Photo Courtesy: Idaho Steelheads
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
(Ontario, CA) - Kyle Kraemer poked a puck past Jase Weslosky during a scramble halfway through overtime, lifting the Ontario Reign to a 4-3 victory over the Idaho Steelheads at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario.
Kraemer's second goal of the night made a winner of Reign goaltender Mike Zacharias, who stopped 34 of 37 Idaho shots.
Kraemer also scored the game's first goal, a power-play marker, at 15:50 of the first period to give the Reign the lead after one period. Ontario stretched it to 2-0 midway through the second on Justin Taylor's fifth goal of the season, three of which came earlier this season as a member of the Steelheads.
That lead held until the final minute of the second period when the Steelheads struck twice in a nine-second span. First, Cody Purves knocked home a loose puck from right out in front of the Ontario net to cut the Reign lead to 2-1. Then, just seconds later off the ensuing face-off, rookie defenseman John Kearns shot a puck toward the Ontario net. Mark Derlago stopped the puck just inches short of Zacharias' glove, pulled it back to the near post, and pushed it past the Ontario netminder to tie the game at two. The goal was Derlago's 26th of the season with the assist to Kearns, his first professional point in his first professional game.
The Steelheads (24-18-4-8) took the lead at 1:52 of the third period when Junior Lessard deflected a Matt Case shot between the legs of Zacharias, giving the Steelheads a 3-2 lead. Marty Flichel also picked up an assist, his sixth consecutive game with an assist.
That lead held up until 15:10 of the third. On the power play, Ontario's Jordan Morrison gathered a rebound to the left of the Idaho net and buried it to knot the game at three and force overtime.
The Reign only needed half of the five-minute overtime session to decide the outcome. With a delayed penalty coming up against the Steelheads, Ontario kept the puck in the Idaho zone and got the puck into the crease to the right of Weslosky. Before Weslosky could cover the puck or any defenders could clear it out of harm's way, Kraemer was able to jab it over the line for the game-winning goal.
Evan Barlow did not register a goal or an assist, snapping his consecutive-game streak with at least one point at ten contests.
Weslosky, who stopped 22 of 26 shots, falls to 7-6-1-1 on the season in net for Idaho.
Idaho and Ontario do battle again Friday and Saturday night at the Citizens Business Bank Arena. The games can be heard live at 8 PM in the Boise area on KTIK (1350-AM).
ROSTER NOTE: After the game, head coach and director of hockey operations Hardy Sauter announced that forward Kael Mouillierat has been returned to the Steelheads by the AHL's Texas Stars. Mouillierat had two assists in six games while on-loan to Idaho's AHL affiliate. He is expected to be in uniform when Idaho plays Friday night.
Idaho returns to Qwest Arena on Wednesday, March 2, to face the Western Conference-leading Las Vegas Wranglers. It's part of a three-game homestand with games Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday against the Wranglers. Tickets are available at www.idahosteelheads.com or by calling 208.331.TIXS.
COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Mark Derlago
AQUAFINA THREE STARS
1) Kyle Kraemer (ONT)
2) Jordan Morrison (ONT)
3) Junior Lessard (ID)