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Idaho bounces back with impressive win in Las Vegas

Thursday, March 22nd
Idaho bounces back with impressive win in Las Vegas

(Las Vegas, NV) - The Idaho Steelheads bounced back from a rough outing Wednesday night, rallying in the third period to defeat the Las Vegas Wranglers, 3-2, in a shootout Friday night at the Orleans Arena. Jerry Kuhn stopped 33 of 35 Wrangler shots during regulation and overtime and then another four of six in the shootout to pick up his 21st win of the season, eight coming in a shootout. Idaho leads the ECHL in games beyond regulation (20) and shootout games (15). With the game scoreless in the first period, Idaho's Ron Meyers appeared to be hooked during a breakaway, but no call was made. During the ensuing counter-attack by Las Vegas, Eric Lampe was knocked to the ice by Derek Matheson, drawing a whistle, sending the Wranglers onto the power play. They capitalized moments later when Chris Francis' shot from the blue line was redirected past Kuhn by Judd Blackwater for his 19th goal of the season. Idaho would tie the game early in the second. Aaron Lewicki's centering pass to Cody Purves bounced right back to him on top of the right-hand circle, so he fired a shot past Mike Brodeur at 3:43 of the second period to tie the game at one. The goal was Lewicki's 18th of the season, nine coming since he was acquired by Idaho in February. Las Vegas regained the lead later in the second when Ryan Weston converted a pretty centering pass from Adam Huxley at 10:39, giving Las Vegas a 2-1 lead going into the third period. Once again, though, Idaho would answer early in the third period. Marty Flichel picked up the puck along the left-hand wall near the hash marks and spotted defenseman Steven Tarasuk creeping into the high slot. Flichel threaded a perfect pass to Tarasuk, who one-timed the puck over Brodeur to tie the game at two at the 5:46 mark. Tarasuk's eighth of the season was his first with Idaho after being acquired from Ontario via trade three weeks ago. Both goaltenders kept the game even the rest of the way and through overtime. Idaho scored in the first two rounds of the shootout, with a Flichel wrist shot and a Derek LeBlanc tally, but Las Vegas evened things up on a nice back-hand goal from Adam Miller in the fifth round. Kuhn made a huge, leg-pad save on Eric Lampe in the fifth round of the shootout, setting up Ian Lowe to play the hero when his wrister beat Brodeur cleanly in the sixth round to give Idaho the shootout victory. Brodeur was the loser, stopping 21 of 23 during play but allowing three of six to find the net in the shootout. Las Vegas went 1-5 on the power play, while Idaho was 0-2 with the man advantage. Stockton lost in regulation and Utah fell in a shootout Friday night, so Idaho (28-31-9, 65 points) gained ground on both the Thunder (69 points) and the Grizzlies (68 points) as the three teams jockey for the fifth, sixth, and seventh seeds in the upcoming ECHL Kelly Cup playoffs. Idaho returns home on Wednesday, March 28, to begin its final homestand of the regular season against the Stockton Thunder. 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 - Steven Tarasuk AQUA FINA "3 STARS" - (1) Ian Lowe (ID) (2) Chris Francis (LV) (3) Ryan Weston (LV) 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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