Bakersfield, CA (11/14/14) – Olivier Roy stopped 24 of 26 shots during live play and kept all four shots in a game-ending shootout out of the net as the visiting Idaho Steelheads upended the Bakersfield Condors, 3-2, in a see-saw battle in front of 5,266 fans at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
Idaho improved to 9-3-1 (19 points) with the victory. The same two teams play again Saturday night, starting at 8 PM (Mtn). The game can be heard live on KTIK 1350 AM or online at www.ktik.com.
The Steelheads struck first on a battle around the net when Alex Belzile was able to poke a loose puck past Frans Tuohimaa at the 5:10 mark of the first period to give Idaho a 1-0 lead. Belzile's third of the season was assisted by Steve Quailer and Scott Valentine. Both goaltenders, Tuohimaa and Roy, made big saves to keep the score the same through the remainder of the first.
Action intensified in the second. Bakersfield's Connor Jones was assessed a game misconduct for boarding seven minutes into the frame, giving Idaho a five-minute major power-play, but the Condors were able to kill it off and ultimately tie the game on a Sebastian Sylvestre screamer from the left-wing circle at the 13:40 mark of the second.
Even at 1-1, Idaho was awarded a penalty shot less than a minute into the third period but Ludwig Karlsson's wrister zippd just wide of the left-wing post. Idaho went on the power play three minutes later but it was Roy, the Idaho netminder, who was asked to make a tremendous save on a short-handed Condors rush. Then, seconds later, the Condors saw the opportunity to attack again and punched through on the penalty-kill as former Steelhead Chase Schaber netted his fourth goal of the season, short-handed, at the 5:01 mark of the third.
From that point, Idaho seemed to tilt the ice back toward Tuohimaa, launching 14 shots on net in the third (to Bakersfield's 4). The Steelheads squared the game at 2-2 on Belzile's second of the night, a rocket from the inside of the right-wing circle at 11:25 from Quailer and Jason Bast. Belzile's second of the night was also his fourth of the season. Tuohimaa denied a short-handed breakaway attempt from James Livingston and another good scoring chance from David deKastrozza to help get the game to overtime.
In the extra session, a Quailer wrister from the slot was snagged by Tuohimaa and Livingston ripped a shot off the post as the game carried into a shootout. Neither team scored in the first two rounds before a Bast wrister beat Tuohimaa cleanly to the blocker side. After Bakersfield's Jonathan Lessard came up empty, Colton Beck went blocker-side as well for a shootout tally. Schaber's fourth-round shot failed to find the twine, giving the win to Idaho.
Both goaltenders played well, but Roy picked up his ECHL-leading seventh victory of the season. Tuohimaa stopped 29 of 31 in live play despite the loss.
Idaho's penalty kill was tremendous, stopping all six man-advantage opportunities for Bakersfield. After a rough start, Idaho's penalty-killing unit is now 19-21 over its past four games. The power-play group chipped in as well with a goal, Belzile's game-tying goal in the third, in four attempts on the man-advantage.
The Steelheads return to home ice in Boise on Wednesday, November 19, to host the Ontario Reign. It's the first of three between the teams as they'll also play Thursday and Saturday. Saturday is Military Night and also Pepsi Puck Night. Tickets are available online at www.idahosteelheads.com or by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office at 331-8497.
COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME – Steve Quailer (2A)
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:1) Alex Belzile (ID)2) Chase Schaber (BAK)3) Sebastian Sylvestre (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 chips with each ticket. Contact the Steelheads front office at 208.383.0080 or log on to www.idahosteelheads.com for more information.