Idaho Steelheads vs. Utah Grizzlies
Date(s) - Sat Dec 30, 2017
6:05 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads will hope for a tighter defensive performance on Saturday night when they wrap up 2017 against the Utah Grizzlies at Maverik Center. The Steelheads fell 6-3 on Friday to the Grizzlies, the most goals they’ve surrendered in a game this season, and dropped to third place in the Mountain Division behind Colorado and Allen in the process. The Grizzlies have won five of their last eight games, going 5-2-1 in that span.
Jefferson Dahl opened the scoring for the Steelheads on Friday just 58 seconds into the game, but it was the only lead Idaho would have as the Grizzlies got goals from six different players. The Steelheads twice erased two goal deficits, with Steve McParland and Corey Durocher each scoring in the second period to tie the game. The Grizzlies pulled away with three unanswered goals in the third period from Jon Puskar, Michael Pelech, and Taylor Richart. Philippe Desrosiers stopped 24 of 30 shots in the loss.
The Year That Was…
The Steelheads will look back on a strong 2017 following Saturday night’s finale. The Steelheads are 43-21-8 since last New Year’s Day, totaling 94 points over that span for the sixth-best total in 2017 behind Colorado (105 points), Allen (103), Florida (99), Toledo (98), and Fort Wayne (97). The Steelheads also had a 22-8-4 road record during 2017 and a plus-39 goal-differential.
New Year’s Dahl…
Jefferson Dahl’s game-opening goal for Idaho on Friday was his eleventh goal of the season and his sixth in the last seven games, a stretch in which he also has collected nine points. Dahl’s six goals match the best seven-game stretch of his pro career, matching a run during the 2015-16 season in which he totaled six goals and seven points in seven games from December 10th to December 26th. Dahl’s strong stretch has been injury-interrupted, having scored a goal on December 2nd before missing the next five games and returning to post points in five of the next six.
Avoiding Back-to-Back Whacks…
Friday’s loss marked only the second time this season that the Steelheads have lost consecutive games in regulation, the last occurrence coming on November 22nd and 24th when they lost the first two games of a series with the Allen Americans. The Steelheads are 8-3-2 this season following any loss, and they have not lost three straight in regulation since December 10, 2015.
Goals: McParland (13)
Assists: Corbett (17)
Points: Samuelsson (28)
Plus/Minus: McParland (+9)
Power Play Goals: Samuelsson (6)
Goals-Against Average: Desrosiers (2.40)
Goals: Walters (10)
Assists: Hanson/Pelech (19)
Points: Hanson/Pelech (28)
Plus/Minus: Thomas (+9)
Power Play Goals: Six players (2)
Goals-Against Average: Carr (2.62)
Third period Utah comeback downs Steelheads
Play of the gameCharley Graaskamp’s tying goal came off a failed clearing attempt and a strong individual effort by Utah’s Chris Leibinger. After Leibinger stole the puck away in the left circle of the Idaho zone, he carried the puck along the blue line to the right wing before dragging it into the right wing corner and driving right along the goal line to the front of the net. His first jam attempt was stopped by Faragher, but Graaskamp was there for the rebound to erase the Idaho lead.
West Valley, UT (12/30/17)— Charley Graaskamp scored the tying goal with his second tally of the night and added another in the shootout to help the Utah Grizzlies (12-12-8) mount a three-goal comeback and earn a 5-4 shootout victory over the Idaho Steelheads (18-10-5) at Maverik Center on Saturday night.
Ryan Walters, Jon Puskar, and Graaskamp all scored in a span of 5:59 in the third period to erase a 4-1 Steelheads lead. Graaskamp and Walters would both beat goaltender Ryan Faragher in the shootout to earn Utah its first shootout win of the season. Justin Parizek scored in the shootout for Idaho, but it wasn’t enough.
Walters cut the Idaho lead to 4-2 on a redirection of a Mitch Jones point shot at 3:30 of the third period, his 11th goal of the season and fourth this year against the Steelheads. At 5:40 of the third, Puskar cut the deficit to one with a power play goal from the slot, finishing a feed from Michael Pelech behind the net for his fourth goal of the year. At 9:29, Graaskamp tied the game with his second of the night and fourth of the year, burying the rebound after Chris Leibinger drove to the net
Kyle Thomas temporarily gave Utah a 5-4 lead in the third, but his goal was disallowed due to goaltender interference.
The Steelheads scored the first two goals of the contest, with Jefferson Dahl netting his 12th goal of the season off the rush at 3:08 of the first period for a 1-0 Idaho lead. Dahl has seven goals in his last eight games.
At 6:49 of the first, Dahl’s forecheck pressure helped force a turnover along the right-wing wall in the Utah zone that was scooped up by Cole Ully. Ully skated to the slot and wired a wrister past Utah’s Angus Redmond for a 2-0 Idaho lead on his second of the year. Ully earned three points on the night with a goal and two assists.
Graaskamp got Utah on the board at 12:46 on a redirection of a Taylor Richart shot from the right point to make it 2-1.
Idaho netted two power play goals in the second period to build a 4-1 lead. Steve McParland scored his 14th of the season after Eric Sweetman found him alone in front with a pass from the left point at 5:24. Will Merchant followed it up with a power play goal of his own, burying his seventh of the season from between the circles in his 100th professional game.
The Steelheads killed off 1:29 of 5-on-3 penalty-kill time to close out the second period with a 4-1 lead.
Redmond was pulled from the game following Merchant’s goal, surrendering four goals on 22 shots. Kevin Carr stopped all 18 shots he saw in relief.
The Grizzlies scored three goals in the third period in back-to-back games. The Steelheads moved back into a tie for second place with the Allen Americans thanks to the overtime point, both teams now with 41 points in the standings.
The Steelheads return to game action after the New Year, hosting the Allen Americans for the first of two contests at CenturyLink Arena on January 5th. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:10pm MT with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and seen on Cable One and ECHLTV.
Goals: J Dahl (12), Ully (2), McParland (14), Merchant (7), Parizek (SO)
Ryan Faragher: 32 saves on 36 shots, 1 save on 3 shootout attempts
Power Play: 2-for-5
Penalty Kill: 3-for-4
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Charley GraaskampUTA
- Mitch Jones UTA
- Jon Puskar UTA
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Charley Graaskamp: 2 goals, shootout goal, 2 shots, plus-2 rating