LOVELAND, CO – Colorado Eagles captain Sean Zimmerman will miss tonight’s game four against the Idaho Steelheads after the ECHL handed down a three-game suspension Thursday afternoon.
Zimmerman received a two-minute charging minor after crunching Steelheads Captain Jefferson Dahl into the sideboards during the second period of game three on Wednesday night. Here is video of the hit (at the 1:16 mark of this highlight package,) courtesy of the Idaho Steelheads:
ECHL brass felt it deserved a more severe penalty and released the following:
Colorado’s Sean Zimmerman has been suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed amount as a result of his actions in (The Game) April 19.
Zimmerman is fined and suspended under Rule #28 – Supplementary Discipline as a result of a charging incident at 15:32 of the second period.
Dahl left the game and didn’t return. Steelheads officials have not released whether he will be back in the lineup tonight. Michael Sdao is expected to take Zimmerman’s spot on the Eagles blue line. Zimmerman had a goal and an assist and was a +5 through the first 3 playoff games.
The Eagles will look to build on two straight victories in what has become a chippy and hard-hitting series. Recent addition Alex Belzile, sent down from the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL at the onset of the playoffs, looked like the best player on the ice Wednesday and should continue help an Eagles power play ranked second in the league during the regular season. Belzile has shown the ability to take over a game by himself and has significant playoff experience, helping the Alaska Aces win the Kelly Cup in 2014. He also played 63 games for the Steelheads during the 2014-15 season.
Rookie goaltender Lukas Hafner has looked strong between the pipes in the two games he has played giving up only 3 goals combined. Expect him to get the nod again tonight after a couple solid performances.
More than one Eagles player has mentioned privately how hard the boards and glass are at CenturyLink Arena in Boise. There appeared to be little give when Dahl got hurt on that hit by Zimmerman Wednesday night.
Both squads continue to be effective on the power play. Idaho is 3-9 in the series while Colorado is 2-10. Each has scored a short-handed goal as well. The Eagles were second in the league during the regular season scoring at a 24.8% clip on the man-advantage.
Eagles forwards Matt Garbowsky and Luke Salazar, both of whom were in the top-10 in league scoring during the regular season have yet to find their scoring touch in the postseason, each tallying just one assist in three games.
Including the regular season, this will be the 15th tilt between the two teams this year.
Puck drop is at 7:10 pm MST for game four tonight and game five Saturday night at CenturyLink arena in Boise. Games six and seven, if needed, will be back at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, CO April 25 & 26.