Idaho Steelheads vs. Rapid City Rush
Date(s) - Sat Feb 24, 2018
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads and Rapid City Rush will play the rubber-match of their three-game series at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on Saturday night, Idaho’s final game in Rapid City this season. The Rush snapped a four-game winless skid on Friday with a 4-2 victory over the Steelheads, while Idaho finds itself with one win in the first three games of their six-game road swing. The Steelheads have won seven of nine meetings with the Rush this season.
Max French scored 2:55 into the first period on Friday, extending his goal-scoring streak to three games with five goals in a span of seven periods. Steve McParland added a power play goal, but Peter Sivak’s tally at 6:50 of the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and held up as the game winner. Pavel Jenys and Matt Caito had two points each for the Rush. Philippe Desrosiers, making his seventh consecutive appearance, stopped 31 shots in the loss.
Leading the Way…
Steve McParland netted his team-leading 24th goal of the season on Friday night, as well as his team-leading ninth power play goal. McParland nearly tied the game in the final minutes of the third period, using a backhand toe-drag down the right-wing side to elude defenseman Gustav Bouramman, only to be denied by goaltender Christian Frey. McParland has four goals and eight points in his last ten contests, and his 46 points in 54 games are two shy of what he tallied in 59 games last season with the Stingrays.
A New Face…
Rookie forward Michael Neville joined the Steelheads on an ECHL contract on Friday, but did not dress in the game. The two-time assistant captain at Michigan Tech helped lead the Huskies to a conference title as a senior last season, setting career-highs with seven goals, 23 points, and a plus-22 rating. Neville posted 15 goals and 60 points in 155 games over four NCAA seasons. He awaits his professional debut, and has not appeared in a game since last spring in college.
Peter Sivak had missed the previous seven games for the Rapid City Rush, but he was the difference-maker Friday night with the game-winning goal, his 17th of the season. Sivak had not played since February 2nd, but he was arguably the league’s best player in the month of January. The veteran scorer posted 12 goals and 22 points in 13 games in January, including two hat tricks. Sivak had an uncharacteristically slow start with the Utah Grizzlies before moving to the Rush, not netting his first goal of the season until November 18th. His torrid pace of late has made up the difference, as Sivak is once again a point-per-game player with 44 points in 43 games to lead the Rush.
Goals: McParland (24)
Assists: J. Dahl (33)
Points: J. Dahl (53)
Plus/Minus: McParland (+18)
Power Play Goals: McParland (9)
Goals-Against Average: Desrosiers (2.61)
Goals: K. Miller/Salituro (19)
Assists: Sivak (27)
Points: Sivak (44)
Plus/Minus: Caito (+7)
Power Play Goals: Salituro (7)
Goals-Against Average: Vay (3.50)
Desrosiers, Steelheads shut out Rush
Play of the gameMax French’s insurance goal in the second period came off a strong read in the neutral zone by Jefferson Dahl and his own drive to the net. Dahl picked off Alex Kromm’s breakout pass right after stepping off the Idaho bench and stormed back in, with the Rush defense trapped deep. Dahl’s shot was palmed away by Frey, but it traveled into the oncoming French who carried it into the net for his sixth goal in ten periods.
Rapid City, SD (2/24/18)— Philippe Desrosiers made 21 saves on Saturday night for his second shutout of the season, and second in his last five starts, as the Idaho Steelheads (32-18-6) blanked the Rapid City Rush (19-32-3) for a 3-0 win at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
It was Desrosiers’ fifth professional shutout, and his third career shutout in Rapid City. The Steelheads close out their regular-season schedule with seven wins in nine visits to Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Will Merchant got the Steelheads on the board first with a power play goal at 8:12 of the second period, six seconds after Riley Weselowski had been sent off for slashing. Off the face-off win by Jefferson Dahl, Joe Faust fired a shot from the right point that was fought off by goaltender Christian Frey. The rebound popped in the air off of Frey, and Merchant whacked it in out of mid-air for his 14th goal of the season.
Faust picked up the assist in his 200th professional game.
Max French doubled the lead at 14:37 of the second period after Jefferson Dahl intercepted a Rush breakout pass in the neutral zone. Dahl brought the puck back in and fired a shot from the top of the left circle that again was fought off by Frey. With French driving the net, the rebound bounced off his midsection and over the goal line for his eighth of the season and a 2-0 Idaho lead.
French is in the midst of a four-game goal-scoring streak, with six goals over that span.
Steve McParland sealed the win for the Steelheads at 18:18 of the third period, sliding a shorthanded goal into an empty net for his 25th goal of the season. It was also McParland’s third shorthanded goal of the season, and Idaho’s ninth.
Desrosiers has appeared in eight consecutive games for the Steelheads, one a relief appearance. Over that run, Desrosiers has a record of 5-2-0 with two shutouts, a 1.85 goals-against average, and a .932 save percentage.
With the victory, the Steelheads moved within six points of Colorado for the top spot in the Mountain Division.
The Steelheads head to Kansas for a pair of games with the Wichita Thunder next week, beginning Friday night at INTRUST Bank Arena. Puck-drop is scheduled for 6:05pm MT, with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and on ECHLTV.
Goals: Merchant (14), French (8), McParland (25)
Philippe Desrosiers: 21 saves on 21 shots
Power Play: 1-for-3
Penalty Kill: 6-for-6
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Dylan Labbe RCR
- Josh Elmes RCR
- Dante Salituro RCR
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Will Merchant: Game-winning goal, 3 shots