Chicago Steel

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Chicago Steel
City Bensenville, Illinois
League USHL
Division East
Founded 1996
Home arena Edge Ice Arena

Black, Red, Gray

Owner(s) Larry Robbins
Bruce Liimatainen & Mike Greenberg (minor)
General manager Ryan Bennett (2015-16)
Head coach Dan Muse (2015-16)
Franchise history
1996–2000 Fargo-Moorhead Ice Sharks
2000–present Chicago Steel

The Chicago Steel is a Tier 1 junior ice hockey team formed in 2000. It plays all of its home games at the Edge Ice Arena, located in Bensenville, Illinois. The Steel play in the Eastern Division of the United States Hockey League. The current GM and Head Coach of the Steel is Scott McConnell. McConnell was promoted from assistant coach to his current role on the morning of Thursday, February 24, 2011, when Jon Waibel was relieved of his duties as head coach and GM, having led the injury-plagued team to a 9-27-7 record to that point. Before the 10/11 season, Waibel had spent five seasons as the assistant coach under former NHL'er Steve Poapst, who left late in the off-season to take a job with the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. McConnell was named full-time head coach and GM on May 16, 2011 - before this, he'd been the interim head coach and GM.

In May 2015, the majority ownership of the Chicago Steel was purchased by Larry Robbins while current owners Bruce Liimatainen and Mike Greenberg remained involved but as minority owners. The announcement for change of owners was accompanied by the announcement for a change of leadership on ice as Ryan Bennett and Dan Muse were hired as the new General Manager and Coach respectively.[1]


The Fargo-Moorhead Ice Sharks moved to Chicago, Illinois and became the Steel in 2000. For the most part, the team hovered around the .500 mark, until 2003-04. Under the direction of rookie Head Coach Wil Nichol, the Steel won their first-ever East Division title, besting the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders by one point.

The feat was remarkable considering the Steel didn’t have a scorer or a goaltender ranked among the league leaders. Danny Charleston led the team in scoring and Curt Hammer award winner Topher Scott also provided clutch goals. Shane Connolly and Adam D’Alba split the goaltending duties and Nichol claimed league coach of the year honors.

The division title didn't bring post-season success, however, as the Steel fell to eventual Clark Cup champion Waterloo Black Hawks in a tight, five-game, first-round series.

Current roster[edit]

20 Artem Artemov Forward 1997 Moscow Krylya Sovetov U17 Moscow, Russia

15 Mason Bergh Forward 1995 Eden Prairie High School Eden Prairie, MN

27 Victor Bjorkung Defense 1993 Sioux Falls Stampede Stockholm, Sweden

3 Jake Bunz Defense 1995 Team Wisconsin U18/Middleton High School Middleton, WI

18 John Ernsting Forward 1995 Chicago Mission U18 Naperville, IL

26 Daniel Fetzer Forward 1993 Chicago Steel Chicago, IL

13 Jack Jablonski Forward 1995 Benilde St. Margaret's High School Minneapolis, MN

23 Robby Jackson Forward 1997 LA Junior Kings U16 Alameda, CA

19 Brady Jones Forward 1996 Detroit Catholic Central High School Farmington Hills, MI

12 Brendon Kearney Forward 1995 Langley Rivermen (BCHL) Northville, MI

5 Nathan Kwiecinski Defense 1996 Little Caesars U18 Livonia, MI

11 Zach LaValle Forward 1994 Hill Murray High School Oakdale, MN

14 Brian LeBlanc Defense 1993 Wichita Falls Wildcats (NAHL) Hermantown, MN

9 Biagio Lerario Forward 1995 Chicago Steel Bloomingdale, IL

4 Liam McGing Defense 1995 Aberdeen Wings (NAHL) Chicago, IL

24 Connor McDonald Defense 1995 Ohio Junior Bluejackets U18 Westerville, OH

10 *T.J. Moore Forward 1995 Benilde St. Margaret’s High School Edina, MN

35 Cale Morris Goaltender 1996 Colorado Thunderbirds U16 Larkspour, CO

31 Chris Nell Goaltender 1994 Chicago Steel Green Bay, WI

21 Robbie Payne Forward 1993 Tri-City Storm Gaylord, MI

17 Patrick Polino Forward 1995 Chicago Steel Buffalo, NY

16 John Schilling Forward 1995 Chicago Mission U18 Oswego, IL

22 CJ Smith Forward 1994 Muskegon Lumberjacks Des Moines, IA

6 Peter Tischke Defense 1996 Chicago Mission U18 Hinsdale, IL

28 Alec Vanko Defense 1994 Janesville Jets (NAHL) Oregon, WI

2 Connor Yau Defense 1995 Chicago Mission U18 Algonquin, IL

Notable alumni[edit]

Team spirit[edit]

The team mascot is a dog named Rusty. Occasionally also seen at Steel home games is a puppy named Rascal.


External links[edit]