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Steelheads Clinch Playoff Berth, Win Fourth Straight Behind McCutcheon's Hat Trick

Thursday, March 11th
Steelheads Clinch Playoff Berth, Win Fourth Straight Behind McCutcheon's Hat Trick

The Idaho Steelheads (41-13-5) became the first team in the ECHL to clinch a berth in the upcoming Kelly Cup Playoffs with a 7-1 win over the Victoria Salmon Kings (31-25-6) in Victoria tonight. The win was the fourth straight for Idaho, who possesses the top record in the ECHL. Mark McCutcheon registered a hat trick in Idaho?s win, marking the second straight game a Steelhead has notched three goals. Mark McCutcheon scored the only goal in the first period to give Idaho an 1-0 lead after one period. McCutcheon, with Idaho shorthanded, scooted up the right wing side, faked a shot, and deked Victoria goalie Matt Keetley, allowing him to slide the puck along the ice and into the net. Tyler Spurgeon and Dustin Friesen assisted on the goal, McCutcheon?s ninth of the season, at 2:02 of the opening period. At 3:54 of the second period, Evan Barlow matched his former Cornell teammate McCutcheon, and scored a goal of his own; his 28th of the season. Barlow took a puck behind the Salmon Kings net, cut to the right post, and stuffed the puck between Keetley?s pad and the post for the goal. Assisting on the goal were Matt McKnight and Kevin DeVergilio. Victoria cut Idaho?s lead in half when Tim Wedderburn followed a Wes Goldie shot on the Idhao net, and muscled the puck over the goal line to cut Idaho?s lead to 2-1 at 14:37. The Steelheads regained a two-goal lead when Spurgeon took a pass from Mark Derlago, carried to a sharp angle, and with Keetley lying on the ice and his glove outstretched, Spurgeon sent the puck into the goal. Steve Oleksy started the play with a long outlet pass, also earning him an assist on Spurgoen?s 22nd goal of the season. Early in the third period, Spurgeon was back at it, scoring his 23rd of the season at 0:22. He picked up a rebound, and sent the puck top-shelf over Keetley with helpers from McCutcheon and Guillaume Monast, who would finish the contest with a game-high rating of +5. At 9:52, McCutcheon scored his 10th of the season and second shorthanded goal of the game, unassisted, when he carried from behind the net and slid the puck between the right post and Keetley to give Idaho a 5-1 lead. The onslaught continued at 17:07 of the third period when Matt McKnight gathered a rebound near the bottom of the left circle and fired home his 10th of the season, beating a sprawling Keetley to give Idaho a 6-1 lead. John Swanson and DeVergilio assisted on the goal. McCutcheon was not done, however, as he would add one last goal to complete the hat trick with his 11th of the season. He deflected home a Derlago pass from the right circle to put Idaho on top 7-1. Marty Flichel also assisted on the goal. Richard Bachman stopped 22 of 23 Victoria shots to improve to 18-5-3 on the season. Keetley stopped 28 of 35, and is now 2-3-0 in the net for the Salmon Kings. The three-game set in Victoria concludes Saturday night in Victoria, with the puck slated to drop at 8:05 PM MST. The Steelheads return home for games on back-to-back nights against the Utah Grizzlies on March 16th and 17th. The puck will drop in both games at 7:10 PM.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Utah Grizzlies
Idaho Steelheads
Wednesday, February 28th
Utah Grizzlies @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MST
Idaho Central Arena
Utah Grizzlies
UTA Utah Grizzlies
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Utah Grizzlies
Idaho Steelheads
Friday, March 1st
Utah Grizzlies @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MST
Idaho Central Arena
Utah Grizzlies
UTA Utah Grizzlies
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Utah Grizzlies
Idaho Steelheads
Saturday, March 2nd
Utah Grizzlies @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MST
Idaho Central Arena
Utah Grizzlies
UTA Utah Grizzlies
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena

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