GENEVA, Ill. – The Central Illinois Flying Aces drop the first game of a home-and-home against the Chicago Steel, 5 to 4. The high-scoring game was a back and forth affair with the teams entering the third tied at three.
Ryan Snowden (Kennett Square, Penn.) made thirty-eight saves in tonight’s loss to keep the Aces in the game throughout the night.
The Flying Aces struck first at 4:47 in the first. Trevor Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) won a board battle against two Chicago players. Jeremy Davidson (Schoolcraft, Mich.) scooped up the puck and made a slick pass through the slot and multiple Steel defenders to Stephen Halliday (Toronto, Ont.) on the backdoor who tipped the puck into the gaping net.
The Steel tied the game after an initial shot from Neil Shea took a bounce over the Aces goaltender’s shoulder and Nick Abruzzese was perfectly placed alone on the backdoor to put home the rebound at 8:05 in the first.
At 15:50 in the first, the Steel extended their lead. Adam Robbins netted a rebound over the goaltender’s glove after an initial shot from Robert Mastrosimone wasn’t covered.
Uula Ruikka scored for Chicago on the power play at 5:09 in the second with a blast from the point through a crowd of traffic in front of the net.
Ryan Siedem (Madison, NJ) passed the puck off the wall to Chaseton Sare (Regina, SK). Sare found Chad Hillebrand (Skokie, Ill.) streaking down the center of the ice with an outlet pass. Hillebrand drove past the Chicago defender, deked to get the goaltender sprawling, and slid the puck past his left pad on the backhand at 6:43 in the second to make it a one-goal game.
Off a set face-off play, Lynden Breen (Grand Bay-Westfield, NB) won the draw and drove through the circle and passed to Philippe Lapointe (Burr Ridge, Ill.) in front of the net. Lapointe scored his first with the Flying Aces in his first game with the Aces to tie the game at 19:45 in second.
Snowden made several saves, but could not outlast the flurry of shots at 10:04 in the third after Ryan Doolin poked the loose puck in the crease into the goal to take the lead for Chicago.
Chicago scored their fifth of the game at 14:18 in the third when Matteo Pietroniro wristed a puck past Snowden’s shoulder.
With Snowden pulled, the Flying Aces made it a one-goal game at 19:33 in the third after a face-off win resulted in quick movement from Janicke to Siedem to Cal Kiefiuk (Macomb, Mich.) across the ice who one-timed the puck into the back of the net.
Central Illinois finishes a home-and-home against Chicago tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Grossinger Motors Arena with Teddy Bear Toss Night. The Flying Aces finish their three-game weekend with a game against the Madison Capitols on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. at home. Next weekend, Central Illinois hosts the Omaha Lancers on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 4 p.m.
Season tickets and Mini Plans for the 2018-19 season are on sale now. For tickets or more information, call the Flying Aces at 309-434-2980 or visit www.flyingaceshockey.com.
ABOUT THE FLYING ACES
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.