Allen Americans vs. Idaho Steelheads
Date(s) - Sat Apr 14, 2018
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads get back to work on Saturday night in Game 2 of the Mountain Division Semifinals, looking to bounce back after the Allen Americans took the series-opener on Friday night with a 3-2 win at CenturyLink Arena. The defeat was the first time since 2013, a span of five playoff series, that Idaho had lost Game 1 of a series. Idaho had won seven consecutive games on home ice to finish the regular season.
The Americans jumped out to a lead early in Game 1 and would never trail, with rookie Braylon Shmyr scoring the series’ first goal. The Steelheads would tie the game twice, with Aaron Harstad and Steve McParland scoring to pull Idaho out of one-goal holes, but Bryan Moore’s go-ahead goal for Allen with 13:46 remaining held up as the game-winner. Philippe Desrosiers made 21 saves in his first Steelheads start since March 4th.
Getting to the Net…
Jake Paterson earned the win in net for the Americans with perhaps his lightest workload against Idaho this season. In four regular-season games against the Steelheads in 2017-18, one of them with Norfolk, Paterson made a minimum of 40 saves in each appearance. On Friday, Paterson turned away 27 of 29 Idaho shots, and all seven in the third period. Idaho averaged 36.1 shots per game this season and 39.1 per game against the Americans. Max French finished the season for Idaho with an eight-game points streak and Cole Ully finished with six multipoint games in his last seven, but the Americans held the duo to a combined five shots.
Eric Sweetman and Justin Parizek both put up points in their first professional playoff action, with both players earning assists on each Idaho goal. Sweetman showed off his playmaking ability in the second period, finding Steve McParland at the back post for a tap-in goal to tie the game 2-2. Parizek was the only Steelhead to finish Game 1 with a plus-rating. For the Americans, Braylon Shmyr played only nine regular-season games before his first playoff action but opened the scoring with his first playoff goal. Shmyr helped usher Allen into the playoffs with a three-point game against Idaho last week in Allen, including a go-ahead goal in the third period and a set-up for Mathieu Foget on the overtime winner.
Moore Power to Them…
Bryan Moore’s game-winner in Game 1 continued a history of solid play against the Steelheads since he joined Allen during the 2016-17 season. Prior to last night’s game, Moore had collected six goals and 12 points in 14 regular-season games against the Steelheads. Moore has been one of Allen’s top contributors since joining the Americans, posting 99 points in 101 regular-season games and four goals and seven points in six playoff games.
Goals: Harstad/McParland (1)
Assists: Sweetman/Parizek (2)
Points: Sweetman/Parizek (2)
Plus/Minus: Parizek (+1)
Power Play Goals: Harstad (1)
Goals-Against Average: Desrosiers (3.09)
Goals: Three players (1)
Assists: Four players (1)
Points: Seven players (1)
Plus/Minus: Chouinard (+3)
Power Play Goals: —
Goals-Against Average: Paterson (2.00)
Steelheads comeback falls short in Game 2 loss
Play of the gameThe Steelheads seemed to have swung momentum to their side at the start of the second period, having climbed out of a two-goal deficit and putting pressure on in the Allen zone. That momentum shifted when a bouncing puck at the Allen blue line was poked out to center by Alex Guptill, sending David Makowski ahead on a 2-on-1 break. Makowski took it himself, firing a shot past Sholl to put the Americans back in front for good.
Boise, ID (4/14/18)— Aaron Harstad scored with 59 seconds remaining in regulation time, but that was as close as the Idaho Steelheads would come as the Allen Americans hung on for a 5-4 victory in Game 2 of the Mountain Division Semifinals to take a 2-0 series lead as the series moves to Allen.
The Steelheads did not record their first shot on goal until the 12:52 mark of the first period, but they stormed the Allen net in the latter half of the frame and tied the game prior to the first intermission. Jack Nevins got Idaho on the board with his first of the playoffs, burying a shot in the low slot after Cole Ully slid the puck in front from behind the net at 13:31. With one minute left in the first, Max French finished a power play one-timer for his first professional playoff goal to tie the game 2-2.
Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored twice for the Americans, who jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 6:03 of the opening period. Jared Bethune opened the scoring 1:34 into the game with a wrap from behind the goal line that banked in off the pad of Idaho goaltender Tomas Sholl for his first professional playoff goal. Pierro-Zabotel made it 2-0 on a deflection of a Joel Chouinard shot up over Sholl’s shoulder.
The Steelheads had the first six shots on goal of the second period, but David Makowski would put the Americans back in front with his second goal of the series. At 4:55 of the second, a turnover at the Allen line sent Makowski ahead on a 2-on-1 rush, with Makowski beating Sholl to the blocker to make it 3-2 Allen.
Pierro-Zabotel netted his second of the game at 7:58 of the third period to extend Allen’s lead to 4-2, taking a pass from Braylon Shmyr in the high slot and firing a wrist shot past Sholl for the 18th playoff goal of his career.
Idaho would draw back within one at 13:20 when Justin Parizek tipped an Eric Sweetman point shot past Allen goaltender Jake Paterson, Parizek’s first professional playoff goal.
With Sholl pulled for the extra skater, Zach Pochiro netted an empty-net goal with 1:55 remaining to restore Allen’s two-goal lead. Aaron Harstad would net his second goal of the playoffs with 59 seconds left to make it 5-4, but Idaho could not find the equalizer.
The Steelheads power play went 1-for-4, but could not convert on 1:10 of 5-on-3 power play time in the third period at a point when Allen was protecting a 3-2 lead.
Sholl made 19 saves on 23 shots in his first professional playoff game, suffering the first regulation loss of his ECHL career after going 14-0-3 in the regular season.
The Steelheads and Americans meet for Game 3 at Allen Event Center on Wednesday night, with puck-drop scheduled for 6:05pm MT. The game can be heard on 1350AM KTIK and seen on ECHLTV.
Goals: Nevins (1), French (1), Parizek (1), Harstad (2)
Tomas Sholl: 19 saves on 23 shots
Power Play: 1-for-4
Penalty Kill: 2-for-2
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- David Makowski ALN
- Cole Ully IDH
- Casey Pierro-Zabotel ALN
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Casey Pierro-Zabotel: 2 goals, 3 shots, plus-3