Steelheads beat Aces, move into first place

Steelheads beat Aces, move into first place
Boise, ID (12/12/12) – Tyler Beskorowany turned aside all 29 shots he faced and the Idaho Steelheads netted three first-period goals to defeat the Alaska Aces, 4-0, in front of 4,930 fans at CenturyLink Arena on Wednesday night.

For Beskorowany, it was his first ECHL shutout since his first ECHL start - a 5-0 blanking of the Victoria Salmon Kings on October 15, 2010. It was Idaho's first shutout since Jerry Kuhn pitched a 46-save shutout in the decisive game-five victory over the Ontario Reign on April 9 in the first round of the ECHL Kelly Cup playoffs last spring.

Idaho (17-5-3) seized control of the game in the opening 20 minutes as the Steelheads out-shot Alaska, 20-5, and relentlessly pressured the Aces net. Gerald Coleman stood tall in net until the 8:57 mark when Ben Ondrus spun one from the bottom of the left-hand circle through Coleman's leg for his first of the season. The Steelheads would make it 2-0 a minute later when Austin Smith scored his 15th of the season on a rebound. Coleman stopped David deKastrozza's initial shot, but the rebound sat directly under the Aces' netminder as he looked for it. Smith saw it and tapped it home to extend his point streak to ten consecutive games. It was also his fourth consecutive game with a goal.

The lead would swell to 3-0 at the 15:49 mark on a beautiful move by Justin Dowling along the right-hand wall. Dowling took a pass and proceeded to drag the puck past a flat-footed Aces defender, leaving him behind as he streaked into the right-hand circle for a quick shot over the blocker of Coleman to give Idaho total control of the contest. Dowling now has points in eight straight games for the Steelheads.

Idaho would tack on a fourth goal at 1:49 of the second period when a deKastrozza shot from the high slot snuck over Coleman's shoulder for his fifth of the season. deKastrozza has picked up six points (four goals, two assists) in his past five games for Idaho.

From that point on, it was the Tyler Beskorowany show as he turned aside 24 Alaska shots over the final two periods. It was the first time Alaska (18-8-0) had been shut out this season. Six Steelhead players - deKastrozza, Jeremie Blain, Gord Baldwin, Matt Case, Sam Carrick, and Mathieu Tousignant - were all plus-2 in the victory as the Steelheads are now unbeaten in regulation over their last seven games.

Coleman took the loss in net for the Aces, stopping 28 of 32 shots. Idaho did not have a power-play attempt in the game but the team's penalty-kill unit was a perfect 4-for-4 on Alaska man advantages.

The Steelheads hit the road for the next three games. Idaho will be at Bakersfield on Friday, Ontario on Saturday, and Utah one week from tonight.

The Steelheads play their final home game of 2012 on Saturday, December 22, against the Las Vegas Wranglers. Tickets are available by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office at 208.331.8497 or by going online at www.idahosteelheads.com

COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - David deKastrozza

CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Tyler Beskorowany (ID)
2) David deKastrozza (ID)
3) Ben Ondrus (ID)