Idaho Steelheads vs. Wichita Thunder

Date(s) - Sun Mar 04, 2018
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Steel Reel 

The Steelheads complete their six-game road swing on Sunday afternoon in Wichita in search of their third straight win, facing the Thunder for the final time this season. The Steelheads have won three out of five on the road trip thus far following Friday night’s 5-2 victory over the Thunder, while Wichita hopes to snap out of a six-game winless streak in which they are 0-4-2. The Steelheads are eight points clear of the Thunder for second place in the Mountain Division.

Justin Parizek enjoyed a four-point night on Friday night with two goals and two assists, helping spur the Steelheads to a 3-0 lead in the first 14 minutes of the game. Michael Neville capped the scoring for Idaho in the second period with his first professional goal in just his second professional game. Philippe Desrosiers made his ninth consecutive appearance and stopped 26 shots to earn his 23rd win of the season.

Power of Parizek…

Justin Parizek notched his fourth two-goal game of the season and the first four-point game of his pro career on Friday night, only the third four-point performance by a Steelhead this season. Parizek scored both of his goals on the man-advantage, finishing a one-timer from the left circle to open the scoring in the first period and then netting another power play marker in the second period with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle. Parizek also picked up an assist on Brady Brassart’s power play goal. The rookie has five goals and 13 points in his last eleven games, with three of those goals coming on the power play to tie him for sixth in the league with eight on the season.

Power Play Punch…

Justin Parizek wasn’t the only player having power play success on Friday night, with Brady Brassart also scoring on the man advantage as part of a three-point night. The Steelheads were 3-for-6 on the power play, capitalizing on their three of their first four opportunities. Despite also surrendering a shorthanded goal, the Steelheads answered with Michael Neville’s goal just nine seconds after another power play had expired. Idaho’s power play has converted in four consecutive games, netting six goals and clicking at a 27.7 percent rate.

Trading Punches…

With all the scoring completed in the first two periods on Friday, the third period was reserved for the altercations between Idaho’s Aaron Harstad and former Steelhead Travis Ewanyk. The pair squared off after a net-mouth scramble early in the third period, getting only a few jabs in before being separated and penalized with double-minors for roughing. At the next face-off after returning from the penalty box, they squared off again and this time received fighting majors. After their majors were served, they dropped the gloves for a third time and were done for the remainder of the game. The three scraps followed a hit by Ewanyk on Cole Ully at the end of the second period that went unpenalized. Ewanyk and Harstad were essentially traded for each other last February, when Ewanyk was dealt from Idaho to Fort Wayne for Brady Vail and Vail was then immediately sent to Norfolk to bring Harstad to the Steelheads.


Idaho Leaders                                      

Goals: Parizek (23)

Assists: J. Dahl (36)

Points: J. Dahl (56)

Plus/Minus: Sweetman (+16)

Power Play Goals: J. Dahl/Parizek (8)

Goals-Against Average: Desrosiers (2.52)

Thunder Leaders

Goals: Cuddemi (23)

Assists: Bauer (27)

Points: Cuddemi (49)

Plus/Minus: Thibault (+10)

Power Play Goals: Beaudry (6)

Goals-Against Average: Starrett (2.98)

Riopel backstops Thunder to win over Steelheads

Play of the game

A failed clearing attempt became the go-ahead goal and ultimately the game-winner at 6:38 of the third period. Corbin Baldwin tracked a bouncing puck back into the Idaho zone and tried to fire it back up the near boards and out to center. That clearing attempt was gloved down by Ralph Cuddemi and stayed in the zone, and moments later Cuddemi slid a pass from the half-wall to Guillaume Lepine sinking into the high slot for a wrist shot into the top right corner.


Wichita, KS (3/4/18)— Nick Riopel fought off a late barrage and made 32 saves for his 12th win of the season on Sunday afternoon, guiding the Wichita Thunder (30-23-6) to a 2-1 win over the Idaho Steelheads (33-19-6) at INTRUST Bank Arena and snapping a six-game winless streak for the Thunder.

The Steelheads pulled goaltender Philippe Desrosiers from the net with just over two minutes remaining in the third period, trailing by a goal. Justin Parizek beat Riopel to the blocker but rang the post, and shortly after a Will Merchant attempt fluttered over Riopel but landed on top of the net.

The Steelheads were credited with the final seven shots of the game, six of them in the final 2:19 of play.

Guillaume Lepine broke a 1-1 tie with his fifth goal of the season at 6:38 of the third period, creeping down from the left point for a Ralph Cuddemi feed in the high slot to beat Desrosiers over the glove for a 2-1 Thunder lead.

Eric Sweetman got the Steelheads on the board first at 2:20 of the first period, firing a slap shot from the right point through a Brady Brassart screen for his fifth goal of the season. The Steelheads would hold that lead until 1:36 of the second period, when a blocked point shot became a break the other way for Wichita. Cuddemi finished a Ryan Van Stralen feed for his 24th of the season to tie the game 1-1.

The Steelheads and Thunder split the season series, with both teams going 2-2-0 and winning a game in each building. The Steelheads currently sit second in the Mountain Division, six points ahead of the third-place Thunder.

Philippe Desrosiers made 25 saves in a losing effort, his tenth consecutive appearance.

The Steelheads return home to open a three-game home stand, beginning with a single meeting on Wednesday night with the Allen Americans. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:10pm MT, with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and seen on Cable One and ECHLTV.



Goals: Sweetman (5)

Philippe Desrosiers: 25 saves on 27 shots

Power Play: 0-for-2

Penalty Kill: 3-for-3



  1. Guillaume Lepine WCH
  2. Ralph Cuddemi WCH
  3. Nick Riopel WCH



Ralph Cuddemi: Goal, assist, 3 shots, plus-2