Boise, ID (11/7/12) – Kael Mouillierat netted a hat trick and the Idaho Steelheads came up with a pair of short-handed goals Wednesday night in a 6-3 win over the Bakersfield Condors.
With the win, Idaho (7-2-1) is now unbeaten in regulation in its past eight games.
The Steelheads got on the board first with an unassisted, short-handed goal from Mouillierat. He forced a turnover in neutral ice and won a race with Olivier Dame-Malka to the loose puck. Scott Greenham denied Mouillierat's first shot but, as Mouillierat slid across the crease, the rebound bounced off of him and into the net for his first tally of the night at 16:03 of the 1st.
Tyler Brenner scored on the power play for Bakersfield at 6:05 of the second to tie things up, but Idaho took the lead back at 13:53 on a brilliant two-man rush from Austin Smith and Jacob Cepis. Smith spun free from two Condor defenders as he carried the puck into the offensive zone. He skated to the edge of the right hand circle and, as Greenham committed, deftly slid a perfect pass to Cepis for his second goal of the season. Brenner would tie the game back up less than two minutes later but then, with Bakersfield on the power play, Jeremie Blain and Justin Dowling would swing momentum for good. Blain back-handed a puck to the left-hand wall of his own zone where Dowling chipped it out to the neutral zone. Dowling stepped around a Condor defenseman, carried the puck into the left-hand circle, and wristed home his fifth goal of the season at 18:03 of the 2nd period, giving Idaho a 3-2 lead.
With two short-handed goals, Idaho now leads the ECHL with five short-handed tallies on the season.
A Mouillierat power-play goal at 2:24 of the third seemed to put Idaho in full control, but Alex Hudson turned an Idaho defensive-zone turnover into a goal to make it 4-3 with over 12 minutes left in regulation. Idaho would seal the victory less than a minute later off an offensive-zone draw when Dowling pushed the faceoff win forward from the left-hand circle to Mouillierat, who lifted a quick back-hand over Greenham to finish the hat trick and give Idaho a 5-3 lead at the 8:34 mark of the final period. Sam Carrick would add an insurance goal, his second of the season, at 17:28 of the third period to finish the scoring.
Josh Robinson got the win in net for Idaho, stopping 29 of 32 Condor shots. Greenham stopped 38 of 44 shots in the loss for Bakersfield. Idaho's league-leading power play struggled, converting on just one of seven opportunities. Bakersfield's power-play unit went 1-for-8 and also gave up the two short-handed scores for the Steelheads.
Mouillierat and Dowling now each have eight-game point streaks, tied for the longest point streaks in the ECHL this season.
The Steelheads and Condors continue their three-game set on Friday at CenturyLink Arena with the puck dropping at 7:10 PM. Tickets are available by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office at 208.331.8497 or by going online at www.idahosteelheads.com
COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Kael Mouillierat
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Kael Mouillierat (ID)
2) Justin Dowling (ID)
3) Tyler Brenner (BAK)
Group outings at a Steelheads game are a great way to gather friends, colleagues, or co-workers for a fun night out in downtown Boise. Ticket prices are discounted and you can get a Pepsi, Double-R Ranch Hot Dog, and bag of Tim’s Cascade Chips with each ticket. Contact the Steelheads front office at 208.383.0080 or log on to www.idahosteelheads.com for more information.