Utah Grizzlies vs. Idaho Steelheads
Date(s) - Sat Mar 31, 2018
6:15 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads play their final home game of the regular season on Saturday night, hoping to extend a six-game winning streak at CenturyLink Arena and a six-game winning streak overall when they host the Grizzlies. The Steelheads are enjoying their longest winning streak since the 2014-15 season, while the Grizzlies have earned just one win in their last nine games and are on the brink of elimination from playoff contention.
The Steelheads skated past the Grizzlies 5-0 on Friday night, earning their eighth shutout victory of the season. Steve McParland netted his 30th goal of the season, while Connor Chatham scored a power play goal and Eric Sweetman tallied shorthanded. Tomas Sholl stopped all 20 shots he faced for his 12th win of the season.
The Steelheads have been in full control over their last three games, scoring five goals in each contest with a pair of 5-0 wins and a 5-2 victory last Saturday against the Rush. Over the course of their six-game winning streak, the Steelheads have outscored opponents 21-3. In going 9-2-1 in the month of March, the Steelheads have outscored opponents 36-17.
Cole on a Roll…
Cole Ully finished off a 2-on-1 with Jefferson Dahl during Friday’s third period to net his 14th goal of the season. Ully enters the home finale with a three game goal-scoring streak, with four goals and six points in that span. Ully has nine points in his last nine games and 34 points in 35 games for Idaho this season, giving the Steelheads four players producing at .9 points per game or better.
Holy Shollie the Goalie…
Tomas Sholl’s incredible month continued on Friday night, his 20 saves earning him his fourth ECHL shutout, all coming in his last six starts. Sholl has a personal seven-game winning streak and has made all six starts for the Steelheads during their current winning streak, posting a goals-against average of 0.49 over that time and a save percentage of .979. Sholl is unbeaten in regulation during his ECHL rookie season, sporting a record of 12-0-2, a 1.33 goals-against average and a .954 save percentage in 16 appearances. His four shutouts are one shy of the league-lead, while the Steelheads eight team shutouts are tied for the most in the ECHL. The Steelheads have played a part in Sholl’s shutout success over the last three weeks, averaging just 24.17 shots-against per game. Idaho still ranks third in the ECHL in average shots-against per game, giving up 28.32 shots and ranking behind only Florida and South Carolina.
Goals: McParland (30)
Assists: J. Dahl (39)
Points: J. Dahl (59)
Plus/Minus: McParland (+26)
Power Play Goals: McParland (9)
Goals-Against Average: Sholl (1.33)
Goals: Walters (28)
Assists: Walters (32)
Points: Walters (60)
Plus/Minus: Ausmus (+6)
Power Play Goals: Walters (7)
Goals-Against Average: Rumpel (3.19)
Ully leads Steelheads to seventh straight win
Play of the gameCole Ully found the game-winner off of a net-mouth scramble on the power play late in the third period. With Jefferson Dahl stationed in front of the Utah net, Will Merchant fired a shot that Brandon Wildung fought off. Dahl attracted the attention of both Grizzlies defenders in front of the net, while Ully went undetected to jam home his second of the game.
Boise, ID (3/31/18)— Cole Ully scored two goals on Saturday night, including the game-winner, as the Idaho Steelheads (42-20-7) closed out the home portion of their regular-season schedule with their seventh straight win, topping the Utah Grizzlies (26-28-15) 4-2 in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,128 at CenturyLink Arena.
With the score tied 2-2, the Steelheads netted their second power play goal of the night when Ully cashed in the rebound of a Will Merchant shot for his second of the game at 13:44 of the third period. Merchant wheeled above the right circle and fired the puck back on goaltender Brandon Wildung, who made the save through a Jefferson Dahl screen. While the Grizzlies converged on Dahl, Ully found the loose puck at the far post to jam in his 16th of the season.The Steelheads’ seven-game winning streak is their longest in the regular season since they won nine in a row during the 2014-15 season, a streak that ended on March 6th of that year. The Steelheads also closed out the regular season at CenturyLink Arena by winning their final seven home games, their longest home winning streak since they closed out the 2007-08 season with seven straight home wins.
The Grizzlies had a 2-1 lead midway through the second period when Ully netted his first of the game to tie the score. Jefferson Dahl’s shot from the left point was deflected and came up into the face of Utah defenseman James Melindy. The puck came to rest in the right wing circle and Ully got there first to spin a shot along the ice and through Wildung’s legs at 14:58 of the second period.
Ully has goals in four straight games for Idaho, netting six goals in that span.
The Steelheads opened the scoring on the power play at 1:53 of the first period when Merchant fed a pass down low deflected under the crossbar by Max French for his ninth of the year and a 1-0 lead. It was French’s first game back in the lineup since February 27th after being reassigned by AHL Texas. Dating back to February 19th, French has goals in five straight ECHL games and seven goals during that streak.
Travis Howe netted both goals for Utah, his fourth and fifth goals of the season. Howe tapped a centering feed past Tomas Sholl at 8:40 of the first period to tie the game 1-1. He gave Utah their only lead at 10:26 of the second when he used one hand on his stick to steer a rebound around an outstretched Sholl to make it 2-1.
Justin Parizek capped the scoring with his third goal in four games and 26th of the season, taking a Merchant feed and hitting the empty net with three seconds left in regulation. Merchant finished the night with three assists.
Tomas Sholl stopped 27 shots for his eighth consecutive victory to improve his personal record to 13-0-2 this season.
The Grizzlies have officially been eliminated from playoff contention. They last missed the post-season in 2006-07.
The Steelheads finished the season with 18 sell-out crowds, selling out eleven of their last 15 home dates. The 18 sell-outs doubled last year’s total and were Idaho’s most in a season since the 1999-00 season.
The Steelheads finish the regular season on a three-game road trip, starting on Wednesday night against the Tulsa Oilers at BOK Center. Puck-drop is scheduled for 6:05pm MT. The game is available on 1350AM KTIK and on ECHLTV.
Goals: French (9), Ully (15,16), Parizek (26)
Tomas Sholl: 27 saves on 29 shots
Power Play: 2-for-5
Penalty Kill: 3-for-3
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Cole Ully IDH
- Max French IDH
- Will Merchant IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Cole Ully: 2 goals, 6 shots