BOISE, Idaho – On April 2, at the tail end of the ECHL’s regular season, Idaho Steelheads captain Jefferson Dahl received a bit of surprising news from the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters. After over 200 games played for Idaho in the ECHL, Dahl was getting his first opportunity for a professional try-out in the American Hockey League.
“It wasn’t something I was expecting this late in the year,” Dahl cheerfully admitted. “But, to get any opportunity, it was definitely something I wanted to take advantage of.”
Dahl will most likely be reunited with his second line forwards Cole Ully and Max French, both of which have spent time in the AHL themselves this season with the Texas Stars. Leading the Steelheads this season with 41 assists and 61 points total, the Eau Claire, WI native is looking forward to facilitating more in the postseason. But, being the natural leader he is, Dahl is also expecting his teammates to elevate their play, as well.
“Especially (Ully) and I playing for a couple months now, we know what it’s like…we had a practice today. This time of year, with injuries and guys coming in and out of the lineup, everyone has to step up. It doesn’t matter where you are, we need everyone’s best, and it will be nothing different on Wednesday.”
What is a ship without its captain? Well, the Steelheads have allowed eight goals in their first two games against Allen, and are now down 2-0 in the best-of-seven series with the Americans, heading into Wednesday’s Game 3 on the road. Jack Nevins did admirably on the second line in Dahl’s absence, tallying the first goal for Idaho in Game 2 on Saturday night. However, Dahl’s point-per-game average and leadership have been sorely missed, and the wily vet is looking forward to re-joining the Steelheads to get their first win of the series.
“I’m excited to be back with the guys in the locker room. They played well, but were just on the wrong end of the scoreboard, which happens. The confidence isn’t lost here; we’re ready to go and win some games down in Allen. We’ve got a confident group here and the right guys in the room to do it. We’re just focusing on Wednesday right now…that’s all we can do.”