Idaho Steelheads vs. Allen Americans
Date(s) - Wed Apr 18, 2018
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Mountain Division Semifinals move to Texas for Game 3, with the Idaho Steelheads looking to climb out of a two-game hole following back-to-back losses at CenturyLink Arena. The Allen Americans extended their series lead with a 5-4 win in Game 2, dealing Idaho consecutive regulation losses for the first time since January 26th and 27th against Colorado. The Steelheads were 2-1-1 this season playing in Allen, where they finished the regular season with a win eleven days ago. The Americans were 19-11-6 this season on home ice, compared to 16-18-2 on the road.
Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored twice for the Americans in Game 2, while David Makowski found the back of the net for the second consecutive game in the second period. Aaron Harstad also has goals in back-to-back games, scoring in the final minute of Game 2 to bring Idaho within a goal. Max French and Justin Parizek each scored their first professional playoff goals, while Tomas Sholl stopped 19 shots in his playoff debut. Jake Paterson earned the win in goal for Allen, and he has stopped 63 of 69 shots against through two games of the series.
A Fresh Start…
The Steelheads hope to have better luck on the road, but better starts to games will be key in making that happen. The Steelheads have trailed in the first two minutes of each game in the series, with rookie Braylon Shmyr netting his first professional playoff goal 1:56 into Game 1 and Jared Bethune scoring his first pro playoff goal 1:34 into Game 2. On Saturday, the Steelheads did not register their first shot on goal until 12:52 of the first period, at which point they trailed 2-0 and were outshot 11-0. The Steelheads controlled the puck for much of the rest of the game, scoring two goals of their own before the first intermission and outshooting the Americans 40-13 over the final 47:08 of play, launching 18 shots on goal in the second period. Idaho has been outscored 4-3 and outshot 22-18 in first periods, but they’ve outshot Allen 51-26 in the final 40 minutes of games.
The Steelheads hope to get a spark from the return of captain Jefferson Dahl, who rejoins the team for Game 3. Dahl was released from his professional tryout agreement with AHL Cleveland over the weekend, after Dahl had recorded two goals and four points in seven games during the first AHL call-up of his pro career. Dahl was Idaho’s leading scorer for the second straight season despite missing the last three games of the regular season. Dahl posted 20 goals and 61 points in 61 games, and notched three goals and eleven points in eight games against the Americans this season. In his career, Dahl has totaled five goals and 17 points in 16 games against the Americans.
Down, Not Out…
The Steelheads had trailed a series 2-0 eight times in the ECHL era prior to this series. Idaho had won one of those series, but it was a series win that launched the team towards one of the organization’s greatest accomplishments. The Steelheads trailed the Las Vegas Wranglers 2-0 in the first round of the 2004 Kelly Cup Playoffs in a best-of-five series. The Steelheads won three straight games, including Game 5 in Las Vegas, to win the series and ultimately go on to win the franchise’s first Kelly Cup.
Goals: Harstad (2)
Assists: Sweetman (3)
Points: Three players (3)
Plus/Minus: Three players (+1)
Power Play Goals: Harstad/French (1)
Goals-Against Average: Desrosiers (3.09)
Goals: Pierro-Zabotel/Makowski (2)
Assists: Three players (2)
Points: Shmyr (3)
Plus/Minus: Chouinard (+7)
Power Play Goals: —
Goals-Against Average: Paterson (3.00)
Steelheads face elimination after Game 3 loss
Play of the gameThe Steelheads appeared to strike first in the early minutes of the first period, with Steve McParland’s shot from just above the goal line sailing over Jake Paterson’s shoulder and appearing to go in, only to be waved off by the officials. Before the next whistle would sound, Braylon Shmyr would beat Tomas Sholl on a turnover between the hash marks to put Allen in front instead. The Steelheads would tie the game, but they would never lead.
Allen, TX (4/18/18)— Eric Roy and Zach Pochiro both registered a goal and an assist and Jake Paterson made 33 saves to guide the Allen Americans to a 5-3 win over the Idaho Steelheads in Game 3 of the Mountain Division Semifinals at Allen Event Center. The Americans claimed a 3-0 lead in the seven-game series against the Steelheads in the first round of the U.S. Bank Kelly Cup Playoffs.
The Americans scored two goals in the second period and another in the third to keep Allen a stride ahead of the Steelheads despite goals from Justin Parizek and Connor Chatham to keep Idaho close. Tomas Sholl was replaced after stopping 18 shots on 22 saves in the first 28:55 of work, replaced by Philippe Desrosiers for eleven saves in 12 shots in relief.
Allen led 2-1 at the start of the second period, and they would extend their lead thanks to a Steelheads mistake on the opening face-off. With Idaho already working to kill off a slashing penalty on Zach Bell, Corbin Baldwin fired a puck over the glass from his own zone just six seconds into the period to give Allen 1:48 of 5-on-3 power play time. It wouldn’t take long for Allen to capitalize, with Alex Guptill finishing a rebound 16 seconds into the period to give the Americans a 3-1 lead.
Allen made it 4-1 at 8:55 of the second, with JC Campagna beating Sholl with a right-wing shot on a 4-on-2 rush for his first professional playoff goal. It was the last shot Sholl would face before being replaced by Desrosiers.
Parizek netted his second goal of the series at 12:38 of the second, redirecting a Jefferson Dahl feed past Paterson to pull Idaho within two goals. Dahl, playing his first game of the playoffs with Idaho after returning from AHL Cleveland earlier in the week, had an assist and three shots on goal.
Zach Pochiro converted a 2-on-1 at 6:55 of the third period to restore a three-goal lead for the Americans. Connor Chatham would net his first professional goal at 17:10 of the third on a rebound in front, but that was as close as the Steelheads would come.
The Steelheads thought they had opened the scoring within the first two minutes of the opening period when Steve McParland beat Paterson with a wrist shot from the left-wing corner. The shot went over Paterson’s shoulder and appeared to go in the net, but play was allowed to continue despite the red light going off. As played ensued, Braylon Shmyr scored for Allen on an Idaho turnover at 2:08. After a conference between the officials, Shmyr’s goal was allowed to stand for a 1-0 Allen lead.
Will Merchant tied the score 1-1 at 9:36 of the first with a wrist shot from the high slot, his first goal of the playoffs. Merchant was hit with a high elbow on the play, a hit that knocked Merchant out of the game and led to an elbowing major for Allen’s Bryan Moore. Idaho could not take advantage of the power play.
Roy put Allen back in front 2-1 at 18:49 of the first period with a left-point shot that hit a Steelheads player in from and skipped past Sholl. The Americans would lead the rest of the way.
The Steelheads have trailed series 3-0 four times prior in the ECHL era, with none of those past series going beyond four games.
The Steelheads fight to prolong the series on Friday night at Allen Event Center in Game 4 of the Mountain Division Semifinals against the Americans. Puck-drop is scheduled for 6:05pm MT, with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and seen on ECHLTV.
Goals: Merchant (1), Parizek (2), Chatham (1)
Tomas Sholl: 18 saves on 22 shots; Philippe Desrosiers: 11 saves on 12 shots
Power Play: 0-for-4
Penalty Kill: 4-for-5
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Eric Roy ALN
- David Makowski ALN
- Zach Pochiro ALN
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Zach Pochiro: Goal, assist, 2 shots, plus-1