(Ontario, CA) - Mark Derlago scored three times and Junior Lessard added two more as the Idaho Steelheads defeated the Ontario Reign Wednesday night, 6-3, in front of 6,116 fans at the Citizens Business Bank in Ontario. With Wednesday's hat trick, Derlago now has nine goals in his last four games and an ECHL-best 36 on the season. After CJ Stretch gave Ontario an early 1-0 lead, Idaho struck with a vengeance late in the first period. Derlago buried a power-play tally at 17:36 of the first with an assist to defenseman Weston Tardy. Just 29 seconds later, Lessard and Kael Mouillierat executed a pretty give-and-go, with Lessard winding up with an easy tap-in goal to give Idaho a 2-1 lead. The Steelheads would add another goal before the third period when Derlago - again on the power play - beat Ontario goaltender Mike Zacharias to make it 3-1. Tardy and Lessard added assists on Derlago's second of the night. Each team scored once in the second. Alex Bourret drew Ontario to within a goal at 9:06 of the second but Idaho quickly re-established the two-goal lead when Mouillierat redirected Tardy's shot from the blue line past Zacharias to make it 4-2 after two periods of play. Again, Ontario would put the pressure on in the third period. Aaron Lewadniuk's 14th of the season got Ontario to within one with over 17 minutes left in the game but, despite constant pressure on rookie goaltender Kris Westblom, the Reign could not get the equalizer. Derlago drove a dagger into the Reign comeback hopes with a top-shelf goal at 16:59 of the third and Lessard padded the lead with a short-handed, empty-net goal with 51 seconds left to play to round out the scoring. Westblom, the rookie out of Acadia University in Nova Scotia, stopped 34 of 37 Ontario shots to get his first professional win. He's now the fifth goaltender to win a game for Idaho this season, joining Tyler Beskorowany, Mike Zacharias (who got the loss for Ontario), Jase Weslosky, and Adrien Lemay. Idaho's power play was on the mark Wednesday, converting three of four chances into goals for the Steelheads. Ontario's power play came up empty, going 0-for-4. Idaho heads back to Bakersfield Friday and Saturday to take on the Condors. Both games begins at 8 PM (Mtn) with the pre-game show starting at 7:50 on KTIK (1350 AM). The Steelheads return home on Wednesday, March 23, to begin "Pink in the Rink" Week against the Ontario Reign. The Steelheads will wear specially-themed pink jerseys that will be auctioned off to raise money to fund the battle against breast cancer. The two teams play Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Tickets are available at www.idahosteelheads.com or by calling 208.331.TIXS. COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Mark Derlago AQUAFINA THREE STARS 1) Mark Derlago (ID) 2) Junior Lessard (ID) 3) Aaron Lewadniuk (ONT)
Derlago, Lessard key 6-3 win over Reign
Tuesday, March 8th
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