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Winning streak reaches six games

Sunday, March 1st
Winning streak reaches six games

Bakersfield, CA (2/28/15) – Rookie goaltender Henri Kiviaho denied Josh Currie on an overtime penalty shot and then turned aside four of five in the game-ending shootout as the Idaho Steelheads rallied past the Bakersfield Condors, 3-2, on Saturday night at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield

Idaho (35-16-4) has now won six consecutive games - all on the road - and remains in first place in the ECHL's Pacific Division.  The Steelheads return home Wednesday night to open a home set with the Stockton Thunder.  Tickets are available by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office (208-331-8497).

For the third straight game between the two old foes, there were early fireworks.  First, in the form of a fight just 32 seconds into the game between Devin DiDiomete and Gabriel Verpaelst.  Then in the form of a goal as Colton Beck ripped a shot from the right-wing circle past Bakersfield's Max Lagace at the 3:36 mark of the opening frame to give Idaho the lead.  The Steelheads drew first blood in all three games, each time inside of the game's first five minutes, as Beck extended his goal streak to four straight games.  Bakersfield tied the game at 9:16 of the first on a nice move in the left-wing circle by Sebastian Sylvestre, evening the score at 1-1 through the first period.

Idaho had three power-play chances late in the second period but could not score, setting the stage for a frantic third period.  Jefferson Dahl couldn't convert a short-handed breakaway midway through the period, which led to a breakaway the other way for Bakersfield's Luke Judson but Kiviaho made the leg-pad save.  The Condors took the lead at 4:39 when CJ Ludwig's shot from the left wing snuck past Kiviaho short-side to make it 2-1.  Idaho got a pair of power plays later in the third and both created chance upon chance.  Dahl just missed wide on a shot moments before Gaelan Patterson's attempt nicked the crossbar and sailed high.  Finally, Idaho evened the score at 13:31 when Brett Robinson's shot from the right-wing wall was redirected home by Wade MacLeod, his 25th goal of the season, to make it 2-2 and extend Robinson's point streak to five straight games.  The Steelheads had chances to end the game in regulation, none better than in the closing seconds when a hustling Alex Belzile back-handed a pass from the goal line to the top of the crease to Beck, but Lagace smothered the shot.

At the final horn, Bakersfield was whistled for a penalty, putting Idaho on the power play in overtime.  More good chances presented themselves to Idaho, but the puck would not cross the goal line.  As the power play wound down, Bakersfield's Josh Currie got loose on a breakaway.  He was hooked down on the rush, drawing a penalty shot, but Kiviaho got the toe on it to keep the game even and send it to a shootout.

Idaho's first two shooters, Beck and Belzile, each scored cleanly.  Bakersfield's Akim Aliu scored in the second round, taunting the Steelhead bench as he went by after the goal, in an unusually-chippy shootout session.  But Kiviaho locked it down from Idaho from there, denying Austin Block, Nick Pageau and Jordan Kremyr to secure his first shootout win as a professional in North America.

Both goaltenders had strong games.  Kiviaho got the win, stopping 28 of 30 in live play, including the penalty shot, and four of five in the shootout.  Lagace stopped 39 of 41, standing on his head much of the final ten minutes of regulation and overtime, in the loss.  Idaho went 0-6 on the power play while Bakersfield was 0-3.  It was just the 15th time in 54 games this season that Bakersfield has been out-shot.

Idaho returns home on Wednesday, March 4, to host the Stockton Thunder before hosting its annual "Pink in the Rink" weekend on March 6 and 7 as the team will auction off game-worn jerseys to raise money for St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute.  Tickets are available online at www.idahosteelheads.com or by calling 208-331-8497.

COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME –  Wade MacLeod (G)

CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:1)   Colton Beck (ID)2)   CJ Ludwig (BAK)3)   Max Lagace (BAK)

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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