Tri-City Edges Chicago in Friday Night Duel
KEARNEY, NEBRASKA - The Chicago Steel held a brief 3-2 lead against the league-leading Tri-City Storm in the second period Friday night at Viaero Center in Kearney, Neb., but three unanswered goals led the Storm past the Steel 5-3 in the first of back-to-back showdowns. Chicago (27-16-1-0, 55 pts.) forwards Robert Mastrosimone and Nick Abruzzese each scored to remain tied atop the team's leaderboard with 21 goals each while defenseman John Spetz struck for his sixth against Tri-City (35-9-1-1, 72 pts.).
Storm defenseman Zac Jones opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the season on the third shot of the game for Tri-City as his wrist shot found its way through traffic and past Steel goaltender Justin Robbins.
Mastrosimone scored his eighth goal in the last 11 games late in the second as he finished off a chance created by an end-to-end play by Spetz. Mastrosimone chipped home the rebound past Tri-City goaltender Isaiah Saville to extend his point streak to 11 games (8-8-16), the second-longest in Steel franchise history. The Storm answered back just 23 seconds later off the stick of forward Joe Berg to take the 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Abruzzese tied the game at two when he pounded home a rebound just 19 seconds into the second period. After defenseman Luke Reid fired a shot in on Saville, right wing Neil Shea attempted to corral the rebound but the puck found Abruzzese's stick as he extended his point streak to six games (5-7-12).
Spetz got a goal of his own several minutes later to give the Steel their first lead of the game. The defenseman struck for his sixth goal of the season after his shot from the point hit traffic in front of Saville and trickled past the goaltender.
The Chicago lead lasted just 70 seconds before Tri-City defenseman Ronnie Attard tied things up midway through the middle frame. Attard added to his USHL record for goals in a season by a defenseman as he slapped home his 21st goal. He would later add an empty netter to seal the game in the third.
The Storm scored the eventual game-winning goal late in the second period off the stick of defenseman Keaton Pehrson after a flurry of chances for Tri-City.
Steel Head Coach Greg Moore called his timeout with 2:41 to play in the third as he drew up a play for the Steel to try and find the equalizer with an extra attacker, but Attard scored the empty-net goal for Tri-City with less than a minute to play to secure the win.
The two teams will meet again Saturday night in the last meeting of the regular season before Chicago heads to Omaha for a Sunday matinee with the Lancers. Chicago then plays a home-and-home for the first matchups of the season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2. Friday's game is in Dubuque, Iowa before the Steel return to Fox Valley Ice Arena on Saturday, March 2 for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff on a night that includes the team's second annual Wiener Dog Races.
Tickets for all Steel home games are on sale now starting at just $10 and stadium seating on the glass is available for just $20. Parking is always free.
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
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United States Hockey League Stories from February 22, 2019
- Third Period Comeback Effort Falls Short, Dubuque Falls to CR 4-3 - Dubuque Fighting Saints
- Tri-City Defeats Chicago 5-3 at Viaero Center - Tri-City Storm
- Musketeers' Struggles Against Stampede Continue - Sioux City Musketeers
- Stampede Roll over Musketeers 6-2 - Sioux Falls Stampede
- Tri-City Edges Chicago in Friday Night Duel - Chicago Steel
- Stars Fall 8-0 to Black Hawks - Lincoln Stars
- Hawks Fly High in Lincoln - Waterloo Black Hawks
- Muskegon's Offense Clicks Again vs Team USA U17s, Claim 7-3 Win - Muskegon Lumberjacks
- Preview - Waterloo Black Hawks at Lincoln Stars - Lincoln Stars
- Gameday Preview: Storm Set to Host Chicago at Viaero Center - Tri-City Storm
- Weekend Primer: Fighting Saints Take on RoughRiders in Home and Home - Dubuque Fighting Saints
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