Chicago Steel Face Tough Road Test This Weekend

Chicago Steel Face Tough Road Test This Weekend

GENEVA, ILLINOIS — After reclaiming their grip on first place atop the USHL standings, the Chicago Steel (17-6-2-0; 36 pts.) head to Wisconsin for a two game set against the Green Bay Gamblers (13-5-0-2; 28 pts.).

In four matchups this season, Chicago owns a 3-1-0-0 record against the Gamblers.

Chicago enters the weekend led by a red-hot Sean Farrell.  In Sunday’s 7-4 victory over Muskegon, Farrell became the eighth player in Steel franchise history to reach the career 100-point plateau with the club. The Montreal Canadiens’ fourth round selection (#124 Overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft netted the historic point with his second goal of the game before tallying another goal for his first hat trick as a member of the Steel. Farrell added a helper in the win and now leads the USHL with 46 points (16G, 30A) over 24 games played.

The Steel, playing shorthanded with several key players out of the lineup for the three game weekend series with Muskegon, fell in back-to-back regulation contests Friday and Saturday for the first time since Jan. 25 & 26, 2020.

Green Bay enters the weekend set in third place in the Eastern Conference, eight points behind the Steel.

Two Green Bay skaters were listed on the most recent Watch List released by NHL Central Scouting on Jan. 21, 2021. Defensemen Damien Carfagna and Owen Murray both earned ‘C’-level ratings leading up to the 2021 NHL Draft. Carfagna has tallied five helpers in 20 games played while Murray netted his first goal in the USHL on Jan. 30, his fourth game in the league.

The Gamblers account for two of the top eight point-getters in the USHL. Defenseman Mason Lohrei leads all USHL blueliners with 29 points (10G, 19A), seventh-most of all skaters league-wide. Former Steel forward Jake Schmaltz has charted 28 points (9G, 17A) in 20 games for Green Bay, eighth in the league. Both Lohrei and Schmaltz are Boston Bruins NHL draft selections. Lohrei was taken in the second round (#58 Overall) of the 2020 NHL Draft after Schmaltz was selected in the seventh round (#192 Overall ) of the 2019 NHL Draft.

After the matchups on the road, Chicago takes on the Des Moines Buccaneers on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 3:05 pm CT on home ice at Fox Valley Ice Arena, a game rescheduled from January 15 due to poor travel conditions.

The Dubuque Fighting Saints make the trip to Fox Valley Ice Arena for a two-game set on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7:05 pm CT and Sunday, Feb. 14 at 3:05 pm CT.  Saturday’s game is presented by FONA International and features special jerseys that will be worn by the Steel and auctioned off online to benefit the Geneva Academic Foundation.

Staff writer for the Chicago Morning Star

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