Loveland, CO (1/2/15) – Alex Belzile and Jason Bast posted three-point nights and Olivier Roy stopped all 29 shots he faced Friday night as the Idaho Steelheads rode a four-goal first period to a 6-0 win over the Colorado Eagles.
With the win, Idaho inched back into first place in the ECHL's Pacific Division at 19-10-3 (41 points), one point ahead of the Ontario Reign. The four goals Idaho netted in the opening frame tied a season-high for goals in a period.
The Steelheads spent the vast majority of the game's first five minutes in the offensive zone, finally breaking through on Belzile's 14th goal of the season, a shot from the right circle at 4:49, assisted by Jason Bast and Steve Quailer, to put Idaho on top, 1-0. Four minutes later, Idaho added on when the Steelheads caught Colorado in a line change, leading to a 2-on-0 rush on net for James Livingston and Brett Robinson. Livingston delivered the pass to Robinson for a tap-home goal at 8:58. Robinson picked up his second of the night, eighth of the season, at 13:53 on the power play when he redirected a Belzile blast past Clarke Saunders to make it 3-0. Then, at 15:26, Troy Vance netted his second of the year on a shot from near the right point to give Idaho a 4-0 lead and end Saunders' night as Doug Carr replaced the starting netminder.
Idaho played add-on in the second when Livingston was rewarded for an aggressive forecheck. Carr attempted to play the puck from the side of the net, but his pass was intercepted by Livingston. Livingston skated in as Carr scrambled back into net, but Livingston beat him with a backhand at 7:30 of the second, his eighth of the season, to make it 5-0. Colorado nearly got one back but Roy denied Brock Nixon in close off a rush to keep the shutout in tact.
Roy would make another big save on a Nixon short-handed breakaway in the third before Belzile tipped home Charlie Dodero's point blast at 11:30 of the third, also assisted by Bast, to close out the scoring.
Roy picked up his 16th win of the season in net for Idaho by stopping all 29 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season. Saunders took the loss, surrendering four goals on 18 shots before being replaced by Carr, who stopped 17 of 19 in relief. Idaho out-shot Colorado, 37-29. Idaho's power-play unit converted on one of seven chances while the penalty kill was a perfect four for four.
Belzile (2 goals, assist), Bast (3 assists), Robinson (2 goals), Livingston (goal, assist) and Quailer (2 assists) all had multi-point nights for Idaho.
The Steelheads return home on Friday, January 9, to host the Alaska Aces. Tickets are available by calling 208-331-8497.
COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME – Jason Bast (3A)
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:(1) Brett Robinson (ID)(2) Olivier Roy (ID)(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.