Colorado Eagles vs. Idaho Steelheads
Date(s) - Fri Feb 16, 2018
6:15 pm - 10:00 pm
The Colorado Eagles snapped two streaks with a 4-2 win at CenturyLink Arena on Wednesday night, ending their own six-game winless skid as well as Idaho’s three-game winning streak. The teams meet again Friday night in Boise, with the Eagles holding a seven point lead over the Steelheads for the top spot in the Mountain Division. The Steelheads have won five of their last seven games, but they have lost four of their last five games on home ice.
The Steelheads opened a 2-0 lead on Wednesday with first period goals from Steve McParland and Eric Sweetman, but the Eagles answered with two of their own from Michael Joly and Jake Marto before the period ended. Joey Ratelle gave Colorado the lead in the second period and Joly tacked on another in the third. Philippe Desrosiers made 21 saves in the loss.
The Eagles earned the win on Wednesday with only 14 skaters in their lineup, and on Thursday were busy retooling their roster for the weekend. Colorado swung a trade with the Utah Grizzlies to acquire All-Star rookie defenseman Cliff Watson and forward Ryan Olsen, sending Jake Marchment and Gage Ausmus the other way. Watson has nine goals and 25 points in 36 games, while Olsen had 25 points in 34 games for Utah before leaving for Europe. The Eagles also welcome Brady Shaw and Julien Nantel from AHL San Antonio. Nantel has four points in five games with Colorado this season, and six goals and seven points with San Antonio.
Steve McParland netted his team-leading 22nd goal of the season on Wednesday night, a power play marker that gave him six goals and 13 points in his last 12 games. McParland is already only five points shy of his total from all of last season, and a substantial portion of his production has come against Colorado. In ten games this season against the Eagles, McParland has racked up seven goals and 13 points, along with a plus-7 rating, all team-leading figures.
Michael Joly snapped out of his first goal-scoring dry spell of the season on Wednesday. The ECHL’s leading goal-scorer had one goal in his previous six games and had gone without a goal for three straight contests, his longest drought of the year. After blocking a shot in the first period off his ankle and heading to the locker room, Joly returned to score on his next shift to get Colorado on the board with his 35th of the season. He added his 36th on a penalty shot in the third period. Joly has nine goals in ten games against Idaho this season.
Goals: McParland (22)
Assists: J. Dahl (31)
Points: J. Dahl (50)
Plus/Minus: McParland (+16)
Power Play Goals: J. Dahl/McParland (8)
Goals-Against Average: Desrosiers (2.72)
Goals: Joly (36)
Assists: Register (34)
Points: Joly (52)
Plus/Minus: Garbowsky (+27)
Power Play Goals: Joly (11)
Goals-Against Average: Cannata (2.13)
Steelheads, Desrosiers shut out Eagles
Play of the gameThe Steelheads’ hustle around the Colorado net paid dividends at 5:56 of the second period when Brady Brassart opened the scoring. Charlie Dodero’s shot from the right point went wide to the right of Joe Cannata’s cage, with the sharp bounce off the end boards popping out the other side. With Cannata reaching for the initial shot and pulling himself well out of the net, Max French immediately slid the puck to the front. Regaining his bearings, Cannata reached out to poke the puck away, but Brassart came sliding across the front of the net to poke it through the Colorado goaltender and put Idaho in front.
Boise, ID (2/16/18)— Philippe Desrosiers made 29 saves to earn his fourth professional shutout, as the Idaho Steelheads (29-16-6) moved within five points of the top spot in the Mountain Division with a 3-0 win over the Colorado Eagles (32-13-5) in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,228 at CenturyLink Arena.
The Steelheads have won six of their last eight games, including four of five in this stretch of six consecutive games against the Eagles. Colorado suffered its first shutout loss of the season.
After launching 17 first period shots without finding the back of the net, the Steelheads opened the scoring at 5:56 of the second period with Brady Brassart’s 17th goal of the season. A point shot from Charlie Dodero sailed wide of the net, and Colorado goaltender Joe Cannata was caught out of position for the hard carom off the end boards. With Cannata turned around in his crease, Max French threw the puck to the front for Brassart to chip in for a 1-0 Steelheads lead.
Eric Sweetman made it 2-0 Steelheads at 9:43 of the second period with his fourth goal of the year. With Eagles forward Joey Ratelle rushing Sweetman at the right point, Sweetman stepped around block attempt and fired a wrist shot past Cannata. Sweetman has goals in consecutive games.
French posted a two-point night for the Steelheads, adding an empty-net goal with 1:35 left for his second goal of the season to cement the win for Idaho.
The Steelheads killed off all four Colorado power plays, including three in the third period. The win was Idaho’s third shutout victory of the year, and Desrosiers’ first.
Colorado has now gone 1-6-1 in the last eight contests.
Idaho earned its 12th sell-out crowd in 27 home games this season, and their fifth in the last six home games.
The Steelheads and Eagles will play their last ever regular-season game on Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:10pm MT. The game is available on 1350AM KTIK and seen on Cable One and ECHLTV.
Goals: Brassart (17), Sweetman (4), French (2)
Philippe Desrosiers: 29 saves on 29 shots
Power Play: 0-for-1
Penalty Kill: 4-for-4
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Philippe Desrosiers IDH
- Max French IDH
- Eric Sweetman IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Max French: Goal, assists, 6 shots, plus-2 rating