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Third-Period Comeback Sinks Steel

January 22, 2018 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Chicago Steel News Release

GENEVA, ILLINOIS - Jack Hughes scored the game-winning goal with just 51.4 seconds remaining Friday as Team USA (U18) completed a third-period comeback, defeating the Chicago Steel by a 4-3 margin at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Team USA (20-9-0-1, 41 pts.) recorded three goals in the game's final 7:01 to rally from a 3-1 deficit.

Matteo Pietroniro, Robert Mastrosimone and Blake McLaughlin registered goals for the Steel (16-12-1-2, 35 pts.). Friday's outcome marked Chicago's first loss of the season when leading at the second intermission (9-1-0-0).

Pietroniro opened the scoring at the 7:44, catching a pass in the slot from Jack Dugan and firing it past the stick side of USA goaltender Jonathan Mor.

Team USA's Jack DeBoer tied the game off a shot from the left circle with 1:24 remaining in the opening frame.

The Steel regained the lead in the second period when Mastrosimone blasted a one-timer from Baker Shore at 5:48. The lead then improved to 3-1 seven minutes into the third period when McLaughlin notched his sixth goal since Sunday afternoon. Off a feed from Lillibridge, McLaughlin fired the puck toward the slot and it redirected off a shot-block attempt by USA defenseman Mattias Samuelsson, trickling through the five-hole into the back of the net. With his 17th tally of the season, McLaughlin took over the Steel goal-scoring race.

The Team USA comeback began at the 12:59 mark, when the puck bounced off the end wall to Oliver Wahlstrom, a top-10 prospect for the upcoming NHL Draft, who fired a shot through Steel netminder Oskar Autio's five-hole. Two and a half minutes later, Ty Emberson tied the game during a power play with an extra attacker on the ice for an additional upcoming Steel penalty. Hughes then recorded the game-winner in the final minute with a midair deflection of a point shot from Joel Farabee.

Chicago's first home loss of the calendar year came on the team's third-annual Stone Cold Steel Night and featured an appearance by WWE Hall of Famer Jerry "The King" Lawler.

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