In a riveting redemption match at Addison Ice Arena, the Chicago Crush Premier silenced the echoes of their previous night's 6-0 defeat by turning the tables on their crosstown rivals, the Chicago Cougars, with a triumphant 3-2 victory.
The atmosphere at the Addison Ice Arena was electric as fans eagerly anticipated the clash between these divisional foes. The Crush, determined to avenge their Friday night loss, showcased resilience and skill that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats.
The game began with a fast-paced first period, and the Crush drew first blood at the 7:02 mark. Owen Rycerz, assisted by Cyler Brogle, found the back of the net, giving the home team a 1-0 lead. The crowd erupted, sensing a different energy from their team compared to the previous night.
As the second period unfolded, the Crush continued their dominance. Jason Castaneda extended the lead to 2-0 at 1:47, with assists from Capt. Nick Zehelein and Ryan Hammer. Shortly after, the Crush showcased their defensive prowess, successfully killing off penalties and even managing a short-handed goal by Jonathan Wood at 7:51. Wood's goal left the arena in awe, as the Crush took a commanding 3-0 lead.
The game also featured a physical battle, with both teams accumulating penalties throughout the night. The animosity between the players reached its peak in the second period, resulting in a series of roughing, cross-checking, and misconduct penalties. Despite the chippy play, the Crush maintained their composure and stayed focused on the task at hand.
The Cougars, determined to mount a comeback, found their rhythm in the third period. Frank Kula and TJ Haas scored at 12:35 and 17:40, respectively, bringing the score to 3-2. The Crush faced a late surge from the Cougars, but goaltender Jack Sundhall stood tall, making crucial saves to secure the win.
Both goaltenders, Bennett Pieters for the Cougars and Jack Sundhall for the Crush, delivered standout performances. Sundhall's 24 saves, including some spectacular stops in the third period, earned him the well-deserved win.
The victory not only marked a crucial divisional win for the Crush but also showcased their resilience and determination. Coach Steve Maltais commended his team's response to the previous night's loss, emphasizing the character displayed on the ice. The Crush now look ahead to the rest of the season with renewed confidence, while the Cougars seek answers to bounce back from this closely contested matchup.
Captain Crush's Three Stars of the Game
1. Jack Sundhall:
Sundhall faced 26 shots on goal, making 24 crucial saves and standing tall during the Cougars' late-game surge. His exceptional performance between the pipes was instrumental in securing the victory for the Crush.
2. Owen Rycerz:
Rycerz's offensive skills and ability to find the back of the net showcased his scoring instinct. With a goal and a strong offensive presence, Rycerz played a key role in the team's success.
3. Cyler Brogle:
Brogle not only assisted on Rycerz's goal but also played a key role in the defensive efforts, helping to kill penalties and maintaining composure during the physical battle.
With this win, the Chicago Crush Premier move to a 13-5-2-0 record, while the Chicago Cougars now stand at 9-9-1-2. The crosstown rivalry continues to heat up, setting the stage for more thrilling matchups in the USPHL.
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