ADDISON, Ill.- In a commanding display of skill and finesse, the Chicago Crush Premier hockey team secured a resounding 7-0 victory over divisional rivals, the Decatur Blaze, in a thrilling matchup at Addison Ice Arena.
From the first drop of the puck, the Chicago Crush asserted their dominance on home ice, taking control of the game early. Just 2 minutes and 29 seconds into the contest, the Blaze found themselves in hot water as a too-many-players-on-the-ice penalty set the stage for the Crush's power play.
Capitalizing on the man advantage, forward Capt. Nick Zehelein wasted no time, burying his 50th USPHL career point in the back of the net with assists from Caden Day and Ryan Hammer at 5:19. The Crush continued their offensive onslaught, with Caden Day notching a power-play insurance goal just moments later at 5:31.
The goals kept coming for the home team, as Ryan Brown and Jason Castaneda added to the tally at 6:25 and 6:47, respectively, sending the Crush to the locker room with a commanding 4-0 lead after the opening period.
The second period saw no let-up from the Crush, as they extended their lead to 6-0. Despite a 10-minute misconduct-unsportsmanlike penalty to Brandon Consolo of the Blaze, the Crush power play unit proved lethal.
Ryan Hammer and Logan Fernandes found the back of the net at 6:29 and 9:24, with Fernandes even scoring shorthanded. The Blaze faced penalty trouble of their own but couldn't capitalize on the opportunities.
Entering the final frame with a commanding lead, the Crush continued to showcase their offensive prowess. Nicolas Pagella joined the scoring party at 11:03, further solidifying the home team's dominance.
Though Caden Day spent some time in the penalty box for cross-checking at 8:18, the Blaze couldn't capitalize on the man advantage. Camdyn Brosky of the Blaze took a slashing penalty at 17:22, sealing their fate in a lopsided contest.
In the crease, Jack Sundhall of the Crush was nearly impenetrable, stopping all 11 shots he faced and securing a shutout for the home team. On the other side, Trace Wiles of the Blaze faced a barrage of shots, making 38 saves in the effort.
With this victory, the Chicago Crush maintains their strong position in the USPHL standings, showcasing their offensive prowess and defensive resilience. The team and fans alike can revel in this dominating performance as they look forward to future matchups and, potentially, a playoff run.
Captain Crush's 3 Stars of the Game
1. Jack Sundhall: Sundhall stood tall in the net, facing all 11 shots from the Decatur Blaze and securing a shutout for the Chicago Crush. His exceptional performance between the pipes set the tone for the team's dominant victory.
2. Logan Fernandes: Fernandes not only showcased offensive skill by finding the back of the net during a shorthanded situation but also displayed defensive responsibility with a penalty-killing effort. His two-way play was instrumental in the Crush's commanding win.
3. Caden Day: Day played a pivotal role in the Crush's offensive onslaught, contributing a goal and two assists. His dynamic playmaking and effectiveness on the power play highlighted his importance in the team's success, earning him a well-deserved spot among the stars of the game.
After the game Capt. Nick Zehelein was asked to share his thoughts on achieving his 50th USPHL Career Point, "I'm so grateful to have been able to accomplish this and I couldn't have done it without my team."
From the entire Chicago Crush Organization, congratulations Nick Zehelein for achieving a remarkable milestone of 50 USPHL points! Your dedication and skill on the ice are truly commendable. Here's to many more successes ahead!
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