Utah Grizzlies vs. Idaho Steelheads
Date(s) - Sat Feb 03, 2018
6:15 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads will go for the three-game sweep on Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena when they wrap up their series with the Utah Grizzlies. The Steelheads earned a 4-3 win on Friday night, their sixth win of the season against the Grizzlies to maintain their three-point hold on second place in the Mountain Division. The Grizzlies are eleven points out of the final playoff spot, having gone winless in their last three contests. The Steelheads will honor franchise legend Scott Burt on Saturday, retiring his number 12.
Will Merchant netted the game-winner for Idaho with 3:26 left in regulation time, just 3:06 after Cliff Watson had scored to tie the game for the Grizzlies. The Steelheads overcame a 2-0 first period deficit, with goals from Brady Brassart, Jefferson Dahl, and Cole Ully. Ryan Faragher earned his second consecutive win, and fourth of the season against Utah, with a 25-save effort.
A Will and a Way…
Will Merchant had six shots on goal on Friday night, three of them coming on one sequence to restore Idaho’s lead late in the third period. After his shot from the slot was blocked, Merchant claimed his own rebound and with three whacks popped the puck over Utah’s Angus Redmond for a 4-3 Idaho lead. The goal was Merchant’s first game-winning tally of the season. Merchant has three goals and four points in his last four games.
On Saturday night, captain Jefferson Dahl will have an opportunity to move into third place on the Steelheads’ all-time ECHL points list. Dahl’s three-point night on Friday, a goal and two assists in his first game back from a two-game suspension, gave him 196 career points as a Steelhead, just one point shy of defenseman Darrel Hay. Hay collected 197 points from the blue line over 320 games as a Steelhead, and Dahl is one point shy after 218 games in Boise. Dahl has posted three points or more in eight contests this season for Idaho. He finished the month of January with five goals and 16 points in nine games.
The Utah Grizzlies have gotten strong production out of three players who have joined the team from the San Diego Gulls, Utah’s AHL affiliate. Alex Dostie, Austin Ortega, and Mitch Hults skated on a line together and factored into Utah’s first two goals. Dostie played his first game with the Grizzlies after being reassigned from San Diego, scoring the game’s first goal on the power play and then setting up Hults on a 2-on-1 rush 6:20 later. The trio has combined for eleven goals and 23 points in 19 games. Ortega has been with the Grizzlies the longest, netting eight goals and 16 points in 14 ECHL games. Six of his goals have come on the power play.
Goals: McParland (20)
Assists: J. Dahl (29)
Points: J. Dahl (47)
Plus/Minus: Sweetman (+14)
Power Play Goals: J. Dahl (8)
Goals-Against Average: Faragher (2.73)
Goals: Walters (18)
Assists: Thomas/Pelech (23)
Points: Walters (39)
Plus/Minus: Graaskamp (+6)
Power Play Goals: Ortega (6)
Goals-Against Average: Maguire (3.56)
Grizzlies avoid sweep with win over Steelheads
Play of the gameSean Maguire’s turnover behind an open net looked like Idaho’s key to forcing overtime, but an acrobatic glove save robbed Henrik Samuelsson, just off the bench after the Steelheads had pulled Ryan Faragher from the net. Maguire’s save was immediately followed by Brendan Harms’ empty-netter to ice the game for the Grizzlies.
Boise, ID (2/3/18)— Alex Dostie’s third-period power play goal was the eventual game-winner, as the Utah Grizzlies (17-20-10) avoided a sweep in Boise with a 5-3 win over the Idaho Steelheads (25-15-6) in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,243 fans on Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena.
At 8:10 of the third period, Dostie snapped a shot from the right circle the snuck under the arm of Ryan Faragher for a 4-3 Utah lead. It was Dostie’s second goal in two games since being sent to Utah from AHL San Diego.
With 1:30 left in regulation, the Steelheads pulled Faragher for an extra attacker while killing a penalty. Henrik Samuelsson hopped over the boards and skated into the Grizzlies zone just as Utah goaltender Sean Maguire coughed up the puck behind the net, the puck rolling between the circles. Samuelsson fired at the empty cage, only to be stopped by the lunging glove of Maguire scrambling back to the net.
The Grizzlies would score on the ensuing defensive zone face-off, with Brendan Harms firing the puck the length of the ice into the empty net for his fifth goal of the season.
Steve McParland opened the scoring for the Steelheads at 7:28 of the first. After Faragher made a kick save on a 3-on-1 rush, McParland scooped up the puck and skated the length of the ice down the left wing boards, snapping a wrist shot over Maguire’s left shoulder of his 21st goal of the season.
Brad Navin tied the score at 2:28 of the second period with his sixth goal of the season after a Sam Windle point shot pin-balled to him in the Idaho crease for a tap-in. Max French restored Idaho’s lead with his first goal as a Steelhead at 9:37, a shot from the high slot off the crossbar and in to make it 2-1.
The Grizzlies scored twice more before the end of the period to take a 3-2 lead to the dressing room. Austin Ortega redirected a Windle shot past Faragher at 13:57 of the second period for his ninth goal of the season. James Melindy slid a wrister past Faragher from the right point at 15:03 for his second of the season to give the Grizzlies their first lead.
Cole Ully evened the score at 5:48 of the third period with his eighth of the season, burying a rebound off of a Samuelsson shot, Ully’s third goal in the last three games. Ully would be unavailable for the Steelheads’ comeback effort in the latter half of the third period, after an altercation behind the Utah net at 7:42 of the third saw he and Corbin Baldwin earn double-minor penalties and ten minute misconducts that removed them from the game.
The Steelheads honored Scott Burt during the first intermission, retiring his number 12 jersey. Burt played with the Steelheads from 2000 to 2007 and ranks second all-time in Steelheds history in games played, and third in goals and points. Burt joins #22 Cal Ingraham, #4 Jeremy Mylymok, and #16 Marty Flichel as the only players in Idaho’s 21 year history to have their numbers retired.
The Steelheads hosted their eleventh sell-out crowd in 25 home games this season.
The Steelheads head back on the road for a three-game series with the Colorado Eagles, starting Wednesday at Budweiser Events Center. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:05pm MT with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and ECHLTV.
Goals: McParland (21), French (1), Ully (8)
Ryan Faragher: 30 saves on 34 shots
Power Play: 0-for-8
Penalty Kill: 6-for-8
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Mitch Hults UTA
- Steve McParland IDH
- Cole Ully IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Max French: 1st Steelheads goal, 4 shots