(Boise, ID) – Erik Burgdoerfer’s shot through traffic with 54 seconds to go tied the game and the visiting Bakersfield Condors went on to beat the Idaho Steelheads in a shootout, 6-5, Saturday night in Boise.
The Condors rallied from deficits of 1-0, 3-2, 4-3, and 5-4 to ultimately force the shootout and get the victory. Idaho (25-29-8, 58 points) did gain one point in the standings to move within seven points of the Stockton Thunder (65 points) for fifth place in the ECHL’s Western Conference. Stockton was defeated by Utah on Saturday night. Idaho and Stockton have four head-to-head meetings left, including a game Wednesday night in Stockton.
Jake Hauswirth netted his first goal as a Steelhead at the 5:40 mark of the first period to put Idaho on top, but the Condors countered with goals from Tyler Helfrich (16th) and Ryan Annesley (3rd) to take a 2-1 lead after the first period. Patrick Kennedy’s power-play goal from the right-hand circle at the 6:38 mark of the second period tied the game at two and Chad Nehring’s shot from the left-hand circle at 8:24 gave Idaho a 3-2 lead. Nehring’s 13th was assisted by rookie forward Ron Meyers, his first professional point in his third professional game.
Bakersfield tied the game at 13:04 of the second period when Parker Stanfield snapped a one-timer past Jerry Kuhn from the bottom of the right circle for his 11th of the season. Idaho would re-take the lead late in the second when Marty Flichel forced a turnover in the Bakersfield defensive zone and then threaded a perfect pass into the slot, where Meyers tapped the puck inside the right-hand post for his first professional goal at 19:46 of the second, giving Idaho a 4-3 lead going into the final frame.
The Condors responded again at 9:48 of the third on a Kyle Calder power play goal to even the game at four. Idaho once again recaptured the lead with seven minutes to play when Kennedy back-handed a rebound off a Hauswirth shot past Bryon Pitton to put Idaho up, 5-4. Kennedy’s first professional two-goal game gives him eight tallies on the season.
With the Bakersfield net empty for an extra attacker, the Condors put pressure on the Idaho net. It paid off when Burgdoerfer wristed a shot through a sea of traffic and over Kuhn’s shoulder with just 54 seconds left, tying the game at five and sending the game to overtime. Neither side scored in overtime, but Bakersfield controlled the shootout as Calder, Jesse Gimblett, and Peter Boyd all scored. Pitton denied all three Idaho shooters to give the Condors the victory.
Kuhn stopped 34 of 39 shots in the loss, while Pitton surrendered five goals on 37 shots in the victory. Bakersfield was 2-3 on the power play, while Idaho went 1-2.
Kennedy (2 goals), Meyers (goal, assist) and Hauswirth (goal, assist) all had two-point nights for Idaho. Hauswirth also finished the night with a plus-3 rating.
Idaho ventures on the road briefly next week, with a Tuesday game in Ontario prior to Wednesday’s important contest in Stockton.
After the two mid-week games on the road, Idaho returns home next Friday and Saturday to host the Ontario Reign. Puck drop is at 7:10 PM. Tickets are available by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office (208.331.TIXS) or by logging on to www.idahosteelheads.com.
COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME – Ron Meyers
AQUA FINA “3 STARS” -
(1) Ron Meyers (ID)
(2) Patrick Kennedy (ID)
(3) Steven Tarasuk (ID)