Idaho Steelheads vs. Allen Americans
Date(s) - Fri Apr 06, 2018
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads head to Allen Event Center for the final two games of the regular season schedule, still waiting to learn who their first-round opponent will be in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. It could very well be the Allen Americans, who are tied with the Wichita Thunder for third in the Mountain Division but still need to lock down a playoff berth in a tight three-team race. The teams meet for the ninth time this season on Friday, with the Steelheads coming off their eighth straight win in Tulsa on Wednesday and the Americans hoping to bounce back from a 2-1 loss in Wichita on Tuesday.
The Steelheads won their seventh consecutive visit to BOK Center on Wednesday to open their final road trip of the season with a 4-1 win over the Oilers. Rookies Eric Sweetman, Justin Parizek, and Max French all scored for Idaho, with Steve McParland netting his 31st of the season in the third to put the game away. Tomas Sholl won his ninth consecutive game with 44 saves.
The Steelheads are officially locked into the second seed in the Mountain Division playoff picture after Colorado’s win on Wednesday, but they still have plenty to play for heading into the final weekend of the season. Riding an eight-game winning streak, the Steelheads are one win shy of matching the team’s ECHL record for consecutive wins that was set with a nine-game winning streak on March 6, 2015. The Steelheads can also tie the third-best season in the team’s ECHL era with four points over the weekend, matching the 97 points posted in 2012-13. The Americans’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot is two points, either gained by Allen or lost by Tulsa when the Oilers play the Rapid City Rush. Allen has never missed the playoffs in their first eight years in the ECHL and CHL.
French on Fire…
Max French spent nearly the entire month of March in Austin with AHL Texas, but it certainly did not affect his chemistry in the Steelheads lineup. French has scored in each of his first two games back with the Steelheads since being sent down by the Stars last Saturday. Dating back to February 19th, French has scored goals in six straight ECHL games, totaling eight goals and ten points during that span. Further, French has nine goals and 12 points in his last eight ECHL games. Brady Brassart looks to keep rolling as well, bringing a six-game points streak into Friday night’s game with a goal and nine points.
Back-to-Back for Mak…
David Makowski has been among the best offensive defensemen in the ECHL for the last three seasons, and he has the hardware to prove it. On Thursday, Makowski earned All-ECHL First Team honors for the second consecutive year, his 53 points in 56 games ranked second among ECHL defensemen. Makowski has been away from the Americans since mid-March, having been called up to AHL San Jose, but he did have eight assists in seven games before his departure.
Goals: McParland (31)
Assists: Parizek (32)
Points: Parizek (59)
Plus/Minus: McParland/Brassart (+26)
Power Play Goals: McParland (9)
Goals-Against Average: Sholl (1.35)
Goals: Guptill (27)
Assists: Pierro-Zabotel (50)
Points: Pierro-Zabotel (69)
Plus/Minus: Pierro-Zabotel (+21)
Power Play Goals: Chouinard (8)
Goals-Against Average: Brodeur (3.15)
Steelheads’ winning streak snapped in overtime
Play of the gameDespite losing a two-goal lead in the third period, the Steelheads salvaged a point thanks to a mad scramble in the closing seconds. With the Idaho net empty and the Steelheads trailing 4-3, the Steelheads swarmed the Allen crease and goaltender Jake Paterson. In the pandemonium, the Americans pushed the net off the moorings, incurring an automatic penalty shot for the Steelheads. Max French cashed in to extend his goal-scoring streak and Idaho’s points streak with 3.6 seconds on the clock.
Allen, TX (4/6/18)— Max French’s penalty shot in the closing seconds of regulation forced overtime at Allen Event Center on Friday night, but Mathieu Foget’s first professional goal in the extra session powered the Allen Americans (35-28-8) to a 5-4 win over the Idaho Steelheads (43-20-8), snapping the Steelheads’ winning streak at eight games and securing a playoff berth for the Americans.
With the goal, the Americans clinched a playoff spot for the ninth time in nine seasons and moved into third place in the Mountain Division.Cole Ully scored two goals for Idaho and nearly had the hat trick in overtime with a shot that rang off the post. With 34 seconds left in overtime, Braylon Shmyr wrapped a puck to the front of the Idaho net, the puck deflecting in the air for Foget to bat in for the win.
The Americans overcame a two-goal deficit in the third period to take their first lead at 15:46 of the period. Braylon Shmyr won a puck battle along the right wing boards, skated to the front of the net and toe-dragged the puck around defenseman Zach Bell, and slid the puck behind Tomas Sholl for a 4-3 Allen lead on Shmyr’s second of the season.
The Steelheads pushed for the tie in the final minute with the net empty. During a scramble in front, the Americans were whistled for delay of game when the net was pushed off the moorings with 3.6 seconds left, an automatic penalty shot because it occurred in the final two minutes. French was chosen to take the shot and beat goaltender Jake Paterson under the blocker for his eleventh of the season to tie the game 4-4 and send it to overtime.
French notched a three-point night and extended his personal goal-scoring streak to seven games, with nine goals in that stretch.
Ully opened the scoring at 3:06 of the first period, finishing a rebound in front of Paterson for his 17th of the season. David Makowski tied the game at 12:43 of the second period with a point shot past Sholl for his eleventh of the season, but Ully would answer back quickly. At 18:14 Ully put the Steelheads back in front on a shot off a left-circle faceoff win by French.
With the two-goal night, Ully has eight goals in the last six games and five multipoint games in his last six.
Zach Bell added to the lead with his second goal of the season, a wrister from the right-wing boards that deflected in off an Allen stick at 1:23 of the third period. The Americans climbed back with three goals in 4:07, turning a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead.
Bryan Moore started the comeback when he buried a rebound off the end-boards at 11:39 of the third for his 21st of the season to make it 3-2. Spencer Asuchak made it 3-3 just 59 seconds later when a Joel Chouinard point shot banked off his shin guard and in. Shmyr completed the comeback, part of a three-point night for the rookie.
Despite the loss, the Steelheads do have points in nine straight games. Sholl gave up more than two goals for the first time since joining the Steelheads, but remains unbeaten in regulation during his ECHL career.
The Steelheads and Americans meet again on Saturday night at Allen Events Center for the final game of the regular season, with Idaho’s first round playoff opponent still to be decided between the Americans and the Wichita Thunder. Puck-drop is scheduled for 6:05pm MT, with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and on ECHLTV.
Goals: Ully (17,18), Bell (2), French (11)
Tomas Sholl: 20 saves on 25 shots
Power Play: 0-for-4
Penalty Kill: 1-for-1
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Jake Paterson ALN
- Braylon Shmyr ALN
- Spencer Asuchak ALN
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Max French: Penalty shot goal, 2 assists, 7 shots, plus-2