ONTARIO, CA- The Idaho Steelheads (44-15-5) lost for the second straight game to the Ontario Reign (29-27-9); this time by a 2-1 score. The loss marks the first time all season that Idaho has fallen in regulation on back-to-back instances.
The first period had the makings of a goaltenders’ duel, as both netminders were perfect. Rejean Beauchemin, making his first start for Idaho since March 13th in Victoria, stopped all five shots sent his way in the opening frame, while Ontario’s Mike Zacharias stopped all seven Idaho shots.
Ontario scored first at 6:18 of the second period when Michael Pelech swept home a rebound in front of Beauchemin.
But at 8:55, Dustin Friesen answered for the Steelheads, as he received a pass in front of the net from Tyler Spurgeon that allowed him time to accurately place a wrist shot behind Zaharias. Evan Barlow also assisted on Friesen’s fourth of the season, which came on the power play.
At 11:42 of the second, Geoff Walker put Ontario on top 2-1 when he redirected a David Walker shot into the net behind Beauchemin witn Ontario on the power play.
The third period offered another frame of scoreless hockey, and the game ended just as the second period did; Ontario held the lead, prevailing by a 2-1 count.
Rejean Beauchemin stopped 22 of 24 in the Idaho net and suffered the loss; he is now 23-9-2. Mike Zacharias got the better of Idaho for the second straight game; he is now 9-5-2 for Ontario.
The Steelheads and Reign will wrap-up this three-game set tomorrow. The puck drops at 6:00 PM MST. Idaho returns home to host the Victoria Salmon Kings on Wednesday, March 24th.
TONIGHT’S AQUAFINA THREE STARS:
1. MIKE ZACHARIAS (ONT)
2. JON RHEAULT (ONT)
3. DUSTIN FRIESEN (IDH)
TONIGHT’S COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: DUSTIN FRIESEN (IDH)
TONIGHT’S BOX SCORE:
Idaho Steelheads 1 At Ontario Reign 2 – Status: Unofficial Final
Mar 20, 2010 – Citizens Business Bank Arena
Idaho 0 1 0 – 1
Ontario 0 2 0 – 2
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Howe Ont (tripping), 1:26; Starling Ont (interference), 5:36; Huxley Idh (roughing), 7:52; Monast Idh (cross-checking), 12:38; Dawson Idh (fighting – major), 14:28; Egener Ont (fighting – major), 14:28; O’Connor Ont (roughing), 14:28; Hogeboom Ont (hooking), 18:25.
2nd Period-1, Ontario, Pelech 9 (Rheault, Martens), 6:18. 2, Idaho, Friesen 4 (Spurgeon, Barlow), 8:55 (pp). 3, Ontario, Walker 4 (Walker, Hogeboom), 11:42 (pp). Penalties-Tremblay Ont (boarding), 4:42; Flichel Idh (hooking), 4:54; Starling Ont (tripping), 7:41; Flichel Idh (boarding), 10:29; Starling Ont (boarding), 15:46; Flichel Idh (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:02.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-DeVergilio Idh (cross-checking), 0:41; Derlago Idh (slashing ), 7:25; Dawson Idh (hooking), 7:44; Hogeboom Ont (hooking), 12:08; Teubert Ont (boarding), 16:56.
Shots on Goal-Idaho 7-8-11-26. Ontario 5-12-7-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Idaho 1 of 9; Ontario 1 of 8.
Goalies-Idaho, Beauchemin 23-8-1-1 (24 shots-22 saves). Ontario, Zacharias 8-5-1-1 (26 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Jarrod Ragusin (28).
Linesmen-James Parker (61), Brent Tubbs (42).