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Steelheads fall in wild, 6-4 shootout

Saturday, May 3rd
Steelheads fall in wild, 6-4 shootout

Anchorage, AK (5/2/14) – The visiting Idaho Steelheads got down by two goals in the second period and tried to battle back with three third-period goals but the Alaska Aces held off the Steelheads, 6-4, in Game 2 of the ECHL Western Conference semifinals on Friday night in Anchorage.

The Aces evened the series with the win at one game apiece with Game 3 scheduled for Monday night at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.

Idaho scored first on the power play, snapping a streak of 17 consecutive empty trips on the man advantage, as Jason Bast buried a shot at the seven-minute mark of the first from the hashmarks off a goal-mouth battle to take a 1-0 lead.  Alaska would answer with two goals late in the first, both off unfortunate breaks.  First, it was Zach McKelvie finding a loose puck at the left edge of slot for the goal after Mitch Wahl had been knocked down in front of the net, leaving McKelvie alone.  Then, just 43 seconds later, the Steelheads began a breakout as Nick Mazzolini and Evan Trupp slowly headed up ice behind the play.  Brendan Connolly knocked the puck free as Idaho headed out of the zone, springing Trupp and Mazzolini on a surprising two-on-zero break on goaltender Pat Nagle.  Trupp went bar-down over the glove at 16:57 of the first to make it 2-1, Aces, after one period.

The second period featured nine penalty calls and one goal, also from Trupp, who banged home a loose puck at the left-wing post at 7:18 of the second to make it 3-1 after 40 minutes.

Alaska opened the third with a carry-over power play before Idaho would be whistled for successive penalties to William Rapuzzi, Luke Judson and Russ Sinkewich as the Aces spent virtually all of the first ten minutes of the third period on the power play.  Through all of that, it was Idaho who netted the first goal of the third as David deKastrozza scored on a short-handed breakaway at 2:43 of the third to get Idaho to within a goal at 3-2.  deKastrozza's goal was his team-leading fifth of the postseason.  Seconds later, Mitch Wahl got another short-handed break but Olivier Roy made a tremendous glove save to keep the Aces on top by a goal.  Drew MacKenzie's power-play marker at 5:57 of the third re-established the two-goal lead at 4-2.

Idaho refused to go away, however, as the Steelheads connected on their second power-play goal of the night at 11:44 of the third on a brilliant pass from deKastrozza to Justin Mercier, all alone at the left-wing post for his second of the postseason, again cutting Alaska's lead to one.  The see-saw third period continued as Alex Belzile scored at 14:38 of the third to up the lead back to two at 5-3, but Idaho would score 12 seconds later on a perfect back-door pass from Scott Czarnowczan to Brock Montgomery.  Montgomery's second of the postseason at 14:50 again gave Idaho life with Gaelan Patterson extending his playoff point streak to five straight games with the secondary assist.

Alaska would deliver one final blow to Idaho's comeback bid when Tyler Mosienko pulled a puck free behind the net and found Tommy Mele alone out front for a one-timer at 16:06 to make it 6-4.  The Aces would be given another power-play opportunity late in the third to essentially run out the clock and secure the victory.

Roy got the win despite allowing four goals on just 22 shots.  Nagle took the loss for Idaho, making 39 shots on 45 shots.  Each team scored twice on the power play, Idaho going 2-4 while Alaska had two tallies on eight opportunities with the man advantage.

Game 3 is Monday night at CenturyLink Arena in Boise as the series shifts back to the Treasure Valley, all square at one game apiece.  Tickets for Games 3, 4 and in Boise are on sale at the CenturyLink Arena box office on Tuesday or by logging on to www.idahosteelheads.com.

COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME –  Brock Montgomery (G/A)

CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:1)   Evan Trupp (AK)2)   Alex Belzile (AK)3)   David deKastrozza (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 or log on to www.idahosteelheads.com for more information.

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