Boise, ID (3/9/13) - Louie Domingue stopped all 40 shots he faced, dodging near-miss after near-miss, as the Gwinnett Gladiators shut out the Idaho Steelheads, 2-0, at CenturyLink Arena in Boise on Saturday night.
The Steelheads (39-17-7, 85 points) were shut out at home for the first time all season.
Idaho out-shot the visitors from Georgia in all three periods, including a dominant, 16-3 edge in shots during the second period, but Domingue came up big time and time again. He denied Ian Watters at close range in the second, got a piece of a Chase Schaber shot in the third, and got a lot of help from his defensemen and back-checking forwards, clearing pucks out of high-percentage scoring areas all night to stymie the Steelheads offense. Idaho came into the game leading the ECHL in goals (238) and goals per game (3.8).
Fortunately, Idaho goaltender Tyler Beskorowany was just as strong through two periods even though he faced much less traffic. Gwinnett's Joey Haddad had a short-handed breakaway in the second frame, but Beskorowany got a piece of Haddad's shot, steering it wide of the net to help keep the game scoreless through 40 minutes.
Gwinnett got an early power play in the third period and took advantage right away. Off the first man-advantage draw in the offensive zone, Haddad tapped the puck back to Casey Pierro-Zabotel. Pierro-Zabotel snapped a quick pass across the blue line to the left point where Sasha Guimond ripped a shot just past Beskorowany at the 3:18 mark of the third, just five seconds into the power play, to give the Gladiators a 1-0 lead.
Over the next seven minutes, Idaho would come up with several scoring opportunities but could never get a clean stick blade on a puck. Brett Robinson was whistled for interference at 8:51 of the third and, on the ensuing penalty kill, Jeremie Blain was called for a high stick at 9:41 to give the Gladiators a two-man advantage for over a minute. Ben Ondrus, Ken Trentowski and Patrick Cullity managed to help Beskorowany kill off the two-man advantage but, once play moved to 5-on-4, Evan Bloodoff scored from the left circle at 11:11 of the third to make it 2-0.
The Steelheads would continue to push, but Domingue and the Gladiators stood tall to secure the win. Idaho and Gwinnett split their season series, 2-2, and the goals in the four games would up dead-even at thirteen goals apiece.
Beskorowany took the loss, stopping 18 of 20 shots as Idaho out-shot Gwinnett, 40-20. The Gladiators were 2-5 on the power play and Idaho was 0-4.
The Steelheads hit the road next week for their one trip of the regular season to Alaska, facing the Aces March 13, 15 and 16 in Anchorage.
Idaho returns home for its final homestand of the regular season, hosting the Ontario Reign on March 20, 22 and 23. 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 - Ian Watters
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Louie Domingue (GWN)
2) Sasha Guimond (GWN)
3) Evan Bloodoff (GWN)
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.