GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (January 21, 2011) – After jumping out to an early 1-0 lead, Chicago’s luck would take a turn for the worse, as the Green Bay Gamblers rallied and scored three unanswered goals on their way to a 3-1 victory tonight in Green Bay. The loss extends Chicago’s winless streak to 16 games.
Chicago’s Jimmy Devito netted an early first period goal when he came streaking out of the penalty box after Chicago’s penalty killers were able to fend off an early 5-on-3 Green Bay power play that lasted a full two minutes. Alex Kubiak was credited with an assist on the Devito goal at 4:17.
For the remainder of the first period, the Steel relied once again on the solid play of their goaltender Connor Wilson, who made a number of key saves. Wilson (7-17-4, 3.22 GAA, .892 SV%) finished the night with an impressive 36 saves on 38 shots. Unfortunately, it was the lack of offense, and failure to play a full 60 minutes that would haunt the Steel yet again.
This time the Steel fail to come to play in the middle period, a period in which they were out shot 17 to 6 by the Gamblers.
Just 23 seconds into the second frame, the Steel’s Peter Hand was penalized for cross checking. Green Bay’s Robert Francis took advantage on the ensuing power play with a toe-drag move that beat defenseman Brett Curran. Francis then went on to beat Wilson between the pads to tie the game at 1-1.
The game then got a bit physical, as Chicago’s Michael Gunn and Green Bay’s Aaron Harstad dropped the gloves at the 8:48 mark and brought the crowd of 3,373 to their feet. Displaying whether it’s the Packers versus the Bears, or the Gamblers versus the Steel, there is certainly no love lost between to these two rival cities/states.
With the score tied and Chicago holding on late in the second, the Gamblers’ Travis Lynch got anything but lucky when he buried a one timer from the slot that was set up beautifully from Ludwig Karlsson at 17:29. The goal, Lynch’s ninth of the season, proved to be the game winner. Lynch went on to finish the game with 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists), enough to earn him first star of the game honors.
The Steel came out hard in the third period, a period in which they out shot the Gamblers 15 to 12; however, they were unable to break through the defense of Green Bay’s netminder Adam Wilcox (28 saves on 29 shots).
With their goalie pulled, and a face off in the Gamblers’ zone with only seven seconds to play, the Steel won the draw, but lost control at the blue line and surrendered an empty netter to Grant Arnold to make the final score 3-1.
The Steel return home to the Edge Ice Arena tomorrow night to take on the Indiana Ice at 7:30 p.m. The Steel are 2-2-0 against the Ice this season and will be looking to avenge a 2-0 loss in Indiana on January 8th.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its ninth season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2010-11. With over 200 players this season already committed to NCAA Division I schools and 15 NHL Entry Draft picks currently on League rosters, the USHL is the nation’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit www.ushl.com or www.chicagosteelhockeyteam.com. .
Chris Paxhia covers the ChicagoSteel for glowbass.com. He also covers the USHL for hockeysfuture.com. You can follow him on Twitter at: @ChrisPaxhia25 or contact him a [email protected]