BOISE, Idaho – The Jacksonville Icemen came into their game Saturday night looking to even up their weekend series against the Idaho Steelheads and bring a win back to Florida. And, with a 2-0 lead after one period of play, the Icemen were poised to make good on that motivation to head home victorious.
That is, until Idaho’s goal scorers came alive.
The Steelheads completed the come-from-behind victory on the heels of three unanswered goals, taking their third win in a row by a final score of 3-2. Forward Reid Petryk started things off for the Steelies on the score sheet after deflecting in a Keegan Kanzig slapshot at 18:13 of the second period. With defenseman Colton Saucerman burying the game-tying tally early on in the final regulation frame, the Steelheads rode a large shots on goal advantage (12-3) through the third period and into overtime. As the clock wound down, with less than a minute remaining in 3-on-3, forward Spencer Naas went five-hole on Jacksonville netminder Tanner Jaillet to seal the win for Idaho and earn all four points available on the weekend.
Idaho Head Coach Neil Graham commented on Idaho’s weekend sweep: “It was big, and overall, we’re playing the game the right way — we’re playing a team game. You can see it over the last several games, dating back to the previous six…that’s eight games in a row that we’ve showed up and played hard. The results are following suit.”
Just like the evening prior, Jacksonville was first to get on the board close to the halfway mark of the first period. After incurring a hooking minor at 7:15, Icemen forward Everett Clark found himself in the right place at the right time for redemption a couple minutes later. After a handful of chances on Steelheads goaltender Ryan Faragher, the puck landed in front of Clark as Faragher was caught out of position, leaving a wide-open net for Clark to score at 9:31. Five minutes later, defenseman Dajon Mingo drove down the left-wing boards into Idaho’s zone, lobbing a shot on net. The puck wedged between Faragher’s right pad and the near post, giving the Icemen a two-goal lead at 14:48 of the opening frame.
A goaltending change after the first intermission brought Tomas Sholl in net for the rest of the evening, giving the Steelheads a much-needed boost to be able to refocus on the goal line. After being out-shot 10-9 by Jacksonville in the first, the Steelheads came out with 15 shots to the Icemen’s 11 in the second. The pressure applied on Jaillet manifested itself not only in shots, but attack zone time and chances in general for Idaho. All it took was Petryk’s deflection of Kanzig’s shot into the net late in the frame to start the momentum shift for the Steelheads.
To start the third, Idaho’s Steve McParland threw the puck into the Jacksonville crease as he took down an Icemen defender behind the net. Forward Mitch Moroz then backhanded the puck into the Icemen’s goal, getting the assumed tally waved off due to McParland’s tripping minor. Moroz protested the call, and was mocked by Jacksonville’s Cameron Critchlow before the two tussled in the corner to earn ten-minute game misconducts. During the penalty kill, Steelies captain A.J. White and Saucerman found themselves on a shorthanded breakaway, with White setting up Saucerman to slam home the game-tying goal at 4:03.
No further goals in the third meant the game headed to an overtime period, with both teams netting two shots on goal apiece before Naas’ game-winner with 55 seconds to spare. The victory brings Idaho’s record in OT to 4-1 overall, going 3-1 at home so far this season. The Steelheads will host their closest Mountain Division foe, the Utah Grizzlies, for their next two games at CenturyLink Arena Boise on Friday, December 7 and Saturday, December 8.
TEDDY BEAR TOSS!
Saturday night was the Teddy Bear Toss for the Idaho Steelheads, benefiting the Toys for Tots charity in the greater Treasure Valley. The toss took place after the Petryk tally late in the second period, with fans launching hundreds of stuffed animals into the air and onto the ice. Steelheads Booster Club President Rocci Johnson announced during the second intermission that the team raised over $3300 in cash and donated over 7,000 toys through the Teddy Bear Toss initiative this evening.
SHOLLY THE GOALIE
After starting off the season with a 1-2-0 record, Tomas Sholl has found his gear again for the Steelheads, going 5-1-0 and winning three straight for Idaho in the past seven days. His 16 saves on 16 shots in relief of Faragher helped the Steelies take the win on Saturday night, reaffirming his place in the pipes while fellow goaltenders Philippe Desrosiers and Colton Point fulfill their obligations with the AHL’s Texas Stars.
Jacksonville Head Coach Jason Christie reached a head coaching benchmark Saturday night by coaching in his 1100th ECHL game. Christie is in first place regarding both games coached and games won (580), as well as seasons coached (16), in the ECHL. He started his coaching career with the ECHL iteration of the Peoria Rivermen in 2000 before manning the bench for Western Conference teams like Utah (2005-08), Ontario (2011-15), and Tulsa (2015-17). Christie took the Icemen job after the franchise had relocated from Evansville, IN after sitting dormant for the 2016-17 season.
Idaho Goaltender Tomas Sholl Speaks About His Mentality Coming in Mid-Game
Steelheads Forward Spencer Naas Discusses How Speed Drives Idaho’s Goal Scoring