With the win, sixth-place Utah now has a four-point lead over Idaho (27-31-9, 63 points) in the ECHL’s Western Conference standings.
The game was scoreless for much of the first period, as Idaho’s Jerry Kuhn robbed Chris Donovan with the glove at the right-hand post with about eight minutes left in the first period. Utah drew first blood less than four minutes later, at 16:26, when CJ Severyn’s shot from the right circle snuck under Kuhn’s leg pad to give Utah a 1-0 lead after one period.
Utah put two more on the board in the second, with Ryan Watson scoring a power-play goal on a rebound at the 9:18 mark and Gaelen Patterson notching his first ECHL goal barely two minutes later on a low-angle shot from the left goal line that bounced in off Kuhn. Following the Patterson goal, Idaho coach Hardy Sauter replaced Kuhn with Bryan Hince and the move seemed to inject a little life into the Steelheads.
Idaho got on the board at 13:57 of the second when Ron Meyers fed a pass from the left corner through traffic to the right point to Chris Hepp. Hepp guided a shot toward the top of the crease where Chad Nehring re-directed the puck past Andrew Engelage for his 14th goal of the season, getting Idaho within two at 3-1.
Unfortunately, Idaho could draw no closer. Collin Vock scored on a deflection of his own just 1:09 into the third period and then added another at 5:58 of the third to make it 5-1 in favor of the Grizzlies. Falite added a goal in the final minute to finish out the scoring.
Andrew Engelage got the win for Utah, stopping 23 of 24 Idaho shots. Kuhn took the loss, stopping 18 of 21 before being removed from the game in the second period. Hince stopped 11 of 14 in relief. Idaho’s power play was 0-3 on the evening while Utah’s went 1-4.
The Steelheads travel to Las Vegas for their final two road games of the regular season, Friday night and Saturday night at the Orleans Arena. Both games begin at 8 PM (Mtn) and can be heard live in the Treasure Valley on KTIK (1350 AM).
Idaho returns home on Wednesday, March 28, to begin its final homestand of the regular season against the Stockton Thunder. 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 – Chad Nehring
AQUA FINA “3 STARS” -
(1) Collin Vock (UT)
(2) Ryan Watson (UT)
(3) CJ Severyn (UT)