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Steelheads grind out road win in Bakersfield

Saturday, March 15th
Steelheads grind out road win in Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA (3/14/14) – Jason Bast picked up his professional goal, a twisting, off-balance shot from the bottom of the right circle, and Pat Nagle turned in a steady performance in net as the Idaho Steelheads picked up a solid road win, 4-1, over Bakersfield on Friday night.

Idaho (31-23-7) got goals from four different players as the team picked up its first win in Bakersfield in over a year.

The Condors nearly drew early blood in front of 5,218 fans but Nagle made a couple of big saves to keep the home squad off the board.  Midway through the first, Idaho swung momentum when Gaelan Patterson won a battle to keep the puck in the offensive zone.  Patterson found Rob Linsmayer for a quick shot from the left edge of the crease at the 9:10 mark to give Idaho a 1-0 lead.  For Linsmayer, it was his 15th marker of the season.

The second period was all Idaho as they pressured Bakersfield throughout.  At the 4-08 mark, a Ryan Button wrist shot banged off the end boards, bouncing out to the bottom of the right-wing circle where Bast, with his body turned and momentum carrying him away from the net, somehow reached back and got enough on a wrist shot to bury the low-angle chance for his first professional goal to extend Idaho's lead to 2-0.  The Steelheads appeared to make it 3-0 later in the second on a Ryan Murphy wrap-around stuff attempt but neither referee James Parker nor the goal judge saw the puck cross the line, so no goal was allowed, keeping Idaho's lead at two going into the third period.

Just thirteen seconds into the third, Bakersfield's Jordan Knackstedt was given a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for boarding Idaho's Patrick Cullity.  With 1:26 remaining on the major penalty, former Steelhead Andrew Carroll was whistled for delay of game, putting Idaho on a 5-on-3, two-man advantage.  The Steelheads cashed in as Tommy Grant and Mitch Wahl teamed to feed the puck to Ryan Button for a blast from the right-wing circle at 4:33 of the third, Button's seventh, to make it 3-0.  Just moments after the power play expired for Idaho, Bakersfield's Laurent Brossoit took a frustration penalty, slashing Murphy, to put Idaho right back on the power play.  The Steelheads would capitalize, too, as Charlie Dodero delivered a perfect pass up the middle of the ice to spring William Rapuzzi on a breakaway and the rookie buried his 16th of the season at 6:09 of the third to give Idaho a four-goal lead.

Bakersfield would pick up a Gary Steffes goal at 11:30 of the third and had two late power plays, but Nagle and the Idaho defense was able to keep the Condors at bay.

Rapuzzi (goal, assist) now has a five-game point streak.  Button (goal, assist) also had multiple points for Idaho.

Nagle picked up his 21st win of the season with his 24-save outing while Brossoit took the loss, allowing four goals on 25 shots.  Idaho's power play converted two of three chances while the team's penalty kill was a perfect 4-4.

NOTE: The Steelheads have signed rookie goaltender Kevin Kapalka to an ECHL contract and he joined the team on the road in time to back up Nagle on Friday night.  Kapalka just completed his college career at Lake Superior State - the same school that has produced several former Steelheads, like Kory Scoran and Steven Oleksy - and twice finished in the NCAA's top eleven in save percentage while with the Lakers.

The Steelheads and Condors meet again on Saturday night at Rabobank Arena with the game beginning at 8 PM (Mtn).  Fans can listen to the game back in the Treasure Valley on KTIK (1350 AM).  The road trip concludes with a Sunday contest back in Ontario against the Reign.

The Steelheads return home on Wednesday, March 19, to host the Colorado Eagles.  Tickets are available by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office at 208-331-8497.

COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME –  William Rapuzzi (G, A)

CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:1)   Ryan Button (ID)2)   Pat Nagle (ID)3)   Gary Steffes (BAK)

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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