John Mulhern with the Idaho Steelheads Report...
The Idaho Steelheads had a 4 game in 5 night series against the Utah Grizzlies (Abbotsford Heat) this past weekend and it turned out about as well as could be expected considering there was travel involved after the first two games in Idaho. For the first time in a while, the roster had no significant reductions, but did get one addition with the return of Tristan King back into the line-up on Friday. Let’s take a look back at the weekend.
Wednesday vs. Utah – Steelheads Win 7-3
Tyler Beskorowany returned to the net for the Steelheads tonight and was solid as he turned away 25 of the 28 Utah shots that were sent his way. Although on this night, the focus was more on the total team effort on the offensive side of the ledger. Matt Case continued his career year as he got the first goal of the game and assisted on 3 others including David de Kastrozza’s first goal at the start of the second period. Back to the first period for a moment, after Case’s goal got the team a lead at the 1:38 mark of the first, Utah came right back and tied it at the 6:18 mark. Before the teams went to the break, Sam Carrick would get his first of the night to make it 2-1 after the first. In the second, the de Kastrozza goal was actually the third of the period as the teams would split goals within the first minute, before de Kastrozza made it 4-2 Idaho. The teams would once again split goals before the end of the period with Carrick getting his second goal of the night. After 2 the Steelheads were leading 5-3. A second de Kastrozza goal after a Ben Ondrus pass hit him stride for a breakaway and a Justin Taylor goal, his first as a Steelheads, gave the Steelheads the 7-3 margin of victory.
Friday vs. Utah – Steelheads Win 5-4 OT
A sold-out crowd got to experience an exciting hockey game as the Steelheads would prevail in overtime by a score of 5-4 in overtime. While the game had physical play and nine goals, the quality of hockey left a little something to be desired. There were 23 penalties called, and 16 power plays split between the teams. The one positive, from a Steelheads prospective, is that it's better to win an ugly game than to lose a pretty one.
The Steelheads would once again jump out to an early lead as William Lacasse would get his first goal of the year just 2:19 into the first. Mitch Wahl would get the Grizzlies on the board with their first of 4 power play goals to tie the game at 1. Tyler Gron would send the Steelheads to the locker room up by one as he continues his strong play since being acquired by head Coach Brad Ralph last month. Mitch Wahl wasted no time on the second tying the game at 2 with his second power play goal of the game. Again Idaho would take a lead as Justin Taylor scored at 17:01 of the period. Not to be outdone, the Grizzlies, and Wahl, would score a 3rd power play goal with 0.7 second left on the clock to send the game to the third period tied at 3.
In the 3rd period the Steelheads started out a man down after a Jace Coyle slashing penalty was called late in the second. Bryan Cameron would give Utah a 4-3 lead just 1:34 into the game. Tyler Gron would tie the game up at the 6:24 mark of the period and send the game into overtime. As mentioned in the open Tristan King made his return to the line-up after being out injured for the past couple of weeks. After a goaltender interference call against Kory Falite was going to put the Steelheads on the power play, he decided to argue the call and referee Don Jablonski added a second penalty for “disputing decision” which turned out to be important as the Steelheads would score at the 3:39 mark of overtime as King would stuff home a rebound from inside the crease to send the Steelheads fans home with an overtime victory.
As a note, Josh Robinson was in net for the Steelheads and despite turning aside 43 of 47 shots, there weren’t a lot of “good goals” that were allowed, despite the fact they were all on the power play. However, Robinson made a tremendous save in the extra session as Wahl was trying for his 4th goal of the night on a shorthanded attempt that allowed the Steelheads to come back and get the game winner.
Saturday @ Utah – Steelheads Lose 5-4
After the two teams travelled down to Utah overnight (Grizzlies) and early morning (Steelheads), the two teams faced off for the 3rd of 4 times in 5 days in Utah. Tyler Beskorowany was back in the net for the Steelheads as Shane Owen played his 3rd straight game for the Grizzlies. The teams split goals in the first period of the game as this time the Grizzlies jumped out to a 1-0 lead and it was the Steelheads Sam Carrick who got the equalizer on the power play to tie it at one. In the 2nd period the teams would again split goals, this time it was the Steelheads Jace Coyle, on the power play again that gave the Steelheads the lead. The Grizzlies would tie it up late on an even strength goal from Mitch Wahl.
The teams would head to the 3rd period tied at 2, but due to a late penalty against the Steelheads, the Grizzlies would start the 3rd on the power play. They would cash in on that power play and take a 3-2 lead. However, the Steelheads took the first 6 minutes of the 3rd period off and the Grizzlies would tack on 2 more for a 5-2 lead. David Toews and Jace Coyle would pull the Steelheads closer, but they were unable to get the equalizer and the Steelheads fell 5-4.
Sunday @ Utah – Steelheads Win 6-0
The Steelheads finished up their 4 games in 5 nights against Utah with strong performances from both Tyler Gron (1G 2A) and Tristan King (2G 3A) along with goaltender Josh Robinson who earned his first professional shutout (34 Saves). Gron got the Steelheads started with a power play goal halfway through the first period sending the Steelheads to a 1-0 lead after the first period. In the second Matt Case, King and David Toews put three more on the board for the Steelheads who were never really threatened in what turned into a very physical and chippy affair. The 3rd period continued to go the Steelheads way as King and Bryce Reddick added two more power play goals to give the Steelheads the 6-0 win.
The Steelheads continue a stretch of 9 games in 12 games as they have a quick turn and play host to the San Francisco Bulls (Worchester Sharks) for the first time on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Steelheads then get one day off on Thursday before playing 3 games in 3 nights with 2 games against the Las Vegas Wranglers (Independent) wrapped around a game against the Ontario Reign (Manchester Monarchs)
Tristan King: After returning from injury King has been on a tear over the past three games with 3G 4A for 7 points including a game winning goal on Friday night.
Jace Coyle: Has a very productive weekend with 2G 3A good for 5 points. Also he has become a force on the power play as this past weekend with 2 goals and 2 assists on the power play.
Until Next Time…