BENSENVILLE, Illinois (January 14, 2011) – After maintaining a 1-1 tie through one and a half periods, the Steel surrendered back-to-back goals to Team USA U-17’s Ryan Hartman en route to a 5-2 loss tonight at the Edge in Bensenville. The loss extends Chicago’s winless streak to 14 games.
“The biggest difference I think that showed on the score board was [that] we got away from being physical. A team like that they’re young, but their skilled. You got to find a way to, not necessarily intimidate them, but slow them down,” said Steel head coach Jon Waibel when asked about the difference between the way his team played in the first and later half of tonight’s game.
Chicago fell behind 1-0 midway through the first period, but the Steel’s Adam Krause evened things up with an unassisted goal with 2:42 to play. The goal, which came as a result of Krause crashing the net hard, was Krause’s fifth of the season.
The teams engaged in fast end to end action for the first eight minutes of the second period, until Chicago’s Alex Kubiak was called for cross checking at 10:10. The penalty negated a Chicago power play and forced 45 second of four-on-four hockey.
Neither team was able to score with the extra skating room; however, Team USA capitalized during their shortened time with the ensuing man advantage. Forward Ryan Hartman buried the puck past a sprawling Connor Wilson, after Wilson made a difficult save on a slap shot from the right point at 11:40. Charles Orzetti (1 goal, 1 assist) and Patrick Sieloff were credited with the assists.
Although it didn’t go down officially as a power play goal, the Steel would again fall victim to Team USA U-17’s power play five minutes later. This time Hartman finished a well developed Team USA rush with a deke to the backhand as a checking from behind penalty to Chicago’s Brett Curan simultaneously expired at 16:31. The goal was Hartman’s second of the night and fifth of the season.
After Team USA’s two-goal second period rally, the Steel retreated to their locker room at the intermission facing a 3-1 score and another game apparently slipping out of reach.
Despite having a couple great scoring chances at the start of the third period, the Steel were unable to convert and continued to trail by two goals.
With the pressure on them now, Team USA pushed back and was again able to regain the game’s momentum. The charge was led by forward Henrik Samuelsson, who skated and stick handled his way past the Chicago defense and made it a 4-1 game when he beat Wilson glove side with 10:09 to play.
Team USA U-17’s Matthew Lane picked up a loose puck and tacked on a fifth goal approximately three minutes later at 12:12. The Steel’s Wilson seemed to lose concentration and hesitated on a poke check, which caused him to get caught deep in his net while facing a streaking Lane.
The Steel refused to let the game finish without at least a whimper, as Alex Kubiak grabbed a rebound goal with 2:14 to play to make the final box score 5-2. David Bondra and Jimmy Devito were credited with the assists.
When asked about the 14 game winless streak and what more could be done from a coaching/general manager standpoint that hasn’t been done already, coach Waibel responded:
“The reality is we had chances [tonight] and we didn’t execute. Moving forward from the aspect of personnel, there are things I can do yes, but I don’t think that’s the answer though cause I don’t think that’s the, as a coach that’s coaching young guys, I don’t think I can punish people for being in situations, where you know what, here you’re thrown into the fire because we had injuries, or cause something happened, or suspensions. I’m not a big believer in that; you know blowing it up, and obviously it is kind of a deflator for me personally. [Basically], we got to strive for perfection on a nightly basis. We got to stay positive. We got to strive for details and making sure we don’t give up goals, [and if we do] make them earn them.”
The Steel travel to Waterloo tomorrow night (Saturday) to take on the Black Hawks. Puck drop is schedule for 7:05 CST.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.