STEELHEADS: Game Day Storylines- 12/6 at Utah
The Steelheads looked to extend their winning streak on the road to six games when they met the Grizzlies at Maverik Center for the teams' second meeting of four in a row this week. Both teams headed to Boise after the final buzzer for two more contests at CenturyLink Arena over the weekend. The Steelheads entered the game one point back of second place Colorado in the Mountain Division. The Grizzlies sit sixth in the division and are winless in their last eight games (0-3-5).
Shane Hanna scored twice for the Steelheads in regulation on Monday, and the Grizzlies answered each Hanna goal with one of their own from Ryan Olsen and Ryan Walters. Idaho found the extra point in the shootout with goals from Cody Corbett and Justin Parizek, while Philippe Desorsiers stopped both shootout attempts and 21 shots in game play to secure a 3-2 Idaho win, his sixth in a row.
The Steelheads were without some prominent performers, with Brady Brassart called to AHL Utica and several Steelheads resting with day-to-day ailments that ultimately had three of Idaho's top four scorers absent from the lineup. Head Coach Neil Graham used a season-high seven rookies in the lineup, and they rewarded him. Shane Hanna notched the first multi-goal game of his career, while Alex Dahl earned an assist as well. Justin Parizek added his third shootout goal of the season in three attempts, the most by any player in the ECHL this season. In 22 games this season, Steelheads rookies have accounted for 16 goals and 38 points.
The Steelheads have proven themselves to be a strong comeback team this year, their 3-6-1 record in games they've trailed after two periods serving as the second-best record in the ECHL. But Idaho has been potent when starting off on the right foot as well, sporting an 8-1-1 record when scoring the game's first goal. The Steelheads are also 6-0-0 when leading after one period and 8-0-0 when leading after two periods.
The Steelheads are starting to put points together after regulation, now winning three straight shootouts. The same cannot be said for the Grizzlies, who opened the season with three straight overtime wins and one over the Steelheads but have now lost seven in a row beyond regulation. The Grizzlies have three times this year suffered overtime/shootout losses in consecutive games, coming into Wednesday night's game with consecutive defeats again after falling in overtime last Saturday in Colorado and then on Monday in the shootout. The Grizzlies are also 0-2 in shootouts, with no goals in six attempts.
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