Steelheads Comeback Falls Short in Game 2 Loss
Boise, ID (4/14/18) - Aaron Harstad scored with 59 seconds remaining in regulation time, but that was as close as the Idaho Steelheads would come as the Allen Americans hung on for a 5-4 victory in Game 2 of the Mountain Division Semifinals to take a 2-0 series lead as the series moves to Allen.
Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored twice for the Americans, who jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 6:03 of the opening period. Jared Bethune opened the scoring 1:34 into the game with a wrap from behind the goal line that banked in off the pad of Idaho goaltender Tomas Sholl for his first professional playoff goal. Pierro-Zabotel made it 2-0 on a deflection of a Joel Chouinard shot up over Sholl's shoulder.
The Steelheads did not record their first shot on goal until the 12:52 mark of the first period, but they stormed the Allen net in the latter half of the frame and tied the game prior to the first intermission. Jack Nevins got Idaho on the board with his first of the playoffs, burying a shot in the low slot after Cole Ully slid the puck in front from behind the net at 13:31. With one minute left in the first, Max French finished a power play one-timer for his first professional playoff goal to tie the game 2-2. [Max French 4/14; Creative Expressions Photography]
The Steelheads had the first six shots on goal of the second period, but David Makowski would put the Americans back in front with his second goal of the series. At 4:55 of the second, a turnover at the Allen line sent Makowski ahead on a 2-on-1 rush, with Makowski beating Sholl to the blocker to make it 3-2 Allen.
Pierro-Zabotel netted his second of the game at 7:58 of the third period to extend Allen's lead to 4-2, taking a pass from Braylon Shmyr in the high slot and firing a wrist shot past Sholl for the 18th playoff goal of his career.
Idaho would draw back within one at 13:20 when Justin Parizek tipped an Eric Sweetman point shot past Allen goaltender Jake Paterson, Parizek's first professional playoff goal.
With Sholl pulled for the extra skater, Zach Pochiro netted an empty-net goal with 1:55 remaining to restore Allen's two-goal lead. Aaron Harstad would net his second goal of the playoffs with 59 seconds left to make it 5-4, but Idaho could not find the equalizer.
The Steelheads power play went 1-for-4, but could not convert on 1:10 of 5-on-3 power play time in the third period at a point when Allen was protecting a 3-2 lead.
Sholl made 19 saves on 23 shots in his first professional playoff game, suffering the first regulation loss of his ECHL career after going 14-0-3 in the regular season.
The Steelheads and Americans meet for Game 3 at Allen Event Center on Wednesday night, with puck-drop scheduled for 6:05pm MT. The game can be heard on 1350AM KTIK and seen on ECHLTV.
STEELHEADS STATS: Goals: Nevins (1), French (1), Parizek (1), Harstad (2) Tomas Sholl: 19 saves on 23 shots Power Play: 1-for-4 Penalty Kill: 2-for-2
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. David Makowski ALN
2. Cole Ully IDH
3. Casey Pierro-Zabotel ALN
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME Casey Pierro-Zabotel: 2 goals, 3 shots, plus-3
PLAY OF THE GAME: The Steelheads seemed to have swung momentum to their side at the start of the second period, having climbed out of a two-goal deficit and putting pressure on in the Allen zone. That momentum shifted when a bouncing puck at the Allen blue line was poked out to center by Alex Guptill, sending David Makowski ahead on a 2-on-1 break. Makowski took it himself, firing a shot past Sholl to put the Americans back in front for good.
Images from this story
Max French of the Idaho Steelheads vs. the Allen Americans
(Creative Expressions Photography)
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