MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich.- In a highly anticipated divisional clash at the Mount Clemens Ice Arena Jets Rink, the Chicago Crush Elite hockey team opened the 2023 USPHL Detroit Showcase against the Fort Wayne Spacemen. The game was marked by intense action, ultimately concluding with the Fort Wayne Spacemen securing a 6-3 victory over the Chicago Crush.
The first period saw Fort Wayne take an early lead, with Richardson and Zinoviev finding the back of the net at 13:24 and 14:42, respectively. Chicago's Ryan Brown responded admirably with a goal at 15:24, keeping the Crush in contention. Despite a penalty-free period, the Spacemen held a 2-1 lead.
The second period featured a back-and-forth battle, with Teplitskyi extending Fort Wayne's lead at 7:00. Chicago's Jaden Yuknis and Joseph Coglianese showcased their offensive prowess with goals at 8:10 and 17:32 (on the power play), narrowing the gap to 3-2. The period concluded with an electric atmosphere, setting the stage for an exciting third period.
In the final frame, the Fort Wayne Spacemen showcased their resilience with three goals, including Richardson's power-play goal at 14:46, Teplitskyi's second of the game at 15:35, and an empty-netter by Teplitskyi at 19:19. Despite a slashing penalty for the Crush's Cole Darlas at 13:07, the Spacemen capitalized on the power play and secured a 6-3 victory.
Noteworthy performances came from Chicago Crush players, particularly Yuknis and Coglianese, who contributed crucial goals in the second period. Coglianese's power-play goal highlighted the team's determination to capitalize on opportunities. In the net, Johnny Augusta faced a barrage of shots, making 31 saves on 36 attempts, showcasing his resilience and determination to keep the Crush in the game.
Shots on goal favored the Spacemen 37 to 20, and both teams capitalized on their power play opportunities, each scoring once with the man advantage. In the goaltending duel, Tolbert of the Fort Wayne Spacemen made 17 saves on 20 shots.
As the Chicago Crush Elite reflect on this opening game, they look ahead to the remainder of the showcase, eager to display their skills and bounce back in the USPHL Detroit Showcase. The Crush Elite aim to return to the win column as they faceoff against divisional rivals, the Decatur Blaze, at 1:00 PM EST. Catch all the hockey action live on FloHockey.tv!