Stockton, CA (3/14/2015) – Tyler Shattock batted home a puck with less than one second left in regulation Saturday night, allowing the Stockton Thunder to edge the Idaho Steelheads, 2-1, at Stockton Arena.
Stockton's game-winning goal came at the end of a third period completely dominated by Idaho (40-17-5, 85 points). The loss ends Idaho's team-record twelve-game unbeaten streak in regulation, a streak that was less than one second from continuing before the game-winner for Stockton.
After a scoreless first period that featured several penalties, the action heated up in the second period. Each team had a short-handed breakaway. First, Idaho's Henri Kiviaho denied Jack Combs twice on the same short-handed break, stopping the initial shot and the rebound, before Stockton's Cody Reichard robbed David deKastrozza with the glove on a short-handed breakaway. Stockton took the lead moments after Reichard's save with a power-play goal at 13:42 of the second period to take a 1-0 lead into the third period.
The final frame was all Idaho from the onset until the final second. The Steelheads tied the game when a Jason Bast centering pass from deep in the left wing bounced straight up the slot to Alex Belzile at 4:23 and Belzile's 23rd of the season evened the game at 1-1. A few minutes later, Belzile nearly gave Idaho the lead when he punched a loose puck from the edge of the crease across the goal line, but the net had become dislodged just a fraction of a second before the puck went in so the game remain tied. Idaho continued to press with Bast ringing a shot off the post and another goal-mouth scramble nearly resulted in the go-ahead goal as well. Idaho out-shot Stockton, 18-6, in the final period.
The Steelheads had to kill a penalty in the final two minutes and did so, with the Stockton man-advantage expiring with less than 20 seconds left in regulation. After an Idaho clear with just over five seconds remaining, it appeared the game was headed to overtime but the Thunder were able to quickly transition and move into the zone with Shattock knocking the puck home from the top of the crease with less than a second to go to win the game.
Kiviaho took the loss, stopping 20 of 22 shots. Reichard was the winner, making 37 saves on 38 shots. Idaho's power play came up empty on three chances while Stockton went 1-4.
The same two teams wrap up their season - and perhaps all-time - series on Sunday at Stockton Arena. Game time is 5 PM (Mtn) and can be heard on KTIK 1350 (AM) in the Treasure Valley. Stockton is one of three ECHL Pacific Division teams that will be part of the American Hockey League next season.
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 – Alex Belzile (G)
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:1) Cody Reichard (STK)2) Tyler Shattock (STK)3) Garet Hunt (STK)
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.