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Utah edges Idaho in duel of goaltenders

Saturday, January 28th
Utah edges Idaho in duel of goaltenders

(West Valley City, UT) - Andrew Engelage stopped 34 of 35 Idaho shots during regulation and overtime and then kept the Steelheads out of the net during the game-deciding shootout as the Utah Grizzlies defeated Idaho, 2-1, on Saturday night. Despite the loss, Idaho (20-19-4) gained one point in the Western Conference standings by sending the game to a shootout. The Steelheads now have 44 points and held the fifth spot in the conference standings as they skated off the ice following the game. Each team scored in the first period as Mitch Wahl gave Utah the lead at the 9:04 mark of the opening stanza. Idaho answered immediately, though, when Marc Rechlicz scored from the slot on a rebound of Derek LeBlanc's shot from the right-hand circle at 10:01 of the second. The tally was Rechlicz's first in the ECHL in just his second game with the Steelheads. Idaho nearly took the lead about two minutes later on the power play, but Chad Nehring's shot from the bottom of the circle didn't cross the goal line after clanging down off the crossbar. From there, it was all about the goaltenders. Idaho's Jerry Kuhn made brilliant save after brilliant save to keep Utah off the board while Engelage came up with several key saves as well to keep the game tied at one through regulation. Kuhn stymied Wahl at a key juncture of the third period while Engelage came up with a leg-pad save late in the third as Idaho tried to win it in regulation. Each team missed one great opportunity in overtime, as Jacob Cepis's breakaway shot was stopped by Engelage in extra time. In the shootout, Wahl's shot just trickled through Kuhn to give Utah their only goal of the shootout. After Utah's tally, both Nehring and LeBlanc were able to get Engelage to commit as they moved to the right-hand side of the crease, but neither could lift it over the outstretched Utah netminder as Idaho came up empty on all five shootout attempts. Kuhn's 43 saves on 44 shots mark the eighth time this season the rookie goaltender has made at least 40 saves. Neither team scored on the power play, Idaho going 0-4 and Utah going 0-3. The same teams will play again on Monday in West Valley City. Idaho returns home on February 8 to host the defending Kelly Cup champion Alaska Aces. 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 - Derek LeBlanc AQUA FINA "3 STARS" - (1) Andrew Engelage (UT) (2) Jerry Kuhn (ID) (3) Mitch Wahl (UT) 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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