Boise, ID (3/22/13) - Derek Couture scored twice and added an assist while Mike Condon picked up his first professional shutout in net as the Ontario Reign knocked off the Idaho Steelheads, 5-0, Saturday night.
The loss spoiled the home finale for the Steelheads (43-19-7, 93 points) in front of a sellout crowd of 5,335. the team's sixth sellout of the season.
After a scoreless first half of the first period, Ontario would strike twice in four minutes to take the lead. First, at 13:17, Brady Calla notched his 12th of the season from the left circle. Then, at 17:27, Couture scored on the power play to give the Reign a 2-0 lead after one. The only excitement for the home fans was a fight between Idaho's Mike Towns and Ontario's Matt Register, with Towns collecting the knockdown with a pair of nice right hands.
Ontario would score twice more in the first half of the second period to take control. Couture and Cameron Burt executed a perfect two-on-one rush, ending in Couture's second goal of the night (24th of the season) at 1:54 of the second made it 3-0. Then, at 9:05, Kyle Kraemer scored from the left side to up the lead to 4-0.
Idaho had a power play to open the third but could not capitalize. Less than 30 seconds after the Steelheads came up empty, Ontario completed the scoring when Couture fed Kevin Estrada at the edge of the slot for his sixth goal of the season at 2:23 of the third to make it 5-0.
Emotions boiled over midway through the third period as a brawl nearly erupted following a dangerous hit from Calla on Scott Todd. Calla hit Todd from behind, sending Todd head-first into the end boards, at 9:34 of the third. Every Steelhead player on the ice took issue with the hit, leading to the near-brawl, before order could be restored by the game officials. Calla was issued a two-minute minor penalty for the hit that instigated the situation.
Condon picked up his first professional shutout by turning aside all 24 Idaho shots in the win. Josh Robinson took the loss for Idaho, stopping 30 of 35 shots. Idaho was 0-5 on the power play and Ontario was 1-7.
NOTE: Prior to the game, the Steelheads signed rookie forward Rob Linsmayer out of Holy Cross College. Linsmayer made his professional debut, wearing jersey no. 55. He led his team in assists (20) and was second in points (27) in the recently-completed Holy Cross season.
Idaho concludes the regular season with three road games next week, Wednesday and Friday at San Francisco and a Saturday matchup in Stockton.
The ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs, presented by KeyBank, return to CenturyLink Arena on Wednesday and Thursday, April 3 and 4, to open a best-of-seven, first-round matchup against a yet-to-be-determined opponent. 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 - Mike Towns
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Derek Couture (ONT)
2) Mike Condon (ONT)
3) Everett Sheen (ONT)
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.