Boise, ID (1/5/13) - Three goals in a span of 1:26 in the first period opened the flood gates Saturday night as the Idaho Steelheads rolled past the Bakersfield Condors, 8-3, at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.
With the win, Idaho has gained points in each of its last six games, improving to 22-7-5 overall and an impressive 14-2-2 on home ice.
Over the game's first fifteen minutes, the two teams traded punches but neither was able to find the back of the net. Each team hit a post and each team saw its goaltender - Idaho's Tyler Beskorowany and Bakersfield's Brian Stewart - come up with key saves to keep the game scoreless.
But then, at the 15:57 mark of the first period, everything changed. Stewart denied an initial shot attempt from Idaho's Justin Dowling but Tristan King was right there at the right edge of the crease to knock home the rebound for his 12th goal of the season to give Idaho a 1-0 lead. Then, just 11 seconds later, Idaho struck again when Dowling carried the puck from the left wing across the slot before beating Stewart with a quick forehand snap at 16:08 to make it 2-0. Then, just over a minute later, David Toews netted his first goal as a Steelhead, finishing a brilliant centering pass from Austin Smith at the left post to make it 3-0 at 17:23 of the first period.
The roll continued in the second period as Mathieu Tousignant netted his fourth of the year - part of a four-point night - at 8:12. Four minutes later, Sam Carrick added his ninth before David deKastrozza buried his eighth at 15:26 of the second for a 6-0 Steelhead lead. Team captain Ben Ondrus scored his second goal of the season at the 2:17 mark of the third before Bakersfield spoiled Beskorowany's shutout bid on a Liam Huculak goal. Austin Smith then tallied his team-leading 19th goal of the season for Idaho at the 8:00 mark of the third to put Idaho on top, 8-1, giving the team its highest single-game output since putting eight on the board in a win over Utah on January 22, 2011.
Bakersfield would pick up two late goals in the final four minutes, but the outcome had long since been decided.
Six Steelheads players - Tousignant (1 goal, 3 assists), Smith (1 goal, 2 assists), Toews (goal, assist), Dowling (goal, assist), Carrick (goal, assist) and King (goal, assist) - registered multi-point nights for Idaho. Tousignant and defenseman Jace Coyle also finished the game plus-4 in the plus/minus column.
Beskorowany got the win in net with 34 saves on 37 shots. Stewart took the loss, allowing all eight Idaho goals on 32 shots before being removed from the game midway through the third period.
Bakersfield was 1-4 on the power play while Idaho was 0-3.
NOTE: Toews was claimed off waivers from Bakersfield on Friday and arrived in Boise in time to play Saturday night. He appeared in 26 games with the Condors, scoring two goals. He is the younger brother of NHL star Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The same two teams will mix it up again Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena. 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 - David Toews
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Mathieu Tousignant (ID)
2) Sam Carrick (ID)
3) David Toews (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.