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One-goal blues haunt Steelheads in loss at Utah

Tuesday, December 2nd
One-goal blues haunt Steelheads in loss at Utah

West Valley City, UT (12/1/14) – Goaltender Joe Howe stood on his head the entire third period, then denied all four Idaho shooters in the game-ending shootout as the Utah Grizzlies rallied past the Idaho Steelheads, 4-3, on Monday night.

Idaho (11-7-2, 24 points) maintained its lead in the Pacific Division but suffered its third straight one-goal loss.

The Steelheads came out flying early and were rewarded with two quick goals.  First, at 1:46 of the first, Alex Belzile redirected an Eamonn McDermott point shot past Howe for his eighth goal of the season.  Gaelan Patterson also picked up an assist as Idaho took the 1-0 lead.  Then, barely a minute later, Jason Bast created a turnover and got the puck to Belzile, who wrapped around behind the net and tucked a back-hander home for his second of the night at 3:02, his ninth of the season.  Utah got one back on a bad-bounce goal as Vinny Scarsella's pass from behind the Idaho net hit goaltender Olivier Roy and banked into the goal, cutting Idaho's lead to 2-1 after 20 minutes.

Idaho quickly extended the lead in the second when David deKastrozza redirected home a centering pass from Taylor Peters just 26 seconds into the middle frame.  deKastrozza's seventh of the season was assisted by Peters - his first ECHL point - and Colton Beck.  Utah would again fight back with a Mathieu Aubin goal to cut Idaho's lead to 3-2 going into the third period.

In the third, Matt Pelech tied it on a wrap-around goal of his own at 2:57, making it 3-3.  From that point on, it was the Joe Howe show as Idaho unleashed 15 shots on net, many of them high-quality, but Howe made save after save to bail his teammates out and force overtime.  In the overtime session, it was Olivier Roy's turn to shine as Idaho's goaltender denied Barry Almeida on a breakaway to send the game to the game-ending shootout.

After an Almeida tally gave Utah a one-goal lead in the shootout, Belzile had Howe beaten on a nice deke but the puck hopped away from Belzile, denying the scoring opportunity.  Michael Pelech then ended the game with a goal on the ensuing shot.

Utah out-shot Idaho, 38-34, as Roy made 34 saves on 37 shots during live play. Idaho's penalty-kill was outstanding all night long, stopping all six man-advantages for Utah's third-ranked power-play unit.

Idaho now returns home for a three-game set next week against the Bakersfield Condors.  Idaho will wear specially-themed, blue and orange jerseys that will be auctioned off via silent auction with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the St. Luke's Children's Hospital.  Tickets for all three games are available online at www.idahosteelheads.com or by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office at 331-8497.

COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME –  Alex Belzile (2G)

CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:1)   Joe Howe (UT)2)   Matt Pelech (UT)3)   Alex Belzile (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 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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