Boise, ID (11/24/12) – A loose puck caromed off the stick of Judd Blackwater and somehow snuck behind Tyler Beskorowany with 3:16 to play in the game Saturday night as the Las Vegas Wranglers defeated the Idaho Steelheads, 3-2.
The goal took the luster off of a third-period rally which saw the Steelheads (11-5-2) overcome a two-goal deficit to tie the game at two.
Beskorowany and Las Vegas's Mitch O'Keefe traded saves for nearly 30 minutes in front of 3,401 fans in Boise before a quick rush resulted in a snap-shot goal from Las Vegas forward Chris Francis from the hash marks at 7:51 of the second period. The Wranglers would add to the lead early in the third period on a pretty top-shelf goal from Adam Hughesman. As he battled with an Idaho defender, Hughesman somehow flipped the puck from the top of the crease over Beskorowany's shoulder at 5:09 of the third to give Las Vegas a 2-0 lead.
That's when Idaho began its comeback. On the power play at the midway point of the third, O'Keefe turned aside a low-angle shot from Justin Dowling. The rebound rolled just beyond the crease and onto the stick blade of Kael Mouillierat, who quickly popped home his team-leading 11th goal of the season at the 11-minute mark to cut the Wrangler lead to one. Then, less than four minutes later, Austin Smith smoothly skated around two Wranglers into the left-hand circle. His wrister was denied by O'Keefe but, again, Idaho was in the right place for the rebound. This time, it was Jacob Cepis at 14:45 with his sixth of the season from the left edge of the crease to even the score at 2-2.
Almost exactly two minutes later, Las Vegas netted the contested game-winner. A Wrangler player skated the puck along the goal line on the right-hand side and fluttered it toward the outside of the net as another person made contact with the net. The contact with the net caused the back end of the net to flair up, though the front of the net never became dislodged. The rolling puck bounced off the stick of Blackwater at 16:44 of the third and wound up in the back of the net as it dropped back into place. Idaho players on the ice protested, contending the puck rolled under the net as it was popped up, never crossing the goal line, but referee Ryan Murphy ruled it a good goal, putting the Wranglers ahead for keeps, 3-2.
Beskorowany takes the loss after turning aside 21 of 24 shots. O'Keefe picked up the victory after stopping 33 of 35 Idaho shots. Idaho was 1-5 on the power play while Las Vegas was 0-2.
Idaho returns home next week to host the Colorado Eagles at CenturyLink Arena on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Friday and Saturday are the popular "Pink in the Rink" promotion as the team will wear special pink jerseys to be auctioned off to raise money for St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute. Saturday will also double as "Teddy Bear Toss Night," as fans have the opportunity to throw toys on the ice 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) Judd Blackwater (LV)
2) Mitch O'Keefe (LV)
3) Jacob Cepis (ID)
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.