BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho Steelheads (36-17-7) came out of a wild and physical game with a 4-1 win over the South Carolina Stingrays (43-13-4) on Friday night from CenturyLink Arena in front of 5,042 fans, the 19th sellout of the season.
For the first time in four games, the Stingrays solved the Steelheads netminder and struck first. At 10:53, an odd-man rush led defenseman Jesse Lees for an open backhanded shot underneath the cross bar for their first goal against the Steelheads since 2013 and a 1-0 lead. However, the Steelheads power play remained hot with a tally of their own to tie the game, 1-1, on a rebound shot from the right circle by Steelheads forward and former Stingray Jonathan Charbonneau at 17:32.
The Steelheads continued their offensive run in the second period with two goals in the back half of the frame. At 11:51, Steelheads forward A.J. White deflected a centering pass from forward Will Merchant in the right corner for a top shelf tally and the difference-maker, 2-1. Merchant and White then set up forward Brett Supinski at 19:57 for an open dangle to force the netminder low and open the net near the right post, doubling the lead to 3-1.
On the ensuing faceoff, a line brawl broke out involving 11 different players between both teams and culminated in one ejection. The third period did not see a carry-over of aggression, but the Steelheads did tack on one more sealing goal at 19:17 on an empty net tally thanks to forward Anthony Nellis to take the 4-1 win.
Steelheads goaltender Tomas Sholl (27-8-5) stopped 29 of 30 shots in the win, while Stingrays netminder Parker Milner (20-5-3) saved 29 of 32 shots in the loss.
The Steelheads and Stingrays finish their three-game weekend on Saturday, Mar. 7 at 7:10 p.m. from CenturyLink Arena. Tickets are available by calling 208-331-TIXS(8497) or going to idahosteelheads.com. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on 1350 KTIK-AM “The Ticket” as well as 7:00 p.m. on Sparklight Ch. 72 & ECHL.tv.
There’s still time to cash in on the ultimate fan package with the Hockey Starter Pack! Call the Steelheads Front Office at 208-383-0080 to inquire about getting your pack as well as planning your next outing with single-game tickets, flex plans and season tickets. Stay connected to the Steelheads on idahosteelheads.com or by following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.