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Tough-luck Steelheads run out of time in Alaska

Thursday, January 30th
Tough-luck Steelheads run out of time in Alaska

Anchorage, AK (1/29/14) - Tommy Grant notched his 13th goal of the season and Josh Watson made 31 saves in relief of injured starter Brad Phillips for the Idaho Steelheads, but the visitors ran out of time down the stretch in a 2-1 loss to the Alaska Aces.Phillips got the start in net and turned aside an early flurry of Aces shots before the Steelheads nearly netted a pair of goals. First, Grant was denied on a breakaway attempt by Alaska's Gerald Coleman. Then, moments later, Brett Robinson's bid to break up the early tie rang off the post.With Alaska in the offensive zone a little over seven minutes into the game, Phillips was injured scrambling to cover up a loose puck and forced to leave the game.Enter Watson, the rookie out of RIT. He stopped four early shots before Jordan Kremyr finished a two-on-one rush at 17:22 of the opening period to give Alaska a 1-0 lead.The game settled into a tough, entertaining contest in the second with both goalies turning aside grade-A opportuties for the other team. Watson denied Peter Sivak in close and Matthew Sisca back-door to keep it a 1-0 game and Coleman once again denied Grant from the hash marks midway through the second to ensure Alaska would maintain its slim, one-goal lead going into the third.Early in the third, the Aces picked up a big insurance goal when Tommy Mele finished a centering feed from behind the net just over two minutes in, making it 2-0. Idaho didn't wait long to answer with Grant blasting in a shot from the left wing just 33 seconds later, at 2:52, to make it 2-1. Brett Robinson picked up an assist on Grant's goal, his tenth assist in nine games this season so far against Alaska.The Steelheads would nearly tie it moments later on another Grant blast from nearly the same spot as Coleman was out of position, but the veteran goaltender managed to reach back and snag the puck before it went past him and into the net. Idaho would mount other charges in the final frame. Mitch Wahl, Gaelan Patterson and Andrew Conboy all had good looks but Coleman stood firm and, after two late penalty calls stymied Idaho's momentum, Alaska was able to escape with the one-goal win in front of 3,756 fans at Sullivan Arena.Watson took the loss despite a solid game in relief for Idaho (20-16-4), stopping 31 of 33 shots in net. Coleman stopped 25 of 26 for the win. Idaho's penalty-kill unit was a perfect seven for seven while the power play unit came up empty on the one opportunity it was given.The same two teams will do battle Friday and Saturday night in Anchorage, game time each night is 9:15 (Mtn) and can be heard live on KTIK (1350 AM). Idaho returns home on Wednesday, February 5, to host the Utah Grizzlies at CenturyLink Arena.COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Tommy Grant (G)CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:1) Tommy Mele (AK)2) Gerald Coleman (AK)3) Josh Watson (ID)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 for more information.

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