Idaho Steelheads vs. Allen Americans
Date(s) - Sat Apr 07, 2018
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The regular season comes to a close on Saturday night for both the Idaho Steelheads and the Allen Americans, with one game left to play at Allen Event Center. The Americans snapped Idaho’s eight-game winning streak on Friday night with a third period comeback that was capped by Mathieu Foget’s first professional goal in overtime. The victory clinched a playoff spot for the Americans for the ninth time in nine seasons in Allen. The Steelheads did earn an overtime point, extending their unbeaten streak to nine games.
Idaho jumped out to a 3-1 lead on Friday, led by two goals from Cole Ully. The Americans stormed back in the third period with goals from Bryan Moore, Spencer Asuchak, and Braylon Shmyr, but the Steelehads would tie the game with 3.6 seconds left on a shootout goal by Max French. Foget’s goal in overtime dealt Tomas Sholl just his second defeat in a Steelheads uniform, both beyond regulation and both to the Americans.
Although both teams are playoff bound, and the Mountain Division’s four playoff berths have been secured, there are still playoff implications for Game 72. The Americans and Wichita Thunder are both in the playoffs but are not locked into their current seeds, with Allen in third and Wichita in fourth. An Allen win or overtime loss on Saturday would guarantee that they begin the first round of the playoffs on April 13th at CenturyLink Arena. An Allen regulation loss coupled with a win by the Thunder would align Wichita to face the Steelheads in Round 1. The Steelheads have not lost consecutive games since March 7th, and they are 9-3-2 in the ECHL era on the final day of the season.
For much of the last two weeks, the duo of Max French and Cole Ully have led the offensive charge for the Steelheads. Cole Ully netted two goals against the Americans on Firday, giving him goals in five of his last six, and three two-goal games in that span. Ully also has five multipoint games in that stretch. Linemate Max French netted the penalty shot goal in the final seconds of the weekend-opener, earning a three point night and extending his goal-scoring streak to seven games. French has nine goals and 13 points during his seven game streak.
The Americans can thank some of their young new additions for pushing them into the playoffs on Friday. Mathieu Foget’s first career goal in his professional debut finished the job, after he joined the Americans following a 61-point season with Ottawa and Mississauga of the OHL. That winner was set up by Braylon Shmyr, who scored a goal of his own and notched three points in his eighth game of the season with Allen. Shmyr had 88 points in 72 games this season with the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades. Jared Bethune, playing his eighth game with Allen since joining the team from Prince George of the WHL, added an assist and has five assists since turning pro.
Goals: McParland (31)
Assists: Parizek (32)
Points: Parizek (59)
Plus/Minus: McParland (+24)
Power Play Goals: McParland (9)
Goals-Against Average: Sholl (1.54)
Goals: Guptill (27)
Assists: Pierro-Zabotel (50)
Points: Pierro-Zabotel (69)
Plus/Minus: Makowski (+27)
Power Play Goals: Chouinard (8)
Goals-Against Average: Brodeur (3.15)
Steelheads win regular-season finale in Allen
Play of the gameIn a tie game, a third period Allen turnover at the Idaho blue line became the turning point. Gordie Ballhorn made a pass from the left point across the blue line to the right point, but defense partner Dalton Thrower had already vacated the zone. Thrower tried to step up and recover, but Connor Chatham had already poked the puck around him and skated in on a 3-on-1. Chatham fed a pass through Ballhorn to AJ White in the right circle, and White hit the open net to put Idaho in front on their way to their final win of the regular season.
Allen, TX (4/7/18)— AJ White put the Steelheads in front for good with 3:25 left in regulation time on Saturday night at Allen Event Center, scoring the game-winning goal to push the Idaho Steelheads (44-20-8) to a 4-2 win over the Allen Americans (35-29-8) in the final game of the regular season. The Steelheads finished the season with a ten-game unbeaten streak, going 9-0-1.
With the score tied 2-2, Connor Chatham poked a puck past Allen defenseman Dalton Thrower in the neutral zone and led a 3-on-1 rush into the Allen zone. From the left wing, Chatham fed a pass across to White at the bottom of the right circle. White beat goaltender Jake Paterson for his 10th goal of the year to make it 3-2.
The Americans opened the scoring at 10:45 of the second period when Joe Faust fanned on a breakout pass, the loose puck rolling to Thomas Frazee. Frazee beat goaltender Michael Bitzer with a slap shot from the right circle for his 18th goal to make it 1-0 Allen.Shortly after White scored, David Makowski was whistled for interference to send the Steelheads to their second power play. Brady Brassart cashed in on that power play, beating Paterson from between the circles for his 23rd of the year and a 4-2 Steelheads lead at 18:39 of the third.
Jack Nevins responded for Idaho at 18:53 of the second, netting his tenth of the year and second with the Steelheads. Cole Ully’s point shot was blocked in front, but Nevins beat Paterson up high with a turnaround shot on the rebound.
At 1:51 of the third, Max French forced a turnover behind the Allen net and fed Ully between the circles for his 19th of the season. Ully has goals in six of his last seven games, netting nine goals in that span, and six multipoint games in his last seven outings. French saw his goal-scoring streak end at seven games, but did finish with an eight-game points streak.
The Americans tied the score again at 4:58, with Josh Thrower finishing a 2-on-1 with Frazee for his first pro goal.
Bitzer stopped 15 shots for his second professional win.
The Steelheads finish the season with 96 points, their fourth-best finish in 15 ECHL seasons.
With the Wichita Thunder’s loss in Colorado on Saturday, the Allen Americans finish the season in third place in the Mountain Division and will face the Steelheads in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
The full schedule for the Mountain Division Semifinals will be released this week, with Game 1 already announced for April 13th at CenturyLink Arena.
Goals: Nevins (10), Ully (19), White (10), Brassart (23)
Michael Bitzer: 15 saves on 17 shots
Power Play: 1-for-2
Penalty Kill: 1-for-1
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- AJ White IDH
- Thomas Frazee ALN
- Josh Thrower ALN
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Cole Ully: Goal, assist, 4 shots, plus-1