Colorado Eagles vs. Idaho Steelheads
Date(s) - Sat Feb 17, 2018
6:15 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads earned their sixth win in the last eight games and their fourth victory in a string of five straight games against the Colorado Eagles on Friday night, a 3-0 shutout victory in front of CenturyLink Arena’s 12th sellout crowd of the season. On Saturday night, the teams will wrap up their six-game super series with their last-ever regular season meeting, with the Steelheads five points back of the Eagles for the Mountain Division’s top spot.
The Steelheads netted two goals in the second period and added an empty-netter in the third in a 3-0 win, improving their record on Fridays this season to 9-7-3. Brady Brassart opened the scoring with his 17th goal of the season, and Eric Sweetman followed with his fourth of the year. Max French scored the empty-netter for his second goal of the year to cap off a two-point night. Charlie Dodero notched two assists.
Saturday night will be the final regular-season meeting of the Steelheads-Eagles rivalry, which began when the Eagles joined the ECHL in 2011. In that time, the Steelheads have played to a record of 37-20-6 against the Eagles. The teams have also met three times in post-season play, with the Steelheads defeating the Eagles in the first round in 2013 and 2014, both in six games, and the Eagles eliminating the Steelheads in the first round last spring on their way to a Kelly Cup championship. The Steelheads are 6-4-1 against the Eagles this season, winning three of the five games at CenturyLink Arena.
The Rosie Resistance…
Philippe Desrosiers earned his first shutout of the season on Friday night, and the fourth of his professional career, with a 29 save effort against the Eagles. The third-year Steelhead had given up one goal in five previous starts this year. Desrosiers’ last shutout had come with AHL Texas, also a 29-save effort last April against San Antonio. He now ranks fourth in the ECHL in wins with 19.
Eric Sweetman’s second-period wrist shot from the high slot past Joe Cannata was his fourth goal of the season, and second in the last two games, to give the Steelheads a 2-0 lead. Sweetman ranks second among Steelheads defensemen with 18 points. Sweetman had just two assists in his first 18 pro games, with a minus-2 rating. In 26 games since, he has compiled four goals and 16 points along with a rating of plus-17. Sweetman’s plus-15 rating for the season is the second-best mark among all ECHL rookie blue-liners.
Goals: McParland (22)
Assists: J. Dahl (31)
Points: J. Dahl (50)
Plus/Minus: McParland (+18)
Power Play Goals: J. Dahl/McParland (8)
Goals-Against Average: Desrosiers (2.62)
Goals: Joly (36)
Assists: Register (34)
Points: Joly (52)
Plus/Minus: Garbowsky (+27)
Power Play Goals: Joly (11)
Goals-Against Average: Cannata (2.12)
Steelheads down Eagles in shootout thriller
Play of the gameAaron Harstad gave the Steelheads their first lead midway through the second period with his second goal of the season. With Idaho on a 3-on-2 rush, Brasssart feathered the puck towards the front of the Colorado net with Will Merchant cutting across the goal mouth. Merchant got a piece of the puck, changing the angle as Joe Cannata kicked the puck off to the right where Harstad was cruising in to hit an open net.
Boise, ID (2/17/18)— Max French netted the only goal of the shootout on Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena, as the Idaho Steelheads (30-16-6) earned their fifth win of the six-game super-series with the Colorado Eagles (32-13-6), a 5-4 final in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,223. The Steelheads have won seven of their last nine and are now four points back of the top spot in the Mountain Division.
French scored in the fourth round of the shootout with a wrist shot past the blocker of Joe Cannata. Philippe Desrosiers stopped all four shootout attempts he saw for his 20th victory of the season, and his fourth in the breakaway contest.
The Eagles erased a 4-2 deficit with less than three minutes remaining to force overtime. Joey Ratelle scored his 15th goal of the season from between the circles at 17:18 to make it 4-3, and 1:09 later Ryan Olsen netted his first as an Eagle and ninth of the season to tie the game on a bouncing puck at the side of the net.
Idaho nearly ended the game in overtime when Joe Faust was alone in front of the Eagles net in the final seconds. Faust deked to the backhand for a shot that hit off of teammate Steve McParland before bouncing wide of the net as time expired.
Colorado took a 1-0 lead at 2:47 of the first period when Gabriel Verpaelst’s drive from the right point beat Desrosiers for his sixth goal of the season. The Steelheads answered back at 7:42 when a bouncing puck in the neutral zone skipped past Verpaelst for Connor Chatham to skate in for his tenth goal of the year.
The Eagles regained the lead at 2:04 of the second period on a scramble in front of the Idaho net, with Emil Romig finding the loose puck for his ninth goal of the season to snap an eleven-game scoring drought.
Idaho tied the game again on a 3-on-2 rush, as Chatham slid a pass to the slot for AJ White to score his ninth of the year at 3:17 of the second. Aaron Harstad gave Idaho its first lead at 10:38 of the second on another 3-on-2, with Harstad burying the rebound of a Brady Brassart shot for his second goal of the year. Harstad was a plus-4 on the night.
Steve McParland scored his team-leading 23rd goal of the season on a 2-on-1 rush to give the Steelheads a 4-2 lead at 3:12 of the third period. McParland finishes the season-series with eight goals and 14 points against the Eagles.
Saturday was the final regular-season meeting between the Steelheads and Eagles. Colroado moves to the American Hockey League next season. The Steelheads finished with an all-time record of 38-20-6 against Colorado.
Idaho earned its 13th sell-out crowd in 28 home games this season, and their sixth in the last seven home games. The Steelheads head out on a six-game road trip through Utah, Rapid City, and Wichita.
The Steelheads and Utah Grizzlies meet at Maverik Center on Monday afternoon, with puck-drop scheduled for 1:30pm MT. The game is available on 1350AM KTIK and on ECHLTV.
Goals: Chatham (10), White (9), Harstad (2), McParland (23), French (SO)
Philippe Desrosiers: 30 saves on 34 shots; 4-for-4 in shootout
Power Play: 0-for-3
Penalty Kill: 1-for-2
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Connor Chatham IDH
- Aaron Harstad IDH
- Will Merchant IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Connor Chatham: Goal, assist, 4 shots, plus-1 rating