Eagles Seize Series Lead over Steelheads
Boise, ID- Alex Belzile notched a goal and an assist in his first game back at the rink he once called home, helping to guide the Colorado Eagles to a 4-2 win over the Idaho Steelheads at CenturyLink Arena in Game 3 of the Mountain Division Semifinals. The Eagles grabbed a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with the Steelheads.
Belzile, a Steelhead during the 2014-15 season, set up Colorado's opening goal at 10:55 of the first period and then capped off the scoring with his second goal of the playoffs with less than a second remaining in the middle frame.
With Corbin Baldwin controlling the puck behind his own net, Belzile rushed in on the forecheck and stripped it away. Belzile fed a pass in front for a quick finish by Shawn St. Amant for his first goal of the playoffs and a 1-0 Colorado lead.
Idaho responded to tie the game 2:38 later on the power play, when Jefferson Dahl rifled a shot over the glove of Lukas Hafner for his second goal of the series, both coming on the power play. Dahl has notched three points for the Steelheads in the opening three games of the series, but he may not be available for them in Game 4.
Late in the second period, with the score 3-2 in favor of the Eagles, Eagles defenseman Sean Zimmerman hit Dahl from behind in the right-wing corner of the Eagles' zone. Zimmerman received a minor for charging, while Dahl was injured and would not return.
With the game tied 1-1 in the first, the Steelheads power play would pay for a mistake at the Idaho blue line. Joe Faust fanned on a pass that became a 2-on-1 chance for the Eagles, with Ryan Harrison finding Casey Pierro-Zabotel at the back post for a shorthanded tap-in to make it 2-1 at 19:19 of the first period. Colorado led the league in the regular season with 20 shorthanded goals.
The Eagles expanded their lead at 1:55 of the second period when the rebound of a Johnny Lazo shot found Julien Nantel in the low slot for his first of the series and a 3-1 Colorado lead. The Steelheads would respond on the power play again with a Kellan Lain wrist shot off the rush that beat Hafner off the cross bar and in, making it 3-2 at 5:05 of the second with his first of the series.
After the Steelheads failed to capitalize on the Zimmerman minor that sent Dahl to the locker room, the Steelheads were whistled for a late second period penalty with 32 seconds remaining. Belzile would capitalize with a one-timer from the left circle that beat Landon Bow between the legs with .8 seconds left to send Colorado into the second intermission with a 4-2 lead.
The Steelheads made a push in the third period, when they recorded 10 of their 21 shots. That included a breakaway for Andre Morrissette and a 2-on-1 opportunity for Anthony Lucinani, both turned away by Hafner.
Despite the loss, Rob Linsmayer grabbed two assists to give him five points (2-3-5) in the series. Faust also had a two-point night.
The series resumes on Friday night with Game 4 at CenturyLink Arena. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:10pm MT, with the game available on 1350KTIK, Cable One, and on ECHLTV.
Photo: Creative Expressions Photography
Goals: Dahl (2), Lain (1)
Landon Bow: 36 saves on 40 shots
Power Play: 2-for-5
Penalty Kill: 2-for-3
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
Joe Faust IDH Alex Belzile COL Rob Linsmayer IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Alex Belzile: Goal, assist, 3 shots, plus-1 rating
• Discuss this story on the ECHL message board...
ECHL Stories from April 20, 2017
- Mallards, Iwireless Center Extend Lease - Quad City Mallards
- Monarchs Kelly Cup Playoffs Game Day Capsule - Manchester Monarchs
- The Royal Playoff Road Ahead: Reading Royals at Brampton Beast - Reading Royals
- Komets Clip Mallards in Overtime 4-3 - Fort Wayne Komets
- Americans Win a Tight Game to Take a 2-1 Series Lead - Allen Americans
- Eagles Seize Series Lead over Steelheads - Idaho Steelheads
- Colorado Takes 2-1 Series Lead with 4-2 Victory in Idaho - Colorado Eagles
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.