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WILLIE KNIERIM SCORES FOUR GOALS IN STEELHEADS 5-2 WIN AT RAPID CITY

Friday, January 19th
WILLIE KNIERIM SCORES FOUR GOALS IN STEELHEADS 5-2 WIN AT RAPID CITY

WILLIE KNIERIM SCORES FOUR GOALS IN STEELHEADS 5-2 WIN AT RAPID CITY

RAPID CITY, SD – The Idaho Steelheads (24-11-1-1, 50pts) defeated the Rapid City Rush (17-18-2-0, 36pts) by a final score of 5-2 Friday night in front of 3,794 fans at The Monument Arena. Idaho and Rapid City will wrap up the two-game series tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. 

Idaho fell behind 1-0 at 8:59 as Will Riedell sent a shot home from the blue line. Just 2:08 later Willie Knierim (5th) tied the game with a wraparound goal as Jack Becker and Roman Rodzinski talled helpers. With 21 seconds left in the frame Trevor Zins (2nd) in his Idaho debut sent a wrist shot into the net from the top of the point to give the Steelheads a 2-1 lead with assists going to Ben Zloty and Ty Pelton-Byce. Idaho led 2-1 after the opening 20 minutes with shots favoring the Rush 12-7. Idaho went 0-for-2 on the power-play but 4-for-4 on the penalty kill in a frame which featured six penalties. 

Just 1:50 into the second period Willie Knierim (6th) got his second of the game deflecting the puck into the net from the top of the crease off a shot from Jack Becker making it 3-1. At 10:41 Willie Knierim (7th) would cap of the hat-trick on a very similar play to his second goal with Becker and Francesco Arcuri notching assists. Idaho was outshot 14-10 in the stanza but led 4-1 through 40 minutes of play. 

At the eight-minute mark of the third period chaos broke out. Nicholas Canade and Romain Rodzinski were assessed 10-minute misconducts and five-minute fighting majors for the Steelheads while Tyson Helgeson and Zack Hoffman were given the same. Jared Gourley scored a power-play goal for the Rush with 8:28 left in the game to pull Rapid City within two. Willie Knierim (8th) with a minute left capped off his four-goal evening with an empty net goal to secure the 5-2 win. 

Bryan Thomson made 32 saves on 34 shots in the win while Matt Radomsky turned aside 24 of the 28 shots he faced in the loss. 

BOX SCORE

ICCU Three Stars

  1. Willie Knierm (4-0-4, +4, 4 shots) 
  2. Jack Becker (0-3-3, +3, 4 shots) 
  3. Bryan Thomson (32 saves) 

GAME NOTES

  • Idaho went 0-for-3 on the power-play while Rapid City was 1-for-8. 
  • Rapid City outshot Idaho 34-29. 
  • Idaho is 62-26-6 all-time vs. Rapid City and 30-15-2 in Rapid City. The Steelheads are 6-1 this season against the Rush.  
  • Jade Miller (IR), Jordan Kawaguchi (IR), and Cooper Jones (DNP) did not dress for Idaho. 
  • Willie Knierim’s four-goal night was his first pro hat-trick and the third four goal game in the Steelheads ECHL era : Mark Derlago Mar. 5, 2011 in a 6-5 loss vs. Las Vegas and Tristan King Oct. 17, 2012 in a 7-6 overtime win at Colorado.   
  • Jack Becker finished with three assists for his second three-point game of the year. 
  • Trevor Zins scored his first goal as a Steelhead in his Idaho debut. 
  • Romain Rodzinski, Francesco Arcuri, Ty Pelton-Byce, Matt Register, and Ben Zloty each tallied an assist. 
  • The fight for Romain Rodzinski was the first of his pro career. 

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