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Steelheads close book on 2011-12 season

Sunday, April 29th
Steelheads close book on 2011-12 season

(Boise, ID) ? The Idaho Steelheads recently completed its 15th season of professional hockey, reaching the ECHL Western Conference Semifinals. It was a season that saw new faces highlight the team?s play on the ice and new partnerships promote health and wellness in the community. Among the highlights: On the Ice: The team qualified for the postseason again, meaning that the Steelheads have reached the playoffs in each season of their existence. After a thrilling five-game victory over the Ontario Reign in the first round, the Steelheads were eliminated in the Conference Semifinals by the Las Vegas Wranglers. Goaltenders Jerry Kuhn and Bryan Hince each received ECHL Goaltender of the Week awards during the season and forwards Derek LeBlanc and Jacob Cepis became the 20th and 21st players in the ECHL era to record 20 goals in a season with the Steelheads. Bring on the Stars: The Steelheads also announced in January that they will be hosting their NHL affiliate, the Dallas Stars, in September for the 2012 Project Filter NHL Training Camp. The Stars will host a week of their training camp at Boise?s CenturyLink Arena and then will host an NHL exhibition game against the Minnesota Wild in Boise on September 25. It will be the second NHL game ever played in Idaho ? San Jose and Los Angeles played in Boise in 1997. In the Stands: Over 36 home dates during the regular season, Idaho drew an average of 3,905 fans per game. Another 12,731 attended five playoff dates, bringing Idaho?s grand total to 153,308 fans inside CenturyLink Arena to watch the Steelheads play during the 2011-12 season. Idaho joined the ECHL for the 2003-04 season. Since then, the team has drawn over 1.5 million fans to downtown Boise for hockey games (1,522,723, regular season and playoffs). In the Schools: With the help of St. Luke?s and the Walmart Foundation, the Idaho Steelheads introduced a new health and wellness program in the Treasure Valley ? ?Be Hip, Get Fit, Play Hockey.? Kids at area schools would be educated on the value of eating right and exercise before playing floor hockey with and against Steelhead players. When the presentation was over, the Steelheads would leave the floor hockey equipment at the school, courtesy of the Walmart Foundation. The team was once again active at Frank Church Alternative High School, where Steelhead players Chris Hepp and Chad Nehring spearheaded an incentive program aimed at keeping teens focused on their futures throughout the season. The team visited over 30 schools during the season, from Mountain Home to Caldwell, Horseshoe Bend to Kuna. In the Community: The Steelheads continued to be good stewards of the community, donating $36,954 in goods and services to local non-profit organizations, charities, and fund-raising activities. The team also hosted a pair of jersey auctions, raising money for St. Luke?s Elks Children?s Rehab and Mountain States Tumor Institute, generating another $28,000 for those two entities. The Steelheads also helped Commercial Tire distribute $20,000 to local high schools as part of the ?Be True to Your School? program with the Idaho Stampede, Commercial Tire, and Cooper Tires. Defenseman Matt Cowie won the team?s coveted Bill Campbell Community Service award, making more than a dozen community appearances during the season. Ticket plans for the 2012-13 season, Idaho?s tenth season in the ECHL, are available right now, starting at just $275 per seat for all 36 home games during the regular season. Partial-season plans are also available. Contact the Steelheads front office at 208.383.0080 or log on to www.idahosteelheads.com for more information.

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