Idaho Steelheads vs. Colorado Eagles
Date(s) - Wed Jan 24, 2018
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads head to Loveland for their first visit of the season to Budweiser Events Center, and their first game in a string of nine of the next 12 contests against the Mountain Division-leading Colorado Eagles. Eight points separate the Steelheads and Eagles in the standings, with the Steelheads coming off consecutive wins in Tulsa over the weekend while the Eagles dropped decisions in Wichita and Tulsa for their first consecutive regulation losses since November 1st. The Steelheads took five of an available six points from the Eagles when the teams met for a three-game series at CenturyLink Arena during the first week of November.
The Steelheads earned their tenth road win of the season on Saturday with a 4-3 victory over the Tulsa Oilers, their sixth consecutive victory at BOK Center. Jefferson Dahl netted two goals in the first period, followed by Justin Parizek and Charlie Dodero in the second. Philippe Desrosiers stopped 35 shots for his 17th win of the season, ranked third in the ECHL.
Steelheads rookie defenseman Eric Sweetman has played some of his best hockey for the Steelheads since the calendar turned to 2018. In his last eight games, Sweetman has netted his first professional goal and added five assists, along with a plus-11 rating. At plus-12, the rookie is tied for the team lead in plus/minus and has earned a greater role on the ice, with Aaron Harstad on injured reserve since December 3rd. Defenseman Charlie Dodero has also been strong over the same stretch, with two goals and six points with a plus-7 rating.
The Steelheads have been one of the league’s better road teams since mid-November, while no team in the league has enjoyed the home success that the Eagles have at Budweiser Events Center. Since their November 11th win in Allen, the Steelheads have gone 10-2-1 in their last 13 games on the road. The Eagles have just one regulation loss at home this season, coming on November 8th to Fort Wayne, and have since earned points in 14 straight. Strong defense is always important for road success, and the Steelheads rank 4th in the league with 2.7 goals surrendered on average per game. The Eagles are the second-best in the league with 3.9 goals per game, and they average 4.1 goals per game in Loveland and have scored five goals or more on eight occasions.
League leading goal-scorer Michael Joly is expected to return to the lineup for the Eagles after a four-game recall to AHL San Antonio. Joly has scored 29 goals in 31 ECHL games this season, and he’s netted nine goals in his last six ECHL contests for Colorado. Joly has eight multi-goal games for the Eagles this year, including one hat trick. He is currently tied for fifth in the ECHL in scoring, knotted with Steelheads captain Jefferson Dahl. Dahl is coming off his fourth multi-goal game of the season and his fourth three-point game in the last seven contests.
Goals: Parizek (18)
Assists: J. Dahl (26)
Points: J Dahl (43)
Plus/Minus: Sweetman/McParland (+12)
Power Play Goals: Samuelsson/J Dahl (7)
Goals-Against Average: Desrosiers (2.48)
Goals: Joly (29)
Assists: Register (30)
Points: Joly (43)
Plus/Minus: Garbowsky (+27)
Power Play Goals: Joly (10)
Goals-Against Average: Cannata (2.13)
Eagles top Steelheads on late Joly goal
Play of the gameJust 1:05 separated the Steelheads and Eagles from overtime when a costly turnover in the Idaho zone gave Colorado the opportunity they needed to end the game in regulation. After Jake Marto lost the puck along the near boards to Corbin Baldwin, Baldwin fanned on a clearing attempt and gave the puck away to Jake Marchment. With Baldwin stuck along the boards, Marchment found Drayson Bowman coming out of the near corner. Bowman slid a pass across the front of the net to a charging Michael Joly, who buried it for a 5-4 Colorado lead with just over a minute left in regulation.
Loveland, CO (1/24/18)— Michael Joly’s league-leading 30th goal of the season scored with 1:05 left in regulation was the game-winner on Wednesday night, as the Colorado Eagles (29-7-4) defeated the Idaho Steelheads (23-12-6) 5-4 at Budweiser Events Center.
A failed clearing attempt along the near wall of the Idaho zone ultimately came to Drayson Bowman at the side of the Idaho net. Bowman slid the pass across the front of the net for a Joly tap-in at the left post, improving Colorado’s record on home ice to 17-1-3.
The Steelheads climbed back from a 4-2 deficit to tie the game in the third period. Steve McParland started the comeback effort at 16:37 of the second period, burying a rebound in front on a 5-on-3 power play for his 18th goal of the season to pull the Steelheads within a goal at 4-3.
At 6:43 of the third period, AJ White tied the game with his fifth goal of the season. Connor Chatham picked off an errant pass along the left-wing boards in the Eagles’ zone, whipping the pass in front where Corey Durocher and White were alone. Durocher dropped a pass for White, who netted his second goal in the last three games.
Eric Sweetman opened the scoring for Idaho with his second goal of the season at 4:26 of the first period, driving the net and finishing a Justin Parizek feed. Sweetman has two goals and eight points in his last nine games, along with a plus-12 rating.
The Eagles answered back with Matt Register’s ninth goal of the season at 9:12 of the first, just six seconds after a penalty to Joe Faust had expired. Register held in a clearing attempt at the right point and carried it to the high slot before snapping a shot past Philippe Desrosiers to the blocker side.
Colorado took a 2-1 lead at 2:32 when a turnover behind the net came to Nolan De Jong at the top of the left circle, the rookie netting his first professional goal. At 7:52 the Steelheads tied the score, with Chatham snapping a shot from the left wing on a 2-on-1 rush that beat Lukas Hafner for his eighth of the season.
The Eagles would score twice more before the second intermission to take a 4-2 lead. Collin Bowman earned his ninth goal of the year on a redirection from between the circles on left-circle shot by Ryan Harrison at 9:30. At 13:23, Jake Marchment added his seventh of the season on a shot from the left circle past Desrosiers.
The loss dropped the Steelheads ten points back of the Eagles for the Mountain Division lead. With the victory, the Eagles climbed to first place overall in the league standings.
Jefferson Dahl recorded an assist, extending his assist streak to four games. White has three multi-point games in his last five contests.
The Steelheads and Eagles meet again on Friday night at Budweiser Events Center. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:05 MT with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and on ECHLTV.
Goals: Sweetman (2), Chatham (8), McParland (18), White (5)
Philippe Desrosiers: 29 saves on 34 shots
Power Play: 1-for-7
Penalty Kill: 6-for-6
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Michael Joly COL
- Matt Register COL
- Connor Chatham IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
AJ White: Goal, assist, 1 shot, minus-1 rating