Cincinnati Cyclones vs. Idaho Steelheads
Date(s) - Sat Mar 11, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
The Idaho Steelheads saw their four-game winning streak snapped on Friday night in their first game back at CenturyLink Arena in nearly a month, as the Cincinnati Cyclones earned a 5-2 win to extend their own winning streak to four games .On Saturday night the Steelheads and Cyclones complete their brief two-game set, with the Steelheads looking to avoid consecutive regulation losses for the first time since February 3rd and also vying for their ninth win this season over Eastern Conference opponents.
The Steelheads never led on Friday night, with the Cyclones scoring first and then holding serve in the back-and-forth pace of the first 40 minutes. Jefferson Dahl’s 16th goal of the season answered Nick Huard’s tally in the first period, and Brian Nugent’s eighth of the year matched Brandon McNally’s goal early in the second. With the game tied 2-2- after two periods, it was the Cyclones who would find a way in the third with three unanswered goals, one from Shane Walsh and two from Shawn O’Donnell, to earn a 5-2 win. Landon Bow stopped 16 of 20 shots in a losing effort.
Nothin’ but Nuge…
Brian Nugent continues to produce for the Steelheads, his tying goal in Friday’s second period standing as his sixth tally in the last eight games, as well as his eighth point in that stretch. Nugent’s current run is his most productive eight-game stretch since the end of his rookie season, when he had nine points in seven games with five of those points coming in one game. Nugent is showing an offensive touch since joining a line with Anthony Luciani and Kellan Lain. Lain earned an assist on the Nugent goal, his 11th point in his past 12 outings.
The Steelheads put 35 shots on Joel Rumpel, 26 in the final two periods, but it seems they will have to do more should they see the reigning Goaltender of the Week again in this series. Rumpel has only appeared in eight games this season, but he’s won his last four outings and has stopped a combined 130 of 134 shots in March.
Final Frame Fights…
The Steelheads held Cincinnati to 21 shots, tied for the lowest total surrendered by Idaho this season, but the Cyclones broke through for three third period goals, their most in a third period since January 4th. The Cyclones have a minus-13 goal differential in third periods this season, compared to Idaho’s plus-7, yet they are still 24-1-2 when leading after 40 minutes. The Steelheads are 12-13-4 this year in games in which they surrender the first goal, but against a strong defensive Cyclones team that is fourth in the ECHL in goals-against per game, the Steelheads will be well-served to get on the board first and work with a lead late in the second period.
Goals: Luciani (25)
Assists: Dahl (37)
Points: Luciani (54)
Plus/Minus: Glen (+13)
Power Play Goals: Merchant (11)
Goals-Against Average: Bow (2.24)
Goals: Walsh (16)
Assists: Sims/Walsh (25)
Points: Walsh (40)
Plus/Minus: Atwal (+11)
Power Play Goals: Huard (7)
Goals-Against Average: Visentin (2.93)
Play of the gameThe Steelheads got their blue line activated in the offense on Saturday night, with no goal prettier than Brandon Anselmini’s. David Glen hopped off the bench and won a race to the puck in the right wing corner, keeping the play alive for Rob Linsmayer. Linsmayer drifted to the right faceoff dot and saw that no Cyclone was picking up Anselmini diving down from the left point. Linsmayer threaded a needle through three players to put the puck right on Anselmini’s tape for an easy tap-in and a 4-1 Steelheads lead.
Boise, ID (3/11/17)— Three defenseman scored goals for Idaho to power a five-goal outburst, as the Steelheads (34-19-7) bounced back on Saturday to earn a series split with a 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Cyclones (32-26-4) in front of a sellout crowd at CenturyLink Arena.
Travis Walsh, Brandon Anselmini, and Aaron Harstad all scored for Idaho, as the Steelheads scored three times in a span of 2:27 in the first period and twice more in a span of 3:14 in the second period. Branden Komm made 32 saves to earn his third straight victory.
The Cyclones got on the board first just 49 seconds into the contest when Shawn O’Donnell stripped Harstad at the offensive blue line and carried the puck ahead on a 2-on-1, beating Komm from the right wing for his third goal of the weekend and 12th of the season.
Idaho did not wait long to answer, with Jefferson Dahl finishing off a 4-on-2 rush at 3:40 for 17th goal of the season to tie the game 1-1, giving Dahl goals in back-to-back games.
Just 1:49 later, Joe Basaraba gave the Steelheads their first lead of the series when his wrister from the top of the right circle beat Cincinnati goaltender Joel Rumpel for his 19th of the season and a 2-1 Idaho lead. Walsh extended that lead 38 seconds later with a slap shot through traffic from near the same spot to make it 3-1.
The Steelheads would add to their lead with Anselmini’s goal at 8:35 of the second period. Rob Linsmayer earned his second assist of the night when he sailed a puck from the right faceoff dot to the left post, hitting Anselmini on the back door for the rookie’s third goal of the season. Idaho’s power play got involved at 11:49 of the second when Harstad released a one-timer from the right point on a 5-on-3 power play that beat Rumpel for Harstad’s fourth of the season and second as a Steelhead, making it a 5-1 game.
The Cyclones would draw closer with a power play goal for Nick Huard at the back post in the final minute of the second period to make it 5-2. Jordan Sims’ would bring the Cyclones within two with a goal from in front of the net with 2:54 left on the clock to make it 5-3, but Cincinnati would get no closer.
The Steelheads have now won ten of their last 13 games and are 18-9-3 at home. The Steelheads also improved to 13-13-4 in games in which they surrender the first goal.
The Steelheads’ home stand continues on Wednesday night when the Rapid City Rush begin a three-game series in Boise. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:10pm MT, with the game available on 1350AM KTIK, Cable One, and on ECHLTV.
Goals: Dahl (17); Basaraba (19), Walsh (7), Anselmini (3), Harstad (4)
Braden Komm: 32 saves on 35 shots
Power Play: 1-for-3
Penalty Kill: 2-for-3
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Aaron Harstad IDH
- Travis Walsh IDH
- David Glen IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Travis Walsh: 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots, plus-2 rating