixlr.
Single game tickets are on sale now by calling 855-51-STEEL, purchasing at ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com or visiting the Steel box office at Fox Valley Ice Arena during business hours.
New for the 2022-2023 season, all Chicago Steel tickets will be digital and available on mobile devices. Fans should create their profile online. For more information on digital tickets for the Chicago Steel, click here. Fans attending this weekend's games and all Steel home games this season are encouraged to purchase tickets prior to arriving at the arena to avoid any delays on game night.
Season ticket plans starting at 5 games for just $50 and group tickets and experiences are on sale now by calling 855-51-STEEL or emailing info@ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
Chicago Steel Upcoming Schedule presented by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush:
Thursday, September 22 vs. Fargo Force (DICK'S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic) 4:30 pm CT
Friday, September 23 vs. Sioux City Musketeers (DICK'S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic) 1:30 pm CT
Friday, September 30 at Muskegon Lumberjacks (6:10 pm CT)
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