BLAINE, Minn. - The Chicago Crush Premier squad put on a dazzling display of offensive prowess this morning as they rolled past the Isanti Outlaws in an exciting shootout at the 2023 USPHL Midwest Showcase. The final score was 7-3 in favor of the Crush, and the South Rink at Fogerty Ice House bore witness to an explosive offensive spectacle.
The first period set the tone for this high-scoring affair, with the Crush and Outlaws trading blows. Chicago's Owen Rycerz, who's quickly becoming a fan favorite, opened the scoring just over six minutes into the game. He found the back of the net again later in the period, and this time with a little help from Joey Gruber. Gruber was on fire, recording four assists in the game, which certainly didn't go unnoticed by his teammates.
"My line has been buzzin’ since we put Adyn on it, and it was a great team effort. We played good," said Rycerz, clearly appreciating the chemistry on the ice. "We also can’t forget how Gruber had 4 assists in the game."
In between Rycerz's goals, Isanti's Anderson managed to put one past Crush's goaltender, but it was the Crush who finished the period strong with a goal from Day to make it 3-1.
The Outlaws weren't ready to concede defeat and made things interesting in the second period. A goal by Johnson brought them within one, but the Crush's Sam Barnitz answered quickly, widening the gap to 4-2. Captain Nick Zehelein added another for the Crush late in the period, leaving Isanti with some ground to make up in the third.
"Us Indiana boys really clicked today, and he’s always in the right spot at the right time," praised Gruber, referring to Rycerz. "Finding him was simple, but finding the back of the net is harder, Owen made it look easy today."
The final frame belonged to the Crush, with Rycerz completing his hat-trick early in the period, thanks to Gruber's playmaking once again. Jon Wood and Ryan Kranicki sealed the deal with two more goals for Chicago. The Outlaws managed to score one more, but it was a case of too little, too late.
The Chicago Crush put on an offensive clinic, outshooting the Isanti Outlaws 77-35, a testament to their dominance throughout the game. It was a well-rounded effort, with players like Barnitz, Zehelein, and Wood contributing to the scoring alongside Rycerz and Gruber.
In the end, goaltender Kyle Tyszkiewicz stood tall for the Crush, making 32 saves on 35 shots, while Sucher of the Outlaws faced an onslaught, stopping 70 of the 77 shots he faced.
With a final score of 7-3, the Chicago Crush sent a clear message to the rest of the USPHL - they're here to win, and they're here to entertain. Fans can't wait to see what this dynamic team has in store for the rest of the season. The Crush are shaping up to be a force to be reckoned with in the USPHL Midwest Showcase. The Crush will look to get some rest before they face the Minnesota Moose this evening at 7:10PM CDT.
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