Ontario, CA (1/30/15) – Taylor Peters scored a goal, added an assist and helped spark the Idaho Steelheads to a solid road victory Friday night as the team defeated the Ontario Reign, 4-1, in front of more than 9,000 fans at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA.
Idaho improved to 27-13-4 (58 points) with the win with the two teams slated to meet again on Saturday at 6 PM Pacific time (7 PM Mountain). The game can be heard live on KTIK, 1350 AM, in the Treasure Valley.
After a fast-paced, back-and-forth opening ten minutes of play, Peters got Idaho on the board when he created a turnover in the neutral zone. Peters carried the puck in, one-on-one, with an Ontario defenseman, turned him around as he drove toward the net and then flipped a shot top shelf over Ontario netminder Joe Cannata at the 10:46 mark of the first period to give Idaho a 1-0 lead. Two minutes later, Idaho defenseman Matt Case and Ontario forward Derek Couture dropped the gloves in a spirited fight near the Idaho net. Case landed two right hands that appeared to buckle the knees of Couture before finishing him off with a left hand.
Ontario pushed back but goaltender Olivier Roy turned aside all 16 shots he faced in the opening frame, including multiple from in close. The Reign had a power play inside the final two minutes of the first but Idaho killed it off and, as the penalty expired, rushed up ice into the offensive zone with just seconds left in the period. Brett Robinson, just out of the box, gave the puck to David deKastrozza, who tapped it right back for a shot from the right edge of the low slot with just nine seconds left in the first. Robinson's 12th goal extended deKastrozza's point streak to six straight games with the assist, tied for the longest point streak for Idaho this season.
Idaho came up with two early goals in the second to seize control. First, at the one-minute mark of the period, Gaelan Patterson found Alex Belzile skating into the zone all by himself, right up the middle, for his 19th goal of the season to make it 3-0. Then, at 4:10, Jefferson Dahl zig-zagged through traffic before beating Cannata at the right-wing post for his sixth goal of the season to make it 4-0.
Ontario got one back on the power play at 13:33 as Rocco Carzo scored on the rebound but Idaho would essentially suffocate Ontario from that point on. The Steelheads out-shot Ontario, 24-13, over the final two periods with at least four of Ontario's shots coming in the final two minutes when the outcome had been decided.
Peters, playing just his fourth game of the season with Idaho on assignment from the NHL's Dallas Stars, and defenseman Drew Baker each finished the night with a plus/minus rating of plus-4 while deKastrozza and Patterson, a natural forward playing defense, were plus-3.
Roy was strong in net all night long, stopping 28 of 29 shots for his 22nd win of the season. Cannata surrendered four goals on 34 shots in the loss. Idaho went 0-4 on the power play while Ontario's lone goal came on one of its three man-advantage opportunities.
Idaho returns to home ice on Wednesday, February 4, to host the Utah Grizzlies on Dollar Beer Night at CenturyLink Arena. Tickets are available by calling 208-331-8497.
COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME – Taylor Peters (G/A)
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:(1) Taylor Peters (ID)(2) Olivier Roy (ID)(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 chips with each ticket. Contact the Steelheads front office at 208.383.0080 or log on to www.idahosteelheads.com for more information.