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Klassen gets hat trick in 5-4 win over Thunder

Friday, December 16th
Klassen gets hat trick in 5-4 win over Thunder

(Stockton, CA) ? One night after Marc Rancourt had his first professional hat trick, Chad Klassen did the same thing, scoring three times Saturday night as the Idaho Steelheads defeated the Stockton Thunder, 5-4, in a back-and-forth affair. Like Rancourt the night before, Klassen also had an assist to finish the night with four points in front of 5,152 fans in Stockton. Neither team scored in the first frame before a wild second period that saw the teams combine for six tallies. Idaho got the first two, the first coming off the stick of defenseman Adam Maccarone, a rip from the top of the left-hand circle that snuck through Thomas Heemskirk. Maccarone's first ECHL goal put the Steelheads up, 1-0, assisted by Klassen at the 3:51 mark. Two minutes later, Klassen took care of business himself for his first of the night, assisted by Kory Scoran and Ian Lowe, to make it a two-lead. Stockton would rally to tie quickly with Matt Foy and Ryan Martindale notching scores less than 90 seconds apart to even the score at two at the 8:59 mark of the second. Idaho re-took the lead on Klassen's second of the night, a power-play goal on a nice feed from Ian Lowe, to make it 3-2. Late in the second, with Stockton on a two-man power-play advantage, Idaho failed to clear the puck out of its own zone and Stockton cashed in with Martindale's second of the night with just eight seconds left in the second period, setting the stage for a frentic third period. Idaho took the lead seven minutes into the final period when Klassen redirected Derek LeBlanc's blast from the top of the circles past Heemskirk to complete the hat trick and give Klassen 12 goals on the season. Barely a minute later, Idaho extended the lead on Maccarone's second of the night, another blast from the top of the left-hand circle that banged off some bodies and wound up in the back of the net. Stockton made things interesting, though, when Dan Ringwald scored on the power play with eight and a half minutes left to play to cut Idaho's lead to one, 5-4. Goaltender Jerry Kuhn made a series of key saves on a night when he had several highlight-reel stops as the Steelheads were able to run out the clock and get out of town with a second consecutive win over the Thunder. Kuhn stopped 32 of 36 in the win. Heemskirk saved 21 of 26 Steelhead shots in the loss. Stockton's power play was potent, scoring three times in five chances. Idaho went 2-6 on the man advantage. Idaho (11-12-3) next travels to Utah for a Monday-night matchup with the Grizzlies in West Valley City. The team returns home for contests against rival and defending Kelly Cup champion Alaska on December 21, 22, and 23. Tickets are available by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office (208.331.TIXS) or by logging on to www.idahosteelheads.com. COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Chad Klassen AQUA FINA "3 STARS" - (1) Chad Klassen (ID) (2) Dan Ringwald (STO) (3) Adam Maccarone (ID) 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.

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