Boise, ID (1/18/13) - Tyler Gron netted two goals in his debut and four other teammates registered multi-point nights on Friday as the Idaho Steelheads upended the Alaska Aces, 6-2, in front of a sellout crowd of 5,010 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.
The Steelheads improved to 24-9-5 overall and an ECHL-best 15-2-2 on home ice.
After a sluggish start, the two teams would combine for three goals in less than 90 seconds in the latter stages of the first period to jump-start the festivities. At 12:01 of the first, Idaho's Sam Carrick took a puck near the left-hand corner and threaded a perfect pass across the low slot to newcomer Tyler Gron at the edge of the crease and Gron quickly knocked home his first ECHL goal past Gerald Coleman to give Idaho a 1-0 lead. Less than a minute later, Idaho extended the lead when Brett Robinson played a loose puck out of the air onto his stick blade near the hashmarks and rifled a quick one-timer from the slot past Coleman at 12:51 to make it 2-0 Steelheads.
The Aces cut into the Idaho lead at 13:18 when Sean Curry walked down the slot and zipped a quick shot past Josh Robinson, but Idaho still led, 2-1, after 20 minutes.
The Steelheads would take control right away in the second period. Just thirty seconds into the period, a Matt Case power-play shot from the blue line was tipped past Coleman by Austin Fyten, his tenth of the season, to extend Idaho's lead to 3-1. Fyten would tally again two minutes later, at 2:41, when he stuffed home the rebound of a James Isaacs shot to make it 4-1. Once again Alaska would creep closer at 4:10 on an Alexander Imbeault goal but Idaho would get a big insurance goal at 7:07 on a David deKastrozza point shot through traffic, making use of a great screen from Ben Ondrus, to make it 5-2. deKastrozza's 11th of the season chased Coleman and brought Mark Guggenberger into the game for Alaska.
Alaska brought energy in the third period, out-shooting Idaho 16-4 in the final frame but Josh Robinson stood tall for Idaho, denying all 16 shots. The Steelheads would add their final goal of the game when Gron knocked a puck out of the air near the crease past Guggenberger for his second of the night at 12:36 of the third to conclude the scoring.
Fyten (two goals, one assist), Gron (two goals), Robinson (goal, assist), Case (two assists) and Adrian Foster (two assists) all chipped in with multi-point efforts in the win for Idaho. Robinson picked up his 14th win in net with a solid outing, turning aside 34 of 36 Aces shots. Idaho's power play snapped out of a funk, too, converting two of five chances while holding Alaska at bay on each of the Aces' four opportunities with the man-advantage.
The same two teams play again Saturday night in downtown Boise on Mini-Stick Giveaway Night. 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 - Austin Fyten
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) David deKastrozza (ID)
2) Austin Fyten (ID)
3) Tyler Gron (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.