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Idaho takes another shootout victory in Las Vegas

Friday, March 23rd
Idaho takes another shootout victory in Las Vegas

(Las Vegas, NV) - Idaho goaltender Jerry Kuhn stopped 45 of 47 shots before denying two of the ECHL's top scorers - Judd Blackwater and Eric Lampe - in the final two rounds of the shootout Saturday night as the Steelheads upended the Las Vegas Wranglers, 3-2, at the Orleans Arena. It was Idaho's second consecutive shootout win in Las Vegas as the Steelheads collected all four points possible in the weekend set on the road against one of the league's premier teams. It also marked Idaho's 21st game to go beyond regulation, tops in the ECHL. Also tops in the league are Idaho's 16 games decided by shootout. Neither team scored in the first as Kuhn and Las Vegas goaltender Mitch O'Keefe collected multiple big saves. Kuhn's finest was a glove save on Sean Wiles in the first two minutes from the hash marks while O'Keefe denied Aaron Lewicki at the left-hand post midway through the opening stanza. Idaho (29-31-9) struck first early in the second on the power play when Marty Flichel fed a pass from the top of the right circle into the left circle, where Lewicki one-timed a blast past O'Keefe at 3:29, giving Lewicki nine goals in 23 games since the team acquired him from the Reading Royals. It was his 18th tally of the season overall. The Wranglers answered quickly on a Scott Campbell penalty shot at 5:52, but Idaho quickly answered that when Chad Nehring converted a Ron Meyers feed from behind the net into the go-ahead goal at 6:46 of the second period. Nehring now has 15 goals on the season for Idaho. Las Vegas had an opportunity to tie the game late in the second period as Adam Miller got loose in the slot with two minutes to play in the period, but Kuhn denied Miller with a dazzling glove save at close range. The Wranglers tied the game early in the third on an Adam Huxley rebound goal, slamming home a rebound off a Chris Francis shot from the top of the right circle. Through a slew of power plays and stoppages, both Kuhn and O'Keefe held the score where it was, tied at two, through regulation and overtime. In the shootout, Lewicki scored but Francis and Miller did as well to give the Wranglers a one-tally lead headed into the fourth round. That's when Flichel's snap-shot from just above the hash marks blew by O'Keefe to even the shootout at two scores apiece. Kuhn stopped Blackwater, Nehring beat O'Keefe with another wrister, and then Kuhn stopped Lampe to give Idaho the win and set off a spirited celebration among a solid contingent of Idaho fans who made the trip to Las Vegas to support the Steelheads. Both goalies were strong, with Kuhn making 45 saves and O'Keefe stopping 32. Kuhn now leads the ECHL with 9 shootout victories. Idaho converted one of five power plays, while Las Vegas was 0-2. With the win, Idaho (67 points) kept pace with Utah (70 points) and Stockton (71 points) in the Western Conference standings as the Grizzlies and Thunder each picked up wins Saturday night as well. Idaho and Stockton each have three games left in the regular season (against each other in Boise next week) while Utah closes the regular season with two games next weekend in Bakersfield. 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 - Marty Flichel AQUA FINA "3 STARS" - (1) Chad Nehring (ID) (2) Jerry Kuhn (ID) (3) Mitch O'Keefe (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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