Boise, ID (2/22/13) - Rookie Brad Ross and veteran Ben Ondrus combined for two goals and three assists Friday night - including teaming up on Ross's first-period breakaway goal - in front of 4,852 fans as the Idaho Steelheads blanked the San Francisco Bulls, 4-0, at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.
Idaho improved its overall record to 35-15-5 (75 points) with the victory, including 19-4-2 on home ice as goaltender Josh Robinson stopped all 26 shots he faced to earn his second professional shutout.
After a slow start in the first period for the Steelheads, the home team got on the board at 14:36 of the first period when Ross, making his Steelheads debut, brought the puck into the zone on a breakaway. As San Francisco's Rob Kwiet tried desperately to catch him, Ross pulled the puck to his backhand and lifted it over Bulls goaltender Thomas Heemskerk for his first ECHL goal to give Idaho a one-goal lead. The goal was assisted by Ondrus, who fed the puck through neutral ice to Ross for the breakaway.
The Steelheads would grow the lead late in the first on the power play when Patrick Cullity's sharp-angle shot from the left circle beat Heemskerk over the glove to the far post, his third, at 19:24 to make it 2-0 Idaho after one period.
Idaho played add-on in the second. First, on the power play, Ross and Tyler Gron teamed up to get the puck to Ondrus at the right edge of the crease at 5:50 and Ondrus snapped home his fifth goal of the season to give Idaho a 3-0 lead. Two minutes later, Idaho would tally again as Ondrus delivered a pass from behind the net to Gron at the top of the crease. Gron was able to pull the puck free to his backhand to tuck home his 11th of the season at 7:48 to give Idaho a 4-0 lead. Idaho out-shot San Francisco 21-5 in the second period to take control of the contest.
San Francisco mounted some pressure in the third, but Robinson came up with 14 saves over the final 20 minutes to secure his second shutout of the season - both coming in his last five starts - and picked up his 20th win of the season.
Idaho was 2-4 on the power play while successfully killing off all three San Francisco man advantages.
Ondrus (goal, two assists), Ross (goal, assist) and Gron (goal, assist) each had multi-point nights for Idaho.
The Steelheads and Bulls meet again Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena on Idaho Steelheads Drawstring Bag 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 - Ben Ondrus
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Ben Ondrus (ID)
2) Josh Robinson (ID)
3) Brad Ross (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.