Boise, ID – Ryan Zapolski turned aside 36 of 37 shots and three different players found the back of the net as the Idaho Steelheads defeated the Utah Grizzlies, 3-1, in the preseason finale for both squads.
The contest was played in front of 4,813 fans at CenturyLink Arena in Boise in the team’s third-annual “Season-Ticket Holder Only” game.
Idaho scored twice in the first period and both were top-notch efforts. First, it was Ron Meyers going from forehand-to-backhand before tucking a shot through the legs of Utah goaltender Riley Gill at the 9:00 mark of the first period. Then, at 19:04, rookie Corey Tamblyn picked up a loose puck, skated it to the bottom of the left-hand circle, and somehow lifted the puck over Gill’s shoulder short-side for the eventual game-winning tally.
With a 2-0 lead, Zapolski stole the show in the second frame. He stopped two partial breakaways, making 16 saves in the frame, as Utah was unable to cut into Idaho’s 2-0 lead.
Utah’s TJ Battani cut Idaho’s lead in half in the third period but Idaho’s Mike Towns sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 36 seconds remaining in the contest.
Both teams were strong on the penalty kill as the two sides combined to go 0-for-10 on the power play. Idaho’s penalty-killing unit was a perfect 6-for-6.
The same two teams will meet again next Friday (October 12) in Boise to open the ECHL’s regular season at CenturyLink Arena.