The Chicago Steel get their chance to play outdoors at the Cotton Bowl

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DALLAS – Over the last decade, the first week of the new year has usually meant another outdoor game for a Chicago hockey team.

In the midst of a franchise renaissance, the Blackhawks took the ice for the Winter Classic on or around New Year’s Day in 2009, 2015, 2017, and 2019 for the NHL’s annual showcase in the elements.

That didn’t happen this year, but another team represented the city in an outdoor game at the site of the big league’s outdoor showcase.

The Chicago Steel of the USHL took part in a contest at the Cotton Bowl on Friday against the Green Bay Gamblers, two days after the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators played the Winter Classic on the same ice. It was part of the league’s first-ever “Frosty Cup” which also featured an indoor game between the teams on January 2nd in nearby Frisco.

It was the first outdoor contest in Steel history, and they looked right at home in the elements.

On a clear, 59 degree night, the Steel scored three goals in the first period to grab a lead they would not relinquish.

Forward Sam Colangelo recorded his first career hat trick as the Steel beat Green Bay 7-2 to win the first Frosty Cup in USHL history, and it’s indicative of their great season to date.

As of Sunday, the Steel are the top team in the league with 47 points, sporting an impressive 23-4-1 record in their first 28 games of the season. That now includes a victory in the elements that made some team history at the Cotton Bowl this weekend.


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