DUBUQUE, Iowa — A 3-1 deficit faded, and a 4-3 lead established for the Chicago Steel propelled them past the Dubuque Fighting Saints in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday night at the Mystique Community Ice Center. The Steel now lead the best-of-five series 2-1, and have a chance to clinch the series on the road in Game 4.
The three-goal third period started with a goal to give the Steel life about midway through, as Eduards Tralmaks took a missed shot off the high glass, and stashed a wraparound through Jaxon Castor. Jake Jaremko’s back-door slam dunk tied the game, and off of a brilliant rush up ice, Brannon McManus provided his second game-winning dagger of the series.
The Fighting Saints established a 3-1 lead, and the third two-goal lead of the series, with all three tallies coming in the second period. With the score 1-0 in favor of the Steel after a goal from captain Marc Johnstone, the Saints roared back to score three unanswered goals.
Zach Solow tapped home a Patrick Kudla pass off of a set faceoff play and through the outstretched pad of goaltender Ales Stezka to tie the score.
Just four minutes later, the Saints would take the lead at even strength. Dallas Gerads found a streaking Colin Theisen, whose first breakaway bid was denied, but he stuck with it on the rebound, as he banked the puck in off of a defender to make it 2-1 Dubuque.
Just two minutes later, the assault continued, thanks again to Kudla. Solow and Alex Stevens set the Arizona Coyotes prospect for the one-time blast which found a way through for just the second power play goal that the Steel have surrendered—both on a 5-on-3 power play opportunity. It was his fifth point of the series in just three games.
Castor was routinely good once again, as he made 24 saves in the losing effort. Stezka made 25 stops. The Minnesota Wild prospect has not allowed fewer than 3 goals in a game against Dubuque.
A must-win Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final looms on Saturday, May 6. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. For tickets, call the box office at 563.583.6880, or go to DubuqueFightingSaints.com.