Colorado Eagles vs. Idaho Steelheads
Date(s) - Sat Apr 01, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
The Idaho Steelheads hit the ice on Saturday night for their final regular-season contest at CenturyLink Arena and the rubber-match of their three-game set with the Colorado Eagles. The Eagles grabbed a 3-2 win on Friday night after netting two goals in the third period to overcome a one-goal Idaho lead. The win snapped a three-game skid for Colorado, while the Steelheads saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. The Steelheads are 5-4-1 this season against the Eagles.
Matt Register and Matt Brown both scored during 4-on-4 situations to flip a 2-1 Steelheads lead to a 3-2 Colorado win, the Eagles’ tenth win this season when trailing after two periods. Casey Pierro-Zabotel opened the scoring with a first period power play goal for Colorado, and Joe Basaraba and Connor Chatham answered with goals for Idaho. Lukas Hafner out-dueled Landon Bow with 33 saves to improve to 7-0-2 on the season.
No Love Lost…
Friday’s second period was a fight-filled affair, featuring four scraps and 92 minutes in penalties. Eagles forward Darryl Bootland was given a game misconduct following a scrap with Corbin Baldwin after Bootland had collided with Landon Bow. Brandon Anselmini and Casey Pierro-Zabotel were also ejected after they squared off in a secondary altercation during a tilt between Aaron Harstad and Colorado’s Michael Sdao. Steelheads rookie Travis Walsh and Eagles forward Ryan Harrison got the bad blood flowing first with a fight early in the period. Idaho’s 56 penalty minutes on the night matched their highest total in a game this season, while Baldwin’s 22 penalty minutes were the most in a game by a Steelhead this season.
The Steelheads’ next victory would be their 40th win of the season, the tenth time they have reached the 40-win mark in an ECHL season and the 13th time in franchise history. Only one other active ECHL team has more 40-win seasons in the ECHL, as the South Carolina Stingrays have hit the mark 13 times. The Toledo Walleye/Storm also have ten 40-win seasons in the ECHL.
From the Point…
Joe Faust earned an assist on Friday, giving him 39 points on the season. No Steelheads defenseman has produced 39 points in a season since Matt Case in 2013 and none have surpassed that mark since Darrell Hay put up 45 points in 2008. Only three Steelheads defenseman – Hay, David Cornacchia, and Dan Vandermeer- have put up more points in an ECHL season than Faust.
Goals: Luciani (29)
Assists: Dahl (42)
Points: Dahl (62)
Plus/Minus: Glen (+14)
Power Play Goals: Merchant (12)
Goals-Against Average: Bow (2.17)
Goals: Garbowsky (35)
Assists: Pierro-Zabotel (64)
Points: Pierro-Zabotel (88)
Plus/Minus: Garbowsky (+30)
Power Play Goals: Register (8)
Goals-Against Average: Hafner (2.19)
Steelheads blank Eagles in home finale
Play of the gameBranden Komm saved his best work for the third period, stopping several breakaway chances to preserve the third shutout of his professional career in his first appearance in five games. His best certainly came against Matt Garbowsky, a player with 57 points since New Year’s Day. Garbowsky got behind the Steelheads defense for a breakaway chance and froze Komm with a forehand-backhand move. Komm continued to battle, reaching behind with the glove to snag the sliding puck as it headed towards the open net and preserve Idaho’s 3-0 lead.
Boise, ID (4/1/17)— The Idaho Steelheads (40-22-7) closed out the home portion of their regular season schedule in style at CenturyLink Arena behind a 31-save shutout from Branden Komm, as they blanked the Colorado Eagles (46-19-5) 3-0 on Saturday night in front of 5,220 fans.
Jefferson Dahl recorded a three-point night on the evening he was named the team’s Most Valuable Player for the regular season, factoring in on all three Steelheads goals and scoring a power play goal for his 21st of the season.
At 8:56 of the second period, the Steelheads were on the power play and Colorado defenseman Michael Sdao was down on the ice in pain. The Steelheads recognized the open ice behind the prone Sdao and moved the puck down low, where Kellan Lain slid a pass from the right corner to the back post for a Dahl finish.
At 13:26 of the second period, Dahl created another goal right off the face-off, pushing the puck forward past Eagles’ center Casey Pierro-Zabotel before slipping a pass to the front of the net that Rob Linsmayer redirected through Kent Simpson’s legs for a 3-0 Idaho lead, Linsmayer’s 17th goal of the year.
Brandon Anselmini opened the scoring for Idaho with a power play blast from the high slot, his fifth of the season at 7:02 of the first period. Simpson had lost his stick after getting it caught in the equipment of Aaron Harstad at the side of his net. As Simpson scrambled to recover it, Anselmini’s point blast found its way through him to put the Steelheads in front. Idaho was 2-for-5 on the power play for the evening.
Komm made ten saves in the third period for his second shutout of the season, and Idaho’s fourth. That included three saves on fast breaks, including a clear breakaway by Matt Garbowsky that Komm stopped by reaching back with his glove to sweep the puck out of the crease.
The Steelheads and Eagles combined for 116 penalty minutes on Friday night, which included coincidental roughing minors and matching fighting majors for Idaho’s Corbin Baldwin and Sdao. That bad blood spilled into Saturday night’s contest as well, with Baldwin and Sdao dropping the gloves to scrap three seconds into the game off the opening face-off.
The Steelheads finish with a 22-11-3 regular season record on home ice. They also reached the 40-win plateau for the 13th time in franchise history, and tenth in the ECHL. Only the South Carolina Stingrays have more 40-win seasons (13) than Idaho among active ECHL teams. The Toledo Walleye and Toledo Storm also combine for ten 40-win seasons in the ECHL.
The Steelheads will finish their regular season schedule with a three-game set at Sullivan Arena against the Alaska Aces, their final regular season visit to Anchorage with the Aces ceasing operations at the end of the season. Puck-drop is scheduled for 9:15pm MT on Wednesday night with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and on ECHLTV.
Photo: Steve Conner Photography
Goals: Anselmini (5); Dahl (21); Linsmayer (17)
Branden Komm: 31 saves on 31 shots
Power Play: 2-for-5
Penalty Kill: 2-for-2
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Branden Komm IDH
- Jefferson Dahl IDH
- Kellan Lain IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jefferson Dahl: Goal, 2 assists, 4 shots, plus-1 rating