Steele County forward Jake Freise will experience a homecoming this week as the Blades play in the Chicago Showcase. Freise is from nearby Evanston, Ill.

The Steele County Blades have won four of their last five games entering the showcase, which will require four games over a three-day span. The Blades (12-5-2) open play against Wisconsin Rapids (20-4-1) Monday at 2:30PM. The Riverkings swept the Blades in a two-game series in late October.

Freise has played at the Leafs Ice Centre many times and watched his father play there in men's league action. Freise is a first-year player for the Blades and has become a physical presence with his 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame. He has six goals and two assists in 17 games and is second on the team with 44 penalty minutes.

Freise is still high school age and attends Owatonna High School. Jagr Wasem of Aberdeen, S.D., is also attending OHS. This is his first time away from home and says he has adjusted to life away from home pretty well.

After Monday's game against the top team in their division, Steele County plays the Dells Ducks on Tuesday, December 20, at 10:20AM. Wednesday they play Blaine at 8AM and Detroit at 2:30PM. Then the team goes on a holiday break. The season resumes January 6 at a showcase event in New England. The next home game for Steele County is January 11 at the Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna.

During a December 15 game at River Falls, Wis., Owatonna High School graduate Soren Colstrup reached 100 career points with the Blades. He had a goal and three assists in the Blades' 7-4 win at River Falls.