Saturday, December 17, 2011

Steel outlasts Ice in shootout

After a seven-game homestand, the Ice began a three-game road weekend Friday with a trip to Chicago.

While the Ice rallied twice and got yet another strong goaltending performance from Jon Gillies, they fell 3-2 to the Steel in a shootout.

The SOL nets the Ice a standings point, and moves them to 13-7-3, still firmly in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 29 points, two back of second-place Youngstown and Dubuque, who are tied with 31 points.

Daniil Tarasov's 14th goal of the year tied the game at 2-2 with 4:25 left and sent the game into OT. From there, neither team could score -- each got two shots in the five-minute extra session. The goaltenders took center stage in the shootout, which went to the final shooter scoreless before Chicago's Michael Vilardo scored to give the Steel the victory.

Robbie Baillargeon and Ice newcomer John Doherty assisted on Tarasov's game-tying goal -- for Doherty, it was his first point as an Iceman.

The teams went scoreless through the opening period, and it took to nearly midway through the game before the Steel's Charlie O'Connor scored shorthanded at 7:27 of the second. Seven and a half minutes later, Christian Hilbrich tied it up with a power play goal, assisted by Drew Smolcynski.

Chicago temporarily took the lead at 8:58 of the third with Michael Fallon's goal during a 5-on-3 advantage, but the Ice would eventually tie it up. The Ice spent much of the third period shorthanded, as Chicago got five power plays in the period. The Steel went 1-for-8 with the man advantage. The Ice were 1-for-5, but also saw Chicago score a shorthanded goal.

Gillies made 30 saves in the shootout loss. Chicago's Mathias Dahlstrom stopped 29 shots.

The two teams meet again Saturday night at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville, Ill., the Steel's home rink.

Three stars
1. Michael Vilardo (CHI), GWG in shootout, assist, 4 shots
2. Michael Fallon (CHI), goal, assist, 6 shots
3. Charlie O'Connor (CHI), goal, 2 shots, +2

USHL boxscore

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