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Steelheads even series with one-goal win at Colorado

Friday, April 25th
Steelheads even series with one-goal win at Colorado

Loveland, CO (4/24/14) – Gaelan Patterson and Rob Linsmayer each had a goal and an assist and the visiting Idaho Steelheads held a one-goal lead throughout the third period Thursday night to defeat the Colorado Eagles, 4-3, at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, CO.

The best-of-seven ECHL Western Conference quarterfinal series, presented by KeyBank, is now tied at two wins apiece.  Game 5 is Friday night in Loveland, starting at 7:10 PM.  The win also assures that the series will return to Idaho for Game 6 on Monday night at CenturyLink Arena.

Colorado created a scoring chance right off the opening faceoff of the game with Luke Fulghum streaking down the left wing, snapping a quick shot toward goaltender Pat Nagle but Nagle made a tremendous glove save at the ten-second mark of the contest to avoid a disastrous start.  Instead, it would be Idaho to draw first blood when William Rapuzzi banged home an Eamonn McDermott shot at 3:45 of the first period, Rapuzzi's first goal of the postseason.

Idaho would grab a critical second goal on the penalty kill at 14:51.  Idaho cleared the puck softly into the Colorado zone.  With Linsmayer and Patterson charging, Colorado goaltender Dustin Butler came out of his crease to the high slot in an attempt to clear the puck, but his clear was deflected by Patterson.  Patterson chased it down on the left wing and quickly centered to Linsmayer who scored before a scrambling Butler could return to his crease to make it 2-0.

The Eagles answered just 12 seconds later, still on the power play, on a perfect centering pass from Riley Nelson from the end boards into the slot to Jason Beatty.  Beatty snapped home his first of the postseason at 15:03 to cut Idaho's lead to 2-1 after one period of play.

At 2:56 of the second, Idaho returned the favor with a near mirror-image goal.  Linsmayer had the puck below the goal line near the left corner and spotted Patterson crashing down the slot.  Linsmayer's assist was as true as Nelson's was and Patterson's one-timer was as true as Beatty's, re-establishing Idaho's two-goal lead at 3-1.  The lead would grow to 4-1 at 7:16 when Brett Robinson picked up a loose puck near the end boards and fed it to Brock Montgomery near the bottom of the right-wing circle.  The first-year pro turned and fired on net, beating Butler short-side for his first of the playoffs to give Idaho a three-goal lead.

Colorado scored twice late in the second to trim Idaho's lead.  Alex Hudson finished a two-on-one rush from the left circle at 12:59 and Kyle Ostrow knocked home a rebound at 17:55 to make it a 4-3 game after two.

In the third, Idaho would have to kill off a pair of Colorado power plays and dodge an Eagle shot from the left wing that clanged off the post.  Nagle dug in, stopping all six shots on net he faced over the final 20 minutes as the Steelheads hung on for the series-tying victory.

Nagle, making his first start of the series, saved 24 of 27 shots for Idaho.  Butler was pulled from the game after allowing four goals on 15 shots.  Rookie netminder Eric Williams stopped all ten shots he faced over the final 32 minutes of the game in relief for Colorado.

Idaho came up empty on its only power-play opportunity of the game while the Eagles scored once on six opportunities.  Colorado holds a 16-6 advantage in total power play chances through four games in the series.

Game 5 on Friday begins at 7:05 PM.  The game will be broadcast live by KTIK (1350 AM) in the Treasure Valley as well as Altitude Sports and Entertainment (681 DirecTV, 413 Dish Network) and the team will also host a free watch party inside the SportZone at CenturyLink Arena.  Doors open at 6 PM and a limited food/drink menu will be available.

COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME –  Gaelan Patterson (G/A)

CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:1)   Brock Montgomery (ID)2)   Rob Linsmayer (ID)3)   Alex Hudson (COL)

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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