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Steelheads edge Aces again

Friday, March 15th
Steelheads edge Aces again

Anchorage, AK (3/15/13) - Jace Coyle tucked home Tyler Gron's centering pass early in the third period and Josh Robinson made a handful of key saves down the stretch as the Idaho Steelheads held off the Alaska Aces, 4-3, Friday night at a sold-out Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. With the win, Idaho (41-17-7, 89 points) has a 5-1 record against the Aces, the ECHL's top team. Idaho would score early for the second consecutive game in Anchorage. At the 5:10 mark of the opening frame, Austin Smith redirected Jace Coyle's shot from the center point past Alaska's Mark Guggenberger for his team-leading 25th goal of the season to give Idaho a 1-0 lead. The Aces would answer barely a minute later when Tim Hall found a cutting Alex Hudson in front of the net at 6:20 to tie the game at one goal apiece. The Steelheads took the lead back on a quick, two-on-one rush as Justin Taylor's pass from the left wing reached Tyler Gron in stride and Gron one-timed his 17th of the season into the top of the goal at 17:49 of the first to give Idaho a 2-1 lead after one period. Early in the second, Idaho's lead grew on John Ryder's first professional goal. The rookie blue-liner unleashed a rocket shot from the left point that found its way through traffic and into the back of the net at 5:17 of the second to make it 3-1. Once again, the Aces would answer quickly and, once again, it was Alex Hudson pouncing on a loose puck near the left edge of the crease. He was able to sneak it up over Josh Robinson's shoulder at 6:48 to cut Idaho's lead to one goal. The Aces were able to tie it during a flurry of power play opportunities over the latter half of the second period, with Tommy Mele finally evening the score at 14:54 of the second to make it 3-3. The Steelheads and Aces were also tied after two periods on Wednesday night. The Steelheads took the lead at 4:31 of the third when Tyler Gron passed the puck from beneath the goal line to the top of the crease, where a crashing Coyle banged it home for his seventh goal of the season. Coyle and fellow defenseman Matt Case re-joined the team late Thursday night after being re-assigned to Idaho from American Hockey League teams. Alaska had opportunities to tie, but Robinson stood tall in net for the Steelheads, coming up with 11 third-period saves. Alaska had a brief, 6-on-4 opportunity in the final 30 seconds but a Ben Ondrus faceoff win and a Jeremie Blain clear sealed the win for the Steelheads. Robinson improved his personal record in net to 25-6-4 by stopping 36 of 39 Alaska shots. Mark Guggenberger was the loser, allowing four goals on 26 Idaho shots. Alaska' was 1-5 on the power play while Idaho was 0-1. Rylan Galiardi finished the game with three assists, joining Gron (goal, assist), Coyle (goal, assist) and Blain (two assists) as multi-point scorers Friday night for Idaho. The same two teams play again Saturday at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage with game time slated for 9:15 (Mtn) on KTIK (1350 AM). Idaho returns home for its final homestand of the regular season, hosting the Ontario Reign on March 20, 22 and 23. Tickets are available by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office at 208.331.8497 or by going online at www.idahosteelheads.com COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Rylan Galiardi CENTURYLINK THREE STARS: 1) Jace Coyle (ID) 2) Rylan Galiardi (ID) 3) Alex Hudson (AK) 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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