Utah Grizzlies vs. Idaho Steelheads
Date(s) - Fri Feb 02, 2018
6:15 pm - 10:00 pm
After battling out a shootout win on Wednesday night in Utah to close out their six-game road swing, the Steelheads open February on home ice as they continue their three-game set against the Grizzlies. The Steelheads’ 6-5 victory on Wednesday extended their hold on second place in the Mountain Division to three points over the Wichita Thunder. The Grizzlies sit seven points outside the division’s final playoff spot.
The Steelheads and Grizzlies went to a shootout in the series-opener after Utah scored three goals in the third period to force overtime. Idaho held a 3-0 lead in the first period on goals from Connor Chatham, Cole Ully, and Alexander Dahl. Zach Bell netted his first goal of the year in the second period and AJ White tallied in the third. Steve McParland extended his points streak to six games and added the shootout winner, while Ryan Faragher stopped 27 shots and five of six in the shootout for his third win this season against the Grizzlies.
Alex Dahl enjoyed his first career multi-point game on Wednesday, logging a goal and an assist against the Grizzlies and using his speed on both occasions. Playing defense, Dahl picked up a loose puck at the Idaho blue line in the first period and raced ahead to create a 2-on-1, snapping a shot over the shoulder of goaltender Sean Maguire for his third goal of the season. In the second period, 25 seconds after a Utah goal, Dahl executed an end-to-end rush before setting up Zach Bell at the right point for his first goal of the season. Dahl, a natural centerman, has been playing a majority of his shifts on defense over the last six games due to team injuries and a suspension to Corbin Baldwin. Dahl has a plus-1 rating during that stretch.
The Steelheads earned a victory on Wednesday despite being shorthanded eight times, one shy of their season high, including a 4-on-3 penalty kill in overtime for too many men on the ice. The Steelheads were also without a power play in the game, the first time this season Idaho has gone without at least one man-advantage and the first time since December 27, 2014 that they’ve gone a full game without a power play. The Grizzlies power play converted three times in the series opener.
Ryan Walters scored twice on Wednesday, opening the scoring for Utah with a power play goal in the second and netting the game-tying goal with 4:03 left in regulation. Walters has scored six goals and added two assists in seven games against Idaho this season, scoring in the last three meetings. Walters has 16 goals and 32 points in 47 career games against the Steelheads with Utah, Rapid City, and Alaska.
Goals: McParland (20)
Assists: J. Dahl (27)
Points: J. Dahl (44)
Plus/Minus: Sweetman (+16)
Power Play Goals: Three players (7)
Goals-Against Average: Faragher (2.71)
Goals: Walters (18)
Assists: Thomas/Pelech (23)
Points: Walters (38)
Plus/Minus: Graaskamp (+6)
Power Play Goals: Ortega (6)
Goals-Against Average: Maguire (3.56)
Steelheads top Grizzlies on late Merchant goal
Play of the gameThe Steelheads didn’t wait long to respond after Cliff Watson tied the game late in the third period for Utah. Will Merchant took a feed in the slot from Jefferson Dahl and had his shot blocked, with the puck dribbling into the low slot area. Merchant would get to it and force it on goal again, taking three whacks at it before powering it over Angus Redmond to restore the Steelheads’ lead and send them on their way to their 25th win of the season.
Boise, ID (2/2/18)— Will Merchant’s rebound goal with 3:26 left in the third period was the game-winner for the Idaho Steelheads (25-14-6), as they earned their second straight win with a 4-3 victory over the Utah Grizzlies (16-20-10) on Friday night at CenturyLink Arena.
The Steelheads played in front of their tenth sell-out crowd in 24 home games this season, with 5,149 fans in attendance.
Merchant’s eleventh goal of the season came just 3:06 after Cliff Watson had tied the game for Utah at 3-3, scoring his ninth goal of the season on a shot from the left circle. Jefferson Dahl fed Merchant in the high slot for a shot that was blocked, the rebound rolling to the low slot. Merchant pounced on the puck again and stuffed it against the right pad of Utah goaltender Angus Redmond. On the third whack, the puck popped up and over Redmond for a 4-3 Idaho lead.
The Grizzlies would pull their goaltender for the extra skater, but Ryan Faragher would close out the win for the Steelheads with 25 saves.
Utah jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Alex Dostie, playing his first game with Utah after being sent down from AHL San Diego, scored his first ECHL goal when a deflected pass on the Grizzlies power play came to him at the top of the Idaho crease at 9:48 of the first period. At 16:08, Dostie set up another goal, feeding Mitch Hults on a 2-on-1 break for Hults’ second goal of the season.
The Steelheads would get on the board before the first intermission, with Brady Brassart burying a Justin Parizek feed from behind the net at 18:45 for his 13th goal of the season. Brassart has two goals and five points in four games since returning from AHL Utica.
At 1:01 of the second period, Jefferson Dahl tied the game with his 18th goal of the season. On the power play, a puck rimmed around the glass hit a stanchion and stopped behind the Utah net. Cole Ully threw it in front for Dahl, who notched a goal and two assists in his first game back from a two-game suspension.
Ully gave the Steelheads a 3-2 lead at 15:17, finishing a give-and-go with Justin Parizek at the bottom of the left circle for his seventh goal of the year, and second in as many games. Parizek finished with two assists.
Chris Martenet earned an assist and was a plus-3 for Idaho.
The Steelheads are 6-3-2 this season in eleven meetings with the Grizzlies. They are ten points back of first place Colorado, but hold a three-point advantage for second place in the Mountain Division.
Idaho will honor Steelheads legend Scott Burt on Saturday night when his number 12 is retired, the fourth jersey number retired in the organization’s history. Burt ranks second all-time in Steelheads’ history in games played, and he ranks third in goals and points.
The Steelheads look to sweep the series on Saturday at CenturyLink Arena in the series finale against the Grizzlies. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:10pm MT with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and seen on Cable One and ECHLTV.
Goals: Brassart (13), J. Dahl (18), Ully (7), Merchant (11)
Ryan Faragher: 25 saves on 28 shots
Power Play: 1-for-6
Penalty Kill: 6-for-7
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Jefferson Dahl IDH
- Cole Ully IDH
- Justin Parizek IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jefferson Dahl: Goal, 2 assists, 3 shot, plus-1 rating