MIDDLETON, Wis. — Jeremy Davidson posted his second consecutive multi-goal game, but the Madison Capitols used a three-goal second period to skate past the Central Illinois Flying Aces, 6-3, on Wednesday night at Bob Suter Capitol Ice Arena.
Central Illinois (14-38-6, 34 points) scored the first two goals of the game, but Madison (23-31-4, 50 points) tabbed six of the final seven tallies to earn the win in the final meeting between the teams this season.
The Flying Aces opened the scoring less than six minutes into the game on Davidson’s first goal of the night. Standing at the right-wing wall, Calen Kiefiuk (University of Michigan) located Davidson (University of Massachusetts) in the slot, and Davidson ripped a one-time shot upstairs on Madison goaltender Dryden McKay (53 saves) to give the Flying Aces a 1-0 lead.
With 11:50 gone in the first period, Charlie Raith (University of Notre Dame) doubled Central Illinois’ lead. Jakub Lacka (RPI) forced a turnover in the neutral zone and fed the puck to Brady Meyer (University of Minnesota Duluth). After Meyer cut through the left circle, he found Raith standing out front, and Raith shoveled the puck past McKay from the top of the crease.
Madison drew within one late in the first period, as Kamil Sadlocha finessed a rebound past Ryan Snowden (38 saves) after Snowden made the initial stop on Jared Kucharek’s shot from the slot.
Madison tied the game at two on the power play with less than five minutes left in the second as Cade Borchardt converted on a rebound shot from just to the right of the net. Ryan O’Reilly received a pass in the left circle, and after his initial shot was stopped by Snowden, Borchardt found the rebound and then found the back of the net.
The Capitols took their first lead of the night just one minute, 17 seconds after they tied it. On a 2-on-1 rush into the offensive zone, Mick Messner slid a pass to his right, and Alec Broetzman tapped it past the glove hand of Snowden.
Before the end of the second period, Madison increased its lead to two. Colin Felix ripped a shot from the high slot that beat Snowden to make it 4-2, a goal that held up as the game-winning score.
Central Illinois battled back to bring the game within one with less than 10 minutes gone in the third period on Davidson’s second score of the game. Off a feed from Kiefiuk, Davidson lured McKay out of position and fired the puck past the Madison netminder from the left circle. The goal was Davidson’s sixth point in his last two games.
But Madison scored the final two goals of the game to prevent a comeback. The Capitols padded their lead with a short-handed goal from O’Reilly at the 11:45 mark of the third and received an empty-net goal from Sadlocha for the final goal of the night with 1:03 left in the game.
Central Illinois plays its final road game of the season on Friday night against the Chicago Steel before hosting the Steel on Saturday in the regular season finale at Grossinger Motors Arena in downtown Bloomington. Saturday night is Fan Appreciation Night, featuring hundreds of giveaways throughout the game and a free postgame skate with the Flying Aces. Hot dogs are just $1 and 16-ounce Budweiser and Bud Light drafts and 24-ounce sodas are just $3 all game. Ticket start as low as $8.
Known as the Bloomington Thunder from 2014-17, the newly-rebranded Central Illinois Flying Aces are a member of the top junior hockey league in the United States, the United States Hockey League (USHL). The only Tier I junior hockey league in the country, the USHL has become renowned for developing the next stars of both Division I college hockey and the NHL. At the start of the 2017-18 season, there were 128 active USHL alumni on NHL rosters, with at least one USHL alumnus playing for each of the 31 teams. In total, there have been 253 USHL players who have gone onto NHL careers, including Patrick Sharp, David Backes, Johnny Gaudreau, and Joe Pavelski, among others. The players in the USHL range in age from 16-20 years old, 95 percent of whom will go on to play college hockey at the Division I level. For more information, visit flyingaceshockey.com or ushl.com or download the USHL Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.