GENEVA, Ill. — Tied at two after two periods of play, the Chicago Steel made due on their chances in the third period, outshooting the Dubuque Fighting Saints 16-3 in the final frame, and outscoring them 2-0 en route to a 4-2 win at the Fox Valley Ice Arena on Saturday night. The Steel took all four meetings between the two teams this season.
McLaughlin forced a steal at the defensive blue line on the penalty kill in the third period and broke in alone. His initial bid was stopped by Jaxon Castor, but McLaughlin stuck with it and cashed in on the rebound to put Chicago up 3-2.
A spectacular play by Robert Mastrosimone set up Jordan Seyfert at the side of the net, resulting in the insurance goal for the Steel with just over three minutes to go in regulation.
After scoring the first goal, the Fighting Saints relinquished the lead. Adam Tisdale got the scoring started for the Saints, as he took the tic-tac-toe pass from Alex Steeves and Tyce Thompson just under five minutes into the first. However, goals from John Spetz, his first in the USHL, and Nick Abruzzese on the power play put Chicago up by one heading into the break.
It would take until late in the second period for Dubuque to retaliate. A set play off of a neutral zone faceoff put Jan Kern in the perfect position to set up a play where an initial point shot missed the net, and on the carom, Dalton Hunter stashed the rebound past a sprawled Justin Robbins to tie the game at two apiece.
Robbins, who came into the game with one USHL win to his credit, had to be sharp when the Saints came calling, which was often. He made 23 saves in the game, many of a grade-A variety. Castor, on the other end, withstood a Chicago siege in the third period and made 34 saves on the night.
The Saints return to action in 2018 on January 5, when the Muskegon Lumberjacks come to town. It’s another College Night, where Purple Zone tickets plus $5 in Saints Bucks, start at just $10 with a valid college ID. Then, Saturday, January 6 is the Markers for St. Mark’s School Supply Drive. School supplies donated on game night will be donated to St. Mark’s Youth Enrichment. For tickets, go to DubuqueFightingSaints.com.