CHICAGO IL– The Chicago Steel downed the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the regular-season finale, 5-1 on Saturday night.
After clinching home ice advantage ih the first round of the Clark Cup Playoffs, Muskegon rested 11 of their starters, allowing affiliate Luke Devlin to make his USHL debut.
Devlin earned his first USHL point, assisting on the early Quinn Hutson goal at 57 seconds in the first period, making it 1-0.
The Steel evened things at one on a great fake-pass shot at 10:57. The teams exchanged power play chances, but neither team stuck gold and it remained one a side after one.
The second started out strong for the Steel, as they pressured Muskegon goalie Jan Skorpik. Ultimately, Sean Farrell earned his 100th point of the season, assisting on a diving goal by Matt Coronato at 3:16, taking the lead for Chicago 2-1.
Some behind the play extracurriculars resulted in a huge fight between Quinn Hutson and Chicago’s Jack Bar at 8:48, giving each player fighting majors and misconducts.
Tyler Dunbar went to the dressing room midway through the second after receiving a high hit that was not called.
In the third period, Owen Mehlenbacher had a solid look on a sharp angle shot, but was shut down by Chicago netminder Nick Haas. This quickly turned into a Chicago goal by Andon Cerbone, at 1:17.
Cerbone danced through the Muskegon blue line increasing the lead to 3-1. Tyler Dunbar did return for Muskegon, albeit with a cage. Chicago struck again at 5:35, stretching on to 4-1. The Steel continued on their offensive tear on a one-timer at 8:53, extending the lead to 5-1.
Muskegon starts the first round of the Clark Cup Playoffs at home on Friday April 30 and Saturday May 1 vs Green Bay at 7:05pm EST.
Muskegon Goal: Hutson (16)
Muskegon Assists: Thomas Sinclair (13), Devlin (1)