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Steel Offense Rolls in 7-4 Win over Sioux City

September 23, 2022 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Chicago Steel News Release


CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA -- From the start of the contest, the Chicago Steel (2-0-0-0; 4 pts.) rode a blazing hot offense to a 7-4 victory over the defending Clark Cup champions, the Sioux City Musketeers (0-2-0-0; 0 pts.) Saturday at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex to close out the 2022 DICK'S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic.

Capturing all four possible points in the showcase weekend, the Steel benefitted from a 42-save performance by Chicago netminder Jack Stark including 23 stops in the third period alone.

Jack Harvey and Nick Moldenhauer each potted two goals as Thor Byfuglien scored his first career USHL goal. Michael Emerson and Mick Thompson each picked up markers in the victory.

The clubs combined for six first period goals in an offensive explosion to begin the game.

Harvey scored his first goal of the season for Chicago to start the scoring burst. Harvey and Macklin Celebrini forced a turnover high in the Steel defensive zone as a Sioux City power play was set to expire. Harvey found Celebrini streaking ahead as Celebrini dangled around a Musketeer defender, putting a shot on net that was kicked aside by netminder Axel Mangbo.

Celebrini picked up his own rebound and slid the puck back to Harvey who put the Steel ahead 1-0 on a point-blank shot.

On the ensuing shift, Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nick Moldenhauer snuck behind the Musketeers neutral zone defense, streaking down the right side after a pass from rookie defenseman Olivier Beaulieu. Moldenhauer cut to the middle of the ice and potted a backhander to give Chicago an early 2-0 lead.

Sioux City struck with a quick pair of goals of its own to tie the game late in the first. After a bouncing puck was banked off Stark by Max Strand for the first Musketeer goal, Kaden Shahan jammed home a loose puck just two minutes later for his second of the season.

Not to be outdone, the Steel offense again began to click before the first period expired.

Harvey tallied his second of the period with help from Celebrini and Jayden Perron after Perron forced a turnover in the Steel offensive zone. Perron then worked the puck to Celebrini who found Harvey cutting across the crease to make it 3-2 in favor of Chicago.

Steel forward Michael Emerson expanded the lead to 4-2 less than a minute later thanks to seamless passing from Jordan Brisson and Chris Delaney. In the left corner of the Steel zone, Brisson spun a pass to Delaney who turned and fired a cross-crease pass to Emerson, giving Mangbo no time to react as Emerson wristed home his first of the year.

Fighting back into the game once again, another doorstep chance for Shahan pulled the Musketeers within one. After an initial chance that was sticked away by Stark, Shahan followed up and tucked the puck past the Steel goaltender early on in the second period.

Looking to halt the Sioux City momentum, the Steel got their chance on a power play midway through the second. Moldenhauer wired home his second of the game and third of the season from the right circle, putting Chicago ahead 5-3.

As the two-goal cushion held through the end of the middle frame, Stark completed a near flawless middle period, stopping 13 of 14 Sioux City shots.

Thor Byfuglien put Chicago ahead with its biggest lead of the contest five minutes into the final frame. On an offensive rush, Byfuglien took a feed from Moldenhauer and got just enough on a shot that beat Mangbo as Byfuglien was dragged down.

Needing an offensive spark, Sioux City got one from Ben Poitras on an offensive rush midway through the third, pulling the Musketeers within two goals.

Stark kept Sioux City at bay as time ticked down, most notably keeping his crease clean on a netfront scramble with just over three minutes to play.

With an extra attacker on the ice, Sioux City's best chance to add another marker came with a minute to go. With a sharp re-direct on a point shot, Stark remained in perfect position to soak up the puck and get a faceoff, one of his 23 saves in the final frame.

Under a minute to play, Michael Emerson picked off a neutral zone pass from Sioux City and passed to Mick Thompson who skated the puck into the empty net, sealing the 7-4 win and the perfect weekend for the Steel.

Chicago faces off against the Muskegon Lumberjacks on the road on Friday, Sep. 30 before the home opener at Fox Valley Ice Arena on Saturday, Oct. 1 against the Green Bay Gamblers at 7:05 pm CT. Saturday is Opening Night with Turtle Races courtesy of the St. Charles Park District. After the game, fans can take the ice to Skate with the Steel.

Tickets start at just $10 and 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. Starting this season, all Steel tickets are now digital. To learn more, visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.

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: Friday, September 30 at Muskegon Lumberjacks (6:10 pm CT) Saturday, October 1 vs. Green Bay Gamblers (7:05 pm CT) Turtle Races Courtesy of St. Charles Park District | Post-Game Skate with the Steel Friday, October 7 vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints (7:05 pm CT) GIVEAWAY - 2022-2023 Magnet Schedule (First 500 Fans).


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