Adam Fantilli scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period, and the Chicago Steel advanced to the Clark Cup Final with a 5-4 win against the Muskegon Lumberjacks on Saturday.
Fantilli received a pass from Sean Farrell and split two Muskegon defenders to score with a backhand shot at 8:34 for the Steel to make the USHL’s Clark Cup Final for the third time in the past four years. Chicago defeated the Sioux City Musketeers 3-2 to win the Clark Cup in 2017 and were swept 3-0 by the Sioux Falls Stampede in 2019.
Mackie Samoskevich had three assists, Fantilli and Matt Coronato each scored twice, and Simon Latkoczy made 27 saves for Chicago, which will play the Fargo Force for the Clark Cup. Fargo defeated Sioux City 6-1 and 3-0 in the Western Conference Final.
Danil Gushchin had two goals and an assist, and Jan Skorpik made 25 saves for Muskegon, which lost to Chicago in the conference final for the second time in three years.
Fantilli scored for a 1-0 Steel lead at 2:37 of the first period, but Gushchin (2020/San Jose Sharks) tied it 1-1 at 18:08.
Samoskevich’s (2021/Michigan) cross-ice pass redirected off Alex Gagne’s skate to Erik Middendorf (Michigan State), who turned around and scored to give Chicago a 2-1 lead at 1:41 of the second period.
Cameron Berg tied it 2-2 at 7:02.
Gushchin scored his second 52 seconds later with a wrist shot from the left circle for a 3-2 Muskegon lead.
Coronato (2021/Harvard) tied it 3-3 at 8:24 when he received a stretch pass from Ryan Ufko (2021/UMass) and scored on a breakaway.
Jacob Guevin scored a power-play goal with a wrist shot from the point for a 4-3 Muskegon lead at 15:14.
Coronato tied it 4-4 with 11 seconds remaining in the second when he scored on his own rebound off a wraparound. He leads the USHL with six goals in four playoff games.
Coronato scored 7:09 into overtime for the Steel to win 3-2 in Game 1 on Friday.
Samoskevich sent a loose puck along the boards between two Muskegon defenders to Coronato, who scored glove side from the slot.
Samoskevich had two assists, and Latkoczy made 29 saves for the Steel.
Dylan Wendt had two assists, and Skorpik made 22 saves for Muskegon.
Berg scored from the slot for a 1-0 Muskegon lead at 18:54 of the first period.
Josh Doan tied it 1-1 at 16:43 of the second period with a one-timer from the left circle on the power play.
Bradley Marek scored on his own rebound with a backhand shot to make it 2-1 Muskegon with 44 seconds remaining in the second.
Fantilli tied it 2-2 at 8:06 of the third period off a rebound.