The Twin City STEELplayed its inaugural game on Saturday, Sept. 10 versus the Lumberjacks of Granite City. The STEEL proved that while the roster is light and full of first year junior players, they are a force to be reckoned with. Here is a recap of the game:
Period 1: After an exciting first period full of physical, fast paced action, the STEEL out shot the Granite City Lumberjacks 12-10 and The Lumberjacks goaltender was forced to stand on his head through a barrage of high percentage scoring opportunities. Hats off to you Matt Grove! While the STEEL goaltender Evan Weiss proved to be just as stellar on the other end of the ice facing multiple shorthanded situations and made some spectacular saves to keep the goal differential at just one through the end of the first period.
Period 2: The STEEL showed a more settled and composed demeanor, with efficient breakouts and offensive zone control and still plenty of physical play. Less than one minute into the period, STEEL forward #26 Kegan Storjohann gave defensemen #7 Tyler Montgomery a nice pass who then skated around three Lumberjack defenders to net the VERY FIRST STEEL GOAL to tie the game 1-1. More than 16 minutes later, the Lumberjacks netted two quick power play goals to end the second period leading the STEEL 3 to 1.
Period 3: 5-minutes of play into the third period, the Lumberjacks netted its final goal of the game making the score 4-1. STEEL Head coach Stu Ronsberg then called a time out and got the boys pumped up. 13 seconds following the conclusion of the time out, STEEL forward #19 Davis Madren picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, skated into the offensive zone and fires a laser that beats Jacks goaltender Grant Holler top shelf, for an unassisted goal to better the score to 4-2. The STEEL athletes stayed committed to task with a relentless fore-check and continuous physical play through the entire period, right up to the last second of the game when STEEL forward #9 Adam Slagle fired a buzzer beater at 19:59 of the third period to end the game with a final score of STEEL 3, JACKS 4.
Losing this game was disappointing and frustrating for the athletes and coaches alike. Said Coach Ronsberg, “Our players know what we expect of them and they know that we expect better results, we expect to win! This game clearly exposed our areas of needed improvement, however it also demonstrated that STEEL athletes are willing to work, compete and not quit. As a coaching staff and as a team we can build something special with this sort of character platform.”