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MacLeod, Steelheads outlast Alaska in overtime

Sunday, January 25th
MacLeod, Steelheads outlast Alaska in overtime

Anchorage, AK (1/24/15) – Wade MacLeod's blast from the slot at the 3:36 mark of overtime lifted the Idaho Steelheads to their tenth win in the past 12 games as Idaho edged the Alaska Aces, 5-4, in front of 4,826 fans at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.

MacLeod's tally concluded a second consecutive four-point night to lift Idaho's record to 26-11-4 (56 points), maintaining its slim, two-point lead over the Colorado Eagles in the ECHL's Pacific Division.

Idaho started fast, scoring twice in the game's first four minutes.  Less than a minute in, Idaho gained the offensive zone at the right point as Jefferson Dahl fed the puck to Brett Robinson.  Robinson skated toward the net, suddenly finding a two-on-one situation, and delivered a pass to MacLeod for a goal from the left edge of the crease just 57 seconds into the game to take a 1-0 lead.  The same three teamed up again less than three minutes later, but this time it was Dahl and MacLeod teaming up to set up Robinson for a one-timer near the hashmarks out front for his eleventh goal of the season at 3:49 to make it 2-0.  Alaska's Brendan Connolly netted a power-play goal at 10:07 of the first to cut Idaho's lead to 2-1 but, at 16:51, David deKastrozza redirected Matt Case's power-play point shot over Aaron Crandall's shoulder for his 12th goal of the season to give Idaho a 3-1 lead.

The lead grew to 4-1 in the second - again, on the power play - when Jason Bast tipped a loose puck near the goal mouth to Dahl at the left post for a tap-in goal at 14:55 of the second, Dahl's fourth goal of the season, and Idaho appeared primed to run away and hide.  But Alaska's Chris Francis scored less than a minute later at 15:43 to cut Idaho's lead back to two at 4-2.

In the third, Alaska cut Idaho's lead to one at 8:16 on a Francis rebound goal from the top of the crease.  As the clock wound down, it appeared Idaho would hold on for the one-goal win until Colton Beck was whistled for holding at 17:14.  During the ensuing moments, a second minor penalty was issued to Idaho's Alex Belzile for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the home team a full, two-minute, five-on-three power play with less than three minutes to play in a one-goal game.  The highly-unusual circumstance proved fortunate for Alaska as they finally punched through with just over a minute and a half left in regulation to tie the game at 4-4, sending the game to overtime.

Alaska's Brad Cole was called for tripping at 2:24 of overtime, giving Idaho a four-on-three power play.  The Steelheads used good puck possession to get the win back as Colton Beck set up MacLeod in the high slot for a blast cleanly past Crandall at 3:36 of overtime to end the game.  Idaho has now won three of four games this season that have ended in overtime.

Olivier Roy picked up his ECHL-best 21st win of the season for Idaho, stopping 36 of 40 shots.  Crandall allowed five goals on 29 shots for Alaska.  The Steelheads netted a season-high three power-play goals on five chances while the penalty-kill unit went five for seven.

MacLeod (two goals, two assists), Dahl (goal, two assists) and Robinson (goal, assist) had multi-point nights for Idaho.  Robinson now has 29 points in 27 career games against Alaska.

The Steelheads and Aces wrap up their three-game/three-night set with a game Sunday at 5 PM (Mtn).  The game can be heard live on KTIK 1350 AM.

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 – Jefferson Dahl (G/2A)

CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:(1) Wade MacLeod (ID)(2) Chris Francis (AK)(3) Jefferson Dahl (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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