GENEVA - Goaltenders Erik Gordon and Kris Carlson stymied the defending USHL champions and the Central Illinois Flying Aces got goals from five different players, earning their first official preseason victory with a 5-2 triumph over the Chicago Steel at the Fox Valley Ice Arena.
First-year coach Mike Watt, whose team defeated in an unofficial exhibition with Muskegon last week, was rewarded for giving both goalies about 30 minutes of ice time. Carlson came in midway and stopped all 10 shots he saw to complete the win.
Starter Gordon stopped 14 of 16, with 10 coming in a first period that saw the Aces take a 1-0 lead on Maxim Andreev's power play goal with :09 on the clock. Jeremy Davidson and Jacob Olbing picked up assists on the play as Central Illinois converted on its only advantage of the night.
The Steel struck back 4 1/2 minutes into the second as Samuel Bucek netted a tying goal, but Lucas McGregor restored the Central Illinois lead just over a minute later with an assist from Marko Reifenberger.
The seesaw period continued as Jordan Seyfert scored at the eight-minute mark for Chicago and Drew Elser answered for the Aces just 22 seconds later, with an assist going to Griffin Lunn.
Central Illinois put two more shots past Steel goalie Justin Robbins in the third. Roman Ahcan converted assists from Gleb Murtazin and Regen Cavanagh at 9:48 and defenseman Simon Butala finished the scoring two minutes later with a helper going to Matt Gosiewski.
The Aces return to action Friday against Team USA in the first of three games in three days at the USHL Fall Classic in suburban Pittsburgh.