Idaho Steelheads vs. South Carolina Stingrays
Date(s) - Thu Mar 15, 2018
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The Steelheads look to bounce back from their 4-2 defeat in Atlanta on Tuesday as their road trip continues in Charleston with the first of two contests against the South Carolina Stingrays. It is Idaho’s first visit to North Charleston Coliseum since January 2013, and they enter with a seven-point hold on second place in the Mountain Division. The Stingrays have already secured their spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, currently second in the South Division and looking to track down the top spot in the Eastern Conference, currently three points back.
Connor Chatham and Steve McParland both scored for the Steelheads on Tuesday in Atlanta, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a three-goal deficit in an eventual 4-2 defeat. Former Steelheads Branden Troock and Derek Nesbitt both scored for the Gladiators, as Michael Bitzer made 23 saves in suffering his first pro defeat. Jack Nevins picked up an assist for his first point as a Steelhead.
Old Stomping Grounds…
Steve McParland returns to Charleston for his first game since helping to lead the Stingrays to a Kelly Cup Final last season. McParland returns as Idaho’s leading goal-scorer after netting his 28th goal of the season on Tuesday on a play from below the goal line. McParland has collected five goals and six points during his current five-game points streak, and he has seven goals and nine points in his last ten games. His 28 goals are tied for fifth-most in the league, two shy of making him just the tenth Steelhead in the ECHL era to score 30 goals in a season.
Sholly the Goalie…
Steelheads goaltender Tomas Sholl was awarded ECHL Goaltender of the Week honors on Tuesday after a stellar first week in Boise. The rookie goaltender is 1-0-1 as a Steelhead, earning a point in a shootout loss to the Allen Americans last Wednesday and then beating the Kansas City Mavericks in overtime on the following Saturday. Sholl is unbeaten in regulation in his first ten ECHL appearances, eight of them with the Adirondack Thunder, going 6-0-2 with a 1.89 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage. In two starts with Idaho, he has stopped 54 of 57 shots.
About the Stingrays…
South Carolina has won four of its last five games and became the second team this season to clinch a playoff spot on March 6th, hoping to repeat as Eastern Conference Champions and return to the Kelly Cup Final for a third time in four years. Captain Joe Devin has been with the Stingrays throughout that run, now in his fourth year with the team and second on the team in points with 49, including six goals and ten points over the last 11 games. Taylor Cammarata, this year’s All-Star MVP, has a goal and five points in his last five outings, and defenseman Joey Leach is riding a five-game points streak with seven assists. Leading scorer Steven Whitney has two goals and 12 points during a six-game scoring streak. Parker Milner is among the league’s top goaltenders, ranking first in goals-against average (1.94), third in save percentage (.929), and fifth in wins (21) over 29 appearances.
Goals: McParland (28)
Assists: J. Dahl (36)
Points: J. Dahl (56)
Plus/Minus: McParland (+21)
Power Play Goals: McParland (9)
Goals-Against Average: Sholl (1.89)
Goals: Devin/Zajac (19)
Assists: Whitney (32)
Points: Whitney (49)
Plus/Minus: Federico (+26)
Power Play Goals: Zajac (8)
Goals-Against Average: Milner (1.94)
Sholl shines for first ECHL shutout in Charleston
Play of the gameThe Stingrays were buzzing in the Idaho zone in the second period and may have thought they were coming close to breaking through Tomas Sholl after a Tim Davison shot rang the crossbar and a Kelly Zajac try hit the outside of the post. Sholl tuned that momentum around with his penalty-killing save on Conor Lemirande, reaching back with the paddle of his stick to protect a wide-open net and pull the puck away from the goal line, denying Lemirande his first pro goal.
North Charleston, SC (3/15/18)— Tomas Sholl stopped all 32 shots he faced on Thursday night to earn his first ECHL shutout and guide the Idaho Steelheads (36-20-7) to a 3-0 win over the South Carolina Stingrays (39-14-7) at North Charleston Coliseum.
Sholl made eleven saves in the final period, including several in close on South Carolina captain Joe Devin. Protecting a 1-0 lead in the third, Devin took a feed from defenseman Paul Geiger who slid the puck from the right point to the bottom of the left circle. Sholl snow-angeled across the crease from left post to right and kicked the Devin shot away his left pad, following with another save as rookie Conor Lemirande spun the rebound back into his body. Minutes later Sholl robbed Taylor Cammarata from between the circles and saw the rebound attempt flicked wide.
Sholl made another save on Lemirande midway through the second period while Idaho was shorthanded. Steven Whitney slid a pass through the Idaho crease from the right of Sholl to Lemirande, who tapped it towards the open net. Sholl reached back with the paddle of the stick to drag the puck away from the goal line, at that time keeping the game scoreless.
Idaho took a 1-0 lead following another side-to-side save by Sholl on Devin, the rebound fired out to the neutral zone by Brady Brassart. Cole Ully raced in 2-on-2 and wheeled wide on Geiger, breaking in alone on Stingrays goaltender Parker Milner. Milner made the initial save, but Eric Sweetman finished the rebound for his seventh goal of the season at 18:49 of the second period.
The Steelheads made it 2-0 at 8:39 of the third, shortly after Sholl’s snow-angel save on Devin. AJ White went into the far corner of the Stingray zone hard on the forecheck, ripping the puck away from rookie defenseman Derek Pratt and feeding Connor Chatham between the circles. Milner made the initial save, but Chatham followed up to finish the rebound for his 12th goal of the season, and second in as many games, for a 2-0 lead.
Jack Nevins would get his ninth goal of the season, and first as a Steelhead, with an empty-net goal with 1:18 remaining, sealing just the seventh regulation loss on home ice this season for the Stingrays. Nevins also earned his first fighting major as a Steelhead at 1:56 of the first period, dropping the gloves with Marcus Perrier.
Connor Chatham and AJ White both posted two-point nights.
Sholl is undefeated in eleven ECHL appearances with Adirondack and Idaho this year. He has stopped 86 of 89 shots faced as a Steelhead.
This was Idaho’s first visit to North Charleston Coliseum since January 2013. The win reduced Idaho’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot to seven points, either gained by Idaho or lost by the Oilers.
The Steelheads and Stingrays meet again on Friday night at North Charleston Coliseum, with puck-drop scheduled for 5:05pm MT. The game is available on 1350AM KTIK and ECHLTV.
Goals: Sweetman (7), Chatham (12), Nevins (9)
Tomas Sholl: 32 saves on 32 shots
Power Play: 0-for-1
Penalty Kill: 4-for-4
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Tomas Sholl IDH
- Eric Sweetman IDH
- Parker Milner SC
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Connor Chatham: Goal, assist, 2 shots, plus-2