Rapid City Rush vs. Idaho Steelheads
Date(s) - Sat Mar 24, 2018
6:15 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads clinched a playoff spot on Friday night with a 5-0 victory over the Rapid City Rush, Idaho’s seventh shutout win of the season and second this year against the Rush. On Saturday the Steelheads go for the series sweep in their final meeting with Rapid City this season on Marvel Super Heroes Night.
Five different Steelheads found the back of the net on Friday, with Brady Brassart and Justin Parizek leading the way. Both notched three-point nights, with Parizek opening the scoring 45 seconds into the game and Brassart capping the evening with the final goal with 1:56 left in regulation. Tomas Sholl earned his fifth straight win with 22 saves.
With Friday’s clinching win, the Steelheads will be heading to the playoffs for the 21st time in their 21 seasons, six in the WCHL era and now 15 in the ECHL. The Steelheads own the longest active streak of consecutive playoff appearances in professional hockey. The Steelheads still have more they can accomplish with six games left on their schedule. Idaho looks to reach the 40-win mark on Saturday for the eleventh time in 15 ECHL seasons, and with a win tonight would extend their winning streak to five games, the longest regular-season winning streak since Neil Graham took over as head coach at the start of the 2015-16 season.
Sure Thing Sholl…
Tomas Sholl remains unbeaten in regulation this season with his 22-save shutout effort, now 10-0-2 this season with Idaho and Adirondack. Sholl has earned three shutouts in his last four outings, reaching three shutouts in fewer starts than any other ECHL goaltender this season and surrendering just one goal in his last 270:14 of work. Sholl has surrendered four goals in six appearances with the Steelheads, only one of which has been at even strength.
Brady in Bunches…
Brady Brassart notched his second three-point game of the season on Friday, his first game back in the lineup from a two-game suspension. Brassart has scored five goals and recorded 13 points in his last ten games, and he has not gone more than one game without a point in his last 14 contests dating back to February 16th. Brassart is producing at better than a point per game for the first time in his professional career, and his 22 goals in 44 games with Idaho are two more than he scored in 93 games with the Quad City Mallards over two seasons from 2015 to 2017. Brassart has three goals and nine points in seven meetings with the Rush this season.
Goals: McParland (28)
Assists: J. Dahl (37)
Points: J. Dahl (57)
Plus/Minus: McParland (+22)
Power Play Goals: McParland (9)
Goals-Against Average: Sholl (1.38)
Goals: Sivak (23)
Assists: Sivak (30)
Points: Sivak (53)
Plus/Minus: Lang (+3)
Power Play Goals: Three Players (3)
Goals-Against Average: Vay (3.29)
Steelheads sweep Rush for fifth straight win
Play of the gameThe Steelheads needed an answer after Andrew Radjenovic brought the Rush within a goal. The Steelheads got the insurance they needed when Rush defenseman Brayden Sherbinin stumbled at the point and allowed the Steelheads to break in 3-on-1. Justin Parizek dropped a pass to the high slot and Brady Brassart, who continued to glide towards the net before feeding McParland for a back-door tap-in to put the game away for Idaho.
Boise, ID (3/24/18)— Cole Ully scored two goals and Tomas Sholl made 14 saves as the Idaho Steelheads (40-20-7) skated to a 5-2 win over the Rapid City Rush (21-39-6) on Saturday night in front of a sell-out crowd 5,119 fans for Marvel Super Heroes Night at CenturyLink Arena.
Will Merchant opened the scoring at 8:05 of the first period, netting his 17th goal of the season and his third in the past four games. Charlie Dodero lifted a puck out of the Idaho zone that landed high in the Rush end, resting in the high slot for Merchant to step into for a one-timer past goaltender Christian Frey and a 1-0 Idaho lead.With the win, the Steelheads clinched home ice for the first round of the playoffs and reached the 40-win plateau for the 11th time in 15 ECHL seasons. The Steelheads also earned their fifth consecutive win, their longest winning streak during Head Coach Neil Graham’s tenure.
Peter Sivak drew the Rush even at 14:16 of the first with his 24th of the year, a shot off a face-off win by rookie Alec Baer that deflected twice off of Merchant and Chris Martenet before skipping past Sholl.
The Steelheads struck twice in the second period to regain the lead. At 1:39 of the second, Eric Sweetman skated the puck from his own blue line ahead into Rush ice and snapped a high-slot wrister over Frey’s glove for his eighth of the season. At 5:00, Ully extended the lead with his first of the game and 12th of the season, firing a shot from the right wing on a 2-on-1 over Frey’s shoulder.
The Rush would not go quietly. After Dodero was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for charging, a hit that removed Andrew Miller from the game, the Rush capitalized on the power play. Peter Sivak found Andrew Radjenovic in the slot for a wrist shot past Sholl at 13:28 of the third to make it 3-2.
Idaho answered back with an insurance goal at 18:18, with Steve McParland tapping home a feed on a 3-on-1 rush from Brady Brassart for his 29th goal of the season to make it 4-2. McParland is one goal shy of becoming the 11th Steelhead in the ECHL era to reach 30 goals.
Ully was pulled down heading towards an empty net in the final minute, automatically awarded the empty-net goal for his second of the game.
Sholl remains unbeaten in regulation following his sixth straight win, now 11-0-2 on the season.
The Steelheads have hosted 16 sell-out crowds this season.
The Steelheads remain home for their final series of the regular season at CenturyLink Arena, a two-game set against the Utah Grizzlies beginning on Friday night. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:10pm MT. The game is available on 1350AM KTIK and seen on Cable One and ECHLTV.
Goals: Merchant (17), Sweetman (8), Ully (12,13), McParland (29)
Tomas Sholl: 14 saves on 16 shots
Power Play: 0-for-1
Penalty Kill: 1-for-2
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Cole Ully IDH
- Eric Sweetman IDH
- Aaron Harstad IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Cole Ully: 2 goals, 3 shots, plus-2