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Steelheads drop tight one in Stockton

Sunday, November 24th
Steelheads drop tight one in Stockton

Stockton, CA (11/23/13) - Ryan Constant had a hand in all three goals for the home team and Brian Foster turned aside 25 of 26 shots as the Stockton Thunder edged the Idaho Steelheads, 3-1, Saturday night in Stockton.The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Idaho (8-5-2, 18 points).A fast-paced first period saw teams match chances but it was Stockton striking first on a Constant point shot through traffic at 4:50 to make it 1-0. Idaho had two golden opportunities but a bouncing puck bounced over Tommy Grant's stick on a perfect back-door pass from Mitch Wahl on a power play and Anthony Nigro whistled a wrist shot just wide of the right-wing post as Idaho was held off the scoreboard in the first frame.Stockton's lead grew to 2-0 in the second when Garet Hunt redirected a Constant shot from the top of the right circle past Idaho's Pat Nagle at 2:51, Hunt's fourth tally of the season.Idaho drew closer at 6:24 on a tremendous shot from the right-wing circle by Wahl as he squeezed a wrist shot just over the shoulder of Foster in the top corner, his fifth of the season, extending his point streak to eight consecutive games. Nigro and Brett Robinson assisted on Wahl's goal.The Steelheads appeared to tie the game with just over a minute left in the second on a great hustle play by William Rapuzzi. The rookie chased a loose puck into the offensive zone through the right circle, diving toward the rolling puck at the bottom of the right circle. He somehow flipped the puck up over Foster's shoulder, apparently into the net. As the Steelheads celebrated and the Thunder stood quietly, referee Mike McBain, who was trailing the play since it was a rush into the offensive zone, asked the goal judge for help and was told the puck did not cross the goal line, so McBain disallowed the goal. No replay was shown in the arena.Undaunted, the Steelheads mounted charge after charge in the third period but Foster turned away all 13 shots Idaho put on net in the final period. With less than a minute to play, Constant scored an empty-net goal from behind his own net, as he attempted to rim the puck out of the zone but the puck deflected awkwardly off the right-wing wall and all the way down the ice, into the vacated cage to set the final score at 3-1.Nagle turned in a solid effort in net for the Steelheads, stopping 32 of the 34 shots he faced. Foster was just a little bit better, though, stopping 25 of 26. Idaho was 0-3 on the power play while Stockton went 1-2.The same two teams meet again on Sunday with puck drop at 4 PM (Pacific) at the Stockton Arena.NOTE: Prior to the game, the team announced the signing of goaltender Brooks Ostergard. Ostergard, a product of Robert Morris University (NCAA) appeared in six games with Trenton of the ECHL late last season, going 5-1 with a .907 save percentage.Idaho returns home on Tuesday, November 26, against the Las Vegas Wranglers. Tickets are available by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office at 208-331-8497.COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Mitch Wahl (1G) CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:1) Ryan Constant (STK)2) Brian Foster (STK)3) Garet Hunt (STK)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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