|Tyler Beskorowany (Credit : Idaho Steelheads)
John Mulhern drops knowledge about the Steelheads... Also note that today the Stars called up goalie Tyler Beskorowany and assigned defenseman Jace Coyle...
The Idaho Steelheads completed their 9 game home-stand with 4 games in 5 nights with some mixed results.
Tuesday March 5th vs. Colorado Eagles 4-2 W
The Idaho Steelheads would have two goals waved offed in the first period, but still managed to take a 2-1 lead into the locker room after the first period of play. Defenseman William Lacasse would officially get the Steelheads on the board at the 8:04 mark of the period. The Colorado Eagles (St Johns Ice Caps) would tie the game up on a power play goal from Kyle Ostrow a little over 3 minutes later, but Steelhead Austin Smith would respond right back with a power play goal.
Michael Forney would tie the game at 2 for Colorado when he scored just 24 seconds into the second period, however once again the Steelheads would answer on the power play as Justin Taylor would deflect a Patrick Cullity shot to give the Steelheads a 3-2 lead after two. The third was a tightly contested period, and again the Steelheads sat on a one goal lead and let the Eagles come at them. Goaltender Josh Robinson stood tall and turned aside all 17 shots sent his way in the 3rd period and Tyler Gron iced the game with an empty net goal with just under 2 minutes remaining in the game.
Wednesday March 6 vs. Colorado Eagles 2-1 L
It what could best be analogous to a pitchers dual, Steelheads goaltender Tyler Beskorowany and Eagles goaltender Adam Brown, did their best to impersonate baseball’s Roy Halladay and Justin Verlander. On this night however, it was the Eagles that was able to do just that little bit more to get the win. The teams would split goals in the first period as Steve Haddon would score on the power play just 3:56 into the first.
Again, not to be out done the Steelheads responded with their own power play goal. It was Tyler Gron getting his 16th of the season to tie the game at 1 after one period of play. In the second Colorado would again take advantage of having the extra attacker as Collin Bowman would get the game winner at the 10:26 mark of the second. The Steelheads would have chances, but they were unable to find the back of the net. For the game Brown made 25 saves on 26 shots and Beskorowany made 39 saves on 40 shots. With those goaltending numbers either team should have expected to win. On this night however, it was the Eagles who stopped the Steelheads 8 game point streak
Friday March 8 vs. Gwinnett Gladiators 5-3 W
This past Friday the Gwinnett Gladiators (Portland Pirates) made their way into Boise for the first time since the 2004 ECHL Kelly Cup Finals. They were greeted by over 4,300 Steelheads fans who hopped to see the Steelheads get back to their winning ways. Josh Robinson was back in net for the Steelheads as head coach Brad Ralph continued with his goalie rotation. In the first period, the Gladiators would get the only goal as ECHL scoring leader Casey Pierro-Zabotel, got the first and only marker in the period for the 1-0 lead after the first period.
In the second, Scott Todd and Austin Smith would get goals for the Steelheads only to see the Gladiators tie at before the end of the frame to send the game into the third knotted at 2. After two close checking periods, there was a feeling that one more goal was going to be enough, you just weren’t sure if it was going to happen. Rylan Galiardi would start an avalanche of scoring when he put the Steelheads up 3-2 just 3:21 into the 3rd. Pierro-Zabotel, would get his second of the night to equalize the game again at 10:09.
Now Brad Ralph had just brought in rookie forward Chase Schaber out of Univeristy of Lethbridge in Canada and in his first professional game, Schaber would tally his first professional goal at the 14:51 mark of the 3rd, and it would turn into the game winner as Justin Tayler would add an empty net goal with 45 seconds left in the game. Robinson stopped 28 of 31 to get the win for the Steelheads.
Saturday March 9 vs. Gwinnett Gladiators 2-0 L
The Steelheads were shut-out for the first time all season at home as Louis Domingue would stop all 40 shots the Steelheads sent in his direction. Tyler Beskorowany would once again take a hard luck loss as he turned aside 18 of 20 shots in the game.
If ever there was a case of no puck luck, this was that night as the Steelheads were just a bounce or a deflection away from getting on the board on numerous occasions. The game remained scoreless through 2 periods of play before Rylan Galiardi would take a hooking call at the 3:13 mark of the 3rd. Just 5 seconds later, the Gladiators Sachs Guimond had the puck in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. After a Jeremie Blain high-sticking call put the Gladiators back on the power play, Evan Bloodoff made it 2-0 and that was good enough for the win.
The Steelheads head up to Sullivan Arena to take on the Alaska Aces (Independent) in a three game series this Wednesday, Friday & Saturday. This series is essentially a make or break series regarding the Steelheads chances at winning the Mountain Division and also the Western Conference. Alaska only needs 5 points relative to Idaho to clinch the Division and 8 points relative to the Ontario Reign (Manchester Monarchs) to clinch the Western Conference.
To give themselves any semblance of a chance the Steelheads must win all 3 games or they are going to be locked into the 3rd seed for the Kelly Cup Playoffs. In fairness even a sweep still puts the Steelheads odds at winning the division/conference at a long shot. The Steelheads are 3-1 against the Aces this year, but all 4 games have taken place in Boise.
- Austin Smith: Just had a 5 game point streak snapped during which, he had 5 goals and 6 assists. Has been the driving offensive force since his re-assignment from Texas. Has a tendency at times to be a bit creative outside of the teams systems, but has earned a bit of freedom with his play.
- John Ryder: Has been on the IR for the past two and a half months. Will be making his first appearance since Dec 30. As a defenseman this year he has 3 assists on the season in 19 games played.
- Josh Robinson: Has gone 3-0 during March including 2 wins this past week. He has only allowed 5 goals on 108 shots faced and has brought his GAA down to 2.58 and increased his SV% to .924
- Tyler Beskorowany: Has a 1-2 record during March, however a lack of offense cost him in his two losses more than his play. He has allowed just 4 goals in his two losses this month and has also dropped his GAA from 2.86 to 2.80 and marginally increased his SV% from .910 to .911