Stockton, CA (3/15/2015) – Wade MacLeod buried a power-play goal midway through the third period and Chris Rawlings stood up to some late pressure from the Stockton Thunder as the Idaho Steelheads picked up an important, 4-3, win on the road Sunday evening in Stockton.
With the win, Idaho improves to 41-17-5 overall. Its 87 points in the standings are six better than second-place Colorado, who comes to town next weekend (Friday and Saturday) for two big games at CenturyLink Arena. Tickets are available by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office at 331-8497.
Playing its eighth game in twelve days, Idaho showed some early spunk by winning battles in the offensive zone to create the game's first goal. David deKastrozza kept the puck alive on the left-wing wall to Rob Linsmayer, who carried it toward the trapezoid behind the net before quickly back-handing a pass to Jason Bast near the bottom of the left-wing circle. Bast wound up and blasted a one-timer past Lucas Gore at 6:11 of the first period to take a 1-0 lead. MacLeod and deKastrozza just missed adding to the lead as the Steelheads settled for the 1-0 lead after the opening period.
In the second, Idaho extended its lead to 2-0 at 5:24 when Jefferson Dahl knocked home the rebound off a Drew Baker point shot, his 10th goal of the season. But Stockton battled back. First, the Thunder finished off a strong shift when Klarc Wilson walked in from the left-wing wall and snapped a shot over Rawlings at 7:58 to give Stockton life. Then, at 14:58, Tyler Shattock tied it with a well-placed shot from nearly the same spot that Bast scored from in the first period to even the ledger at 2-2 after 40 minutes.
Idaho opened the third on a power play and could not convert. However, as the power play was expiring, a Tom Serratore centering pass from behind the net was tipped onto the blade of deKastrozza near the left edge of the crease and he lifted home his 16th of the season at 1:58, giving Idaho the lead back. Six minutes later, Idaho added an important goal on the power play when Alex Belzile and Shawn Boutin teamed up to get the puck on the right-wing side to MacLeod. He spotted Brett Robinson all alone right in front of the net, but his pass was deflected right back to him. MacLeod didn't hesitate on the second chance and rifled home his team-leading 31st goal of the season at 8:22 to put Idaho back up by two goals. Tyler Shattock's second of the night, a wrap-around that just trickled under Rawlings at 12:29, kept the Thunder within a goal at 4-3, but Idaho bore down and grinded the game's final seven minutes off the clock - including the last 30 seconds short-handed and Stockton emptying the net for a 6-on-4 advantage - to notch its 41st victory of the season.
Rawlings moved to 4-0 in net for Idaho with 29 saves on 31 shots. Gore surrendered four goals on 37 in the loss. Idaho's power play was 1-3 while the penalty-kill was a perfect 2-2. deKastrozza was the only multi-point scorer in the game for Idaho, with a goal and assist, as the Steelheads improved to 37-0-3 in games where the team scores at least three goals.
The team returns home for a pair of pivotal home games against second-place Colorado on Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 21. Game time is 7:10 PM each night. Tickets are available online at www.idahosteelheads.com or by calling 208-331-8497.
COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME – Wade MacLeod (GWG)
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:1) David deKastrozza (ID)2) Tyler Shattock (STK)3) Wade MacLeod (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.