Boise, ID (3/1/13) - Josh Robinson turned aside all 36 shots he faced and was backed by four-point nights from Austin Smith and Rylan Galiardi as the Idaho Steelheads defeated the Utah Grizzlies, 6-0, on Friday night at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.
Idaho (36-15-7, 79 points) has now picked up points in the standings in each of its last six games, going 4-0-2 in that stretch.
The Steelheads came out of the gates firing, netting the first goal just 1:37 into play. Austin Smith's long shot from the top of the right-hand circle was saved by Utah's Adam Morrison, but he left the rebound out for Rylan Galiardi to snap home from the bottom of the left circle to give Idaho the early 1-0 lead. The goal was Galiardi's first as a Steelhead and 13th of the season overall after being acquired from San Francisco last week.
The score remained tied at one until the latter stages of the first period when Idaho came up with a pair of big goals. First, on the power play, Brett Robinson took advantage of a fortunate bounce off a skate to knock home his fifth goal of the season at 14:49 to make it 2-0. Then, two minutes later, the Steelheads would score a big goal with Utah on the power play. With Utah looking to cut into Idaho's lead, Galiardi and Smith created a short-handed, two-on-one rush which Smith finished with a rip from the left circle over Morrison's blocker at 16:53 to give Idaho a 3-0 lead after one period.
Idaho would add two more midway through the second period to remove all doubt. At 12:17, Galiardi delivered a nifty back-hand pass from the edge of the trapezoid to David Toews and Toews quickly poked home his 10th goal of the season - eighth with Idaho after being acquired in January - to stretch the lead to 4-0. The fifth goal would come from Smith at even-strength at 15:26. Smith brought the puck behind the net from left to right and was tripped up, knocking him to the ice. From the ice, Smith swiped the puck toward the front of the net, bouncing it off the skate of Utah's Kory Falite and through Morrison's legs to make it 5-0. The goal was Smith's team-leading 21st of the season.
The third period belonged to Robinson as he made 11 saves to preserve his third shutout in his past eight starts. Idaho added a final goal as David deKastrozza scored short-handed at the 10:25 mark of the third to finish the scoring at 6-0. deKastrozza's goal, coupled with Smith's earlier short-handed goal, marked the third time this season Idaho has scored two short-handed goals in the same game.
Smith (two goals, two assists), Galiardi (one goal, three assists), Toews (goal, assist) and Jeremie Blain (two assists) each registered multii-point nights for Idaho. Idaho's power play was 2-6 while the penalty kill was a perfect 5-for-5 to blank Utah's power-play unit.
Robinson improved to 21-6-4 in net with the 34-save shutout. Morrison took the loss, allowing six goals on 35 shots.
Idaho's nine-game homestand continues Saturday night against Utah Grizzlies as the Idaho Statesman presents the first of two "Kids Eat Free" nights. Kids 12 and under will receive a voucher as they enter the arena redeemable for a hot dog, Pepsi, and bag of chips, courtesy of the Idaho Statesman. 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 - Rylan Galiardi
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Austin Smith (ID)
2) Rylan Galiardi (ID)
3) Josh Robinson (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.