Kalamazoo Wings vs. Idaho Steelheads
Date(s) - Sat Jan 13, 2018
6:15 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads and Wings meet for the rubber-match of their three-game series on Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena, the final game for both teams before the All-Star break. Kalamazoo evened the series on Friday night with a 3-2 win, staying within four points of the final playoff spot in the Central Division. The Steelheads remain tied for second place in the Mountain Division with the Wichita Thunder after suffering their first loss of 2018.
Idaho never led on Friday night, battling back to tie the game 1-1 and 2-2 before Kyle Bushee’s third period power play goal gave Kalamazoo the lead for good. Justin Parizek and Connor Chatham both scored goals for Idaho, but Joel Martin made 24 saves and stifled a five-minute Steelhead power play in the third period to earn Kalamazoo its fifth win in the last seven games. Philippe Desrosiers took the loss with 24 saves after relieving an injured Ryan Faragher midway through the first period.
Justin Parizek continues his strong play heading into his first professional All-Star appearance on Monday, extending his goal-scoring streak to four games on Friday night against the Wings. Parizek has five goals during that streak, along with an assist. In his last ten games, Parizek has six goals and eleven points, with a power play goal and two shorthanded goals in that stretch. He ranks second in goals and fourth in points among all ECHL rookies.
After surrendering six goals in the series opener on Wednesday, the Wings made big improvements in the defensive zone on Friday. Idaho, ranked second in the league in shots per game, was limited to just five shots in the opening period. The Steelheads were held to 26 shots for the game, their lowest total since December 6th. The Steelheads did make a push in the third period with 12 shots, a period in which they had a five minute major power play. The Steelheads were held to two goals or fewer for just the second time in the past 12 games.
Soaring Power Play…
Kalamazoo’s power play was a difference maker on Friday, scoring twice in five chances and executing for the game-winning goal. The Wings’ power play is currently ranked ninth in the league at 18.8 percent, but it has been clicking at a much higher rate than that of late. Kalamazoo has scored power play goals in four straight games and in eleven of their last 13 contests. Over that span, they have scored 15 goals on 48 opportunities (31.3 percent).
Goals: Parizek (17)
Assists: J. Dahl (23)
Points: J. Dahl (37)
Plus/Minus: Parizek (+11)
Power Play Goals: Three players (6)
Goals-Against Average: Desrosiers (2.46)
Goals: Taylor (20)
Assists: Kattelus (20)
Points: Taylor (32)
Plus/Minus: Kattelus (+16)
Power Play Goals: Taylor (7)
Goals-Against Average: Martin (2.94)
Taylor’s OT winner downs Steelheads
Play of the gameHenrik Samuelsson tied the game in the final minute of the third period by getting the puck to the net. Jefferson Dahl fed Samuelsson in the left-wing corner with Idaho on the power play, the Steelheads net empty, and a mess of sticks and legs camped in front of the Kalamazoo crease. Samuelsson centered the puck looking for Will Merchant’s stick, but the puck deflected off a Wings player and through Michael Garteig to tie the game 2-2, sending the game to overtime for an important point in the standings that moved Idaho into second place.
Boise, ID (1/13/18)— Henrik Samuelsson’s final-minute power play goal forced overtime at CenturyLink Arena on Saturday night but former Steelhead Justin Taylor’s backhander was the winner, as the Kalamazoo Wings (19-13-3) handed the Idaho Steelheads (21-11-6) a 3-2 overtime loss in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,242 fans.
After Wings’ defenseman Jon Jutzi hit the post earlier in overtime, Aaron Irving slid a pass between the circles for Taylor in front of the Idaho net. Taylor shook off Will Merchant to flip a backhander under the arm of Philippe Desrosiers for his 21st goal of the season.
Taylor was with the Steelheads for their 2013 run to the Western Conference Final. He’s currently ranked second in the ECHL in goal-scoring.
The Steelheads forced overtime with the tying goal in the game’s final minute. With Josh Pitt in the box for tripping and the Steelheads’ net empty, Samuelsson slid a pass to the front from the side of the goal that redirected off a Kalamazoo defender and through Wings goaltender Michael Garteig to tie the score 2-2. Samuelsson’s 14th of the year came with just 35 seconds remaining.
The Steelheads trailed 1-0 heading into the final period. They drew even at 4:36 of the third after the Wings had failed to capitalize on an opportunity at the other end. Off an odd-man rush, Tyler Heinonen attacked the Idaho crease only to be disrupted by a Desrosiers poke check. In transition, Cole Ully and Jefferson Dahl pulled ahead on a 2-on-1. Dahl finished for his 15th of the year to tie the score 1-1.
Brendan Bradley scored his second goal of the game and ninth of the season 1:07 later, scoring from in front of the net after missing from the same spot seconds earlier. Bradley opened the scoring at 7:10 of the first period with a high-slot wrister off the rush, his first point on a three-point night.
The Steelheads fell to 0-4 this season in games decided within the five-minute overtime session, with three of those defeats coming at CenturyLink Arena. The overtime point earned was significant for Idaho, moving them past the Wichita Thunder and into sole possession of second place in the Mountain Division. Idaho has points in five of the last six games (3-1-2).
The Steelheads played in front of their ninth sellout crowd this season at CenturyLink Arena.
The Steelheads head to the All-Star break and do not return to game action until January 19th when they visit the Tulsa Oilers at BOK Center. Justin Parizek will head to Indianapolis for the CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, representing the Mountain Division and taking part in the Fastest Skater Competition.
The Steelheads and Oilers drop the puck next Friday at 6:05pm MT with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and on ECHLTV.
Goals: Dahl (15), Samuelsson (14)
Philippe Desrosiers: 39 saves on 42 shots
Power Play: 1-for-4
Penalty Kill: 0-for-3
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Justin Taylor KAL
- Brendan Bradley KAL
- Jefferson Dahl IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Brendan Bradley: 2 goals, 1 assist, 6 shots, plus-3 rating