Points Aplenty for Chicago Steel Star Matt Coronato

The forward's streak of 28 games with a point is the best in the history of the USHL

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On Chicago Steel broadcasts, the team's play-by-play announcer often refers to players by nicknames he's created.

Matt Coronato's nickname refers to an animal, but hardly the kind you'd expect for a record-setting hockey player.

"Mine is 'The Bison', because [he says] I go hard to the net and ram like a bison," Coronato explained. "It's really funny. He makes a bison growl after I score."

And lately, there's been a lot of growling. With 19 games in the books this season, Coronato leads the USHL with 17 goals and 40 points.

"Just staying locked-in, trusting my teammates, trusting my coaches, and things have been going my way for a little bit here," Coronato said.

That's the kind of statement a humble 18 year-old makes.

In reality, Coronato is dominating anyone and everyone in his way, and it's led to a record-setting streak. Dating back to last season, the Long Island native has notched at least one point in 28-consecutive games, setting a new league record.The USHL has been around for more than four decades.

"It's not that I don't think it's that big of a deal, but it's not something that I go into every night focused on or looking to continue," Coronato said. "It's something that is a result of hard work."

Steel Head Coach Brock Sheahan couldn't agree more. He says it's no coincidence Coronato has accomplished so much.

"I don't think he's taken a shift off in two years he's been here, which I don't think anybody can say," Sheahan said. "It's actually amazing. His compete level, his motivation, his motor -- it's unbelievable to watch him play."

Coronato attributes his record-setting success to consistent and dedicated preparation, but he's also quick to compliment his teammates.

"Points come in all different ways," he said. "You can't do it alone, so definitely thankful for my teammates, my line mates, and they know that I'm appreciative of them."

Next year, Coronato will head to Harvard University, where he'll embark on his collegiate hockey career. But pro hockey could be in his future as well. Experts believe he's shooting up draft boards and that he could be taken in the first round of this summer's NHL Draft.

"It's really special," Coronato said. "It's been a lifelong dream of mine to get drafted and play in the NHL, but right now, just continuing to focus on getting better every day and preparing to play college hockey."

When asked how long he's hoping the streak will stretch, Coronato says he hasn't thought about it. Sheahan says no matter when it ends, he'll look back on it with pride.

"We’ll see how long it goes, but regardless of the streak, he contributes in so many ways, and I’m proud of the player he’s become right now, and he’s going to continue to get better and better and better," Sheahan said.

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