The Idaho Steelheads (30-11-3) lost in a shootout to the Las Vegas Wranglers (19-22-4) by a 5-4 score in a game that Idaho led 4-0 entering the third period of play. Tyler Spurgeon had a natural hat trick in the second period to go along with an assist, and Mark Derlago registered three assists in the losing effort. Each team had power play time in the opening period, but it was the Steelheads who capitalized on a man-advantage for the first period?s only goal. After Marty Flichel used his body to keep the puck in the zone, Tyler Spurgeon fed Mark McCutcheon in front of the net, and McCutcheon punched the puck over Las Vegas? Michael Ouzas to give Idaho a 1-0 lead at 14:40. The Steelheads tacked on two more power play goals in the second period, and each came courtesy of Spurgeon. The first came at 12:31, assisted by Flichel and Mark McCutcheon. The second, coming at 13:51, was assisted by McCutcheon and Mark Derlago, who extended his point streak to ten games tonight. Spurgeon completed the natural hat trick at 19:14 of the period when he fired home the rebound of a Weston Tardy point shot; Derlago also assisted on the tally. The Wranglers showed life when they scored less than 30 seconds into the third period; Andrew Orpik finally solved Idaho?s Richard Bachman. Just under 10 minutes later, the Wranglers? lone all-star, Adam Miller, darted in toward the net, was pulled to the ice, and still managed to fire a shot along the ice to beat Bachman and pull Las Vegas to within two goals. At 13:44, Ned Lukacevic made it a 4-3 game just under five minutes before the Steelheads would commit two minor penalties and give Las Vegas over a minute-and-a-half of five-on-three power play time. During the power play, Orpik would net his second of the evening to tie the game, and send it beyond regulation time. Overtime did not do the trick, but in the shootout the Wranglers outscored Idaho 3-1 do earn the all-important second point, and the victory, completing the comeback. Richard Bachman is 13-5-2 after the loss; he stopped 27 of 31 shots. Michael Ouzas of the Wranglers was the winning netminder; he is 16-17-3 after stopping 30 of 34. The Steelheads and Wranglers are back in action tomorrow night in Las Vegas. The puck drops at 8:05 PM MST. Idaho returns home to play Utah at Qwest Arena on February 10th.
Derlago Extends Point Streak to Ten Games; Steelheads Fall in Vegas
Wednesday, February 3rd
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