Idaho Rally Comes up Short in Alaska
(Anchorage, AK) - Matt Case's potential game-tying goal was disallowed with just under eight minutes left in regulation, diffusing an Idaho rally and allowing the Alaska Aces to hold on for a 4-2 victory over the Steelheads on Thursday night.
The game was played in front of 3,523 fans at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
The game got off to a rough start for Idaho as Alaska tallied twice in the first 2:15 of action off of two defensive-zone turnovers. Idaho head coach Hardy Sauter pulled starting goaltender Steve Christie following the second goal, inserting Jimmy Spratt. Alaska connected again at 8:41 of the first, taking a 3-0 lead into the first intermission after a strong period of play.
Idaho started to even things out in the second period. Tristan King got Idaho (1-2) on the scoreboard at 5:17 of the second, picking up a loose puck near the blue line. The second-year pro made a nice move to evade an Aces defender and then beat Alaska goaltender Gerald Coleman with some nice stick work, dragging the backhand to his forehand for his first goal of the season. The unassisted tally got Idaho within two at 3-1.
The Steelheads inched closer in the third on a two-man advantage when Ian Lowe scored off a scramble in front of the net. His second of the season was assisted by Kael Mouillierat and Marty Flichel, giving each a point in each of Idaho's three games so far this season.
Idaho appeared to tie the game with just under eight minutes left in regulation on a power-play blast by Matt Case, but referee TJ Luxmore disallowed the goal, saying Idaho forward David Fredriksson made contact with goaltender Gerald Coleman prior to the goal.
Alaska (3-0) got a big insurance goal just a couple of minutes later, when Dan Kissel snapped the puck over the glove of Spratt to make it 4-2 with less than five minutes to play.
Spratt made 33 saves on 35 shots in relief of Christie, but takes the tough-luck loss. Coleman turned aside 16 of 18 Idaho shots in the win. For the night, the Aces outshot Idaho, 39-18. Idaho's power play was 1-3, while Alaska came up empty on six power-play chances.
Idaho has two more in Alaska on Friday and Saturday. Game time each night is 9:15 (Mtn) and can be heard on KTIK (1350 AM) in the Treasure Valley. The Steelheads don't return home until November 2 against Las Vegas.
COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Tristan King
AQUA FINA "3 STARS" -
(1) Tyler Ruegsegger (AK)
(2) Garry Nunn (AK)
(3) Jimmy Spratt (ID)
Steelhead Season-Ticket Holders get six games FREE when they sign up for full-season packages. Pro-rated plans for the remaining 35 home games start at just $275 per seat. Partial-season plans are also available. Contact the Steelheads front office at 208.383.0080 or log on to www.idahosteelheads.com for more information.
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