Boise, ID (2/23/13) - Taylor Nelson stopped 40 shots during live action and all three shooters during the game-ending shootout Saturday night as the San Francisco Bulls squeezed past the Idaho Steelheads, 4-3, at CenturyLink Arena.
The game was played in front of a crowd of 5,335, the largest home crowd of the season for the Steelheads. It was the team's fifth sellout of the season. Idaho (35-15-6) saw its brief winning streak snapped at three but, by taking the game to a shootout, still gained one point in the standings (76 points).
Idaho peppered the San Francisco net over the first 19 minutes but could not solve Nelson until Mike Towns finished a David Toews pass with a quick backhand at 19:19 of the first period, Towns first ECHL goal, to give Idaho a 1-0 lead after the opening frame. San Francisco would answer early in the second on Simon Danis-Pepin's second goal of the season at the 3:21 mark to tie the score.
Idaho took the lead back at 9:32 of the second as a power-play expired when Brett Robinson's pass from behind the net was stuffed home by Tyler Gron, his 12th, to give Idaho a 2-1 lead. The Bulls answered again, this time on the power play, at 16:12 of the second when Bryan Cameron's shot from the left circle found the net to even the score a two. Idaho's Josh Robinson made two big short-handed saves, including a breakaway attempt from Jordan Morrison, during the middle frame to keep the game tied going into the third.
Former Steelhead Tristan King gave San Francisco its first lead of the night at 10:59 of the third with a shot from the left circle, his 19th of the season and first with the Bulls, to make it 3-2. The Bulls seemed primed to hold on for the win in regulation before Gron evened the score inside the final two minutes. He carried the puck in the right-hand wing, quickly pulled the puck through Danis-Pepin's legs toward the slot to spring free, and then back-handed a shot past Nelson at 18:06 of the third to tie the score at three and force overtime. Gron now has 13 goals in 19 games since joining the Steelheads.
Both teams generated chances in overtime but neither scored, taking the game to a shootout. All three San Francisco shooters scored while Gron, Sam Carrick, and Brett Robinson were each denied by Nelson to secure the victory.
Robinson took the shootout loss after stopping 34 of 37 during live action, dropping his personal record to 20-6-3. Idaho's power play went 0 for 5 on the evening. The game took two hours and 49 minutes to complete.
Idaho's nine-game homestand continues next week when the team entertains the Utah Grizzlies on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in Boise. 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 - Tyler Gron
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Tyler Gron (ID)
2) Tristan King (SF)
3) Mike Towns (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.