BOISE, Idaho – The Colorado Eagles, making their first trip to Idaho, defeated the Steelheads, 4-2, in the first of three games there this week. Idaho scored the game’s first two tallies, but Colorado, playing with just 14 skaters, reeled off four unanswered goals and reeled in a win over the Steelheads.
Idaho jumped out to a 2-0 lead in just over half a period, but the Eagles countered with a pair of their own to tie the game heading into the first intermission. Chad Nehring got the game’s first goal at 3:16 when he won a battle at the right post and put the puck past Andrew Penner.
Then midway through the period, Chad Klassen shot the puck from atop the right circle, along the boards, and Penner kicked out a rebound to a wide open Kael Mouillierat in the low slot. But things started to turn on the Steelheads less than 90 seconds later.
At 11:54, Jon Landry shot the puck down the ice on a dump attempt from the center ice red line and it took a fortunate deflection along the boards before finding the back of the net behind Jerry Kuhn. And at 18:37, the Eagles took advantage of a neutral zone turnover when Kevin Ulanski found Riley Nelson in between the circles on an odd-man break to tie the game at 2.
The Steelheads out-shot the Eagles 13-9 in the second stanza, but Colorado was the team that got the period’s only goal. At 1:44 of the period, Aaron Schneekloth took a shot from the point on a power play and Patrick Cey, stationed on the doorstep, was able to deflect it past Kuhn.
After entering the third period with a 21-20 edge in shots over Idaho, the Eagles put up 27 more in the final frame as they held the majority of the play (limiting the Steelheads to just six). As part of the offensive barrage, Chad Costello found Jack Combs on an odd-man break after collecting a turnover in their defensive zone, and the league’s leading scorer beat Kuhn to make it 4-2 at 3:58 of the third.
The teams will meet again on Friday and Saturday night in Idaho.