Steelheads win big on emotional night

Steelheads win big on emotional night
Idaho Steelheads remember special fan Jayden Bennett with a 6-3 victory over the Las Vegas Wranglers Friday night at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.
Boise, ID (11/23/12) – Sam Carrick and Austin Smith each scored two goals and Adrian Foster chipped in with a goal and two assists Friday night as the Idaho Steelheads defeated the Las Vegas Wranglers, 6-3, in front of 4,255 fans at Boise's CenturyLink Arena.

The Steelheads led 5-0 after two before holding off a comeback attempt from Las Vegas to improve to 11-4-2 on the season.

Idaho started quickly in the first with three goals in the first eight minutes to chase Las Vegas starting goaltender Joe Fallon. First, at 2:30 of the first period, Adrian Foster re-directed a Matt Case shot from the top of the right-hand circle past Fallon for his seventh goal of the season to make it 1-0. Two minutes later, an Andrew Carroll centering pass found its way onto the back-hand of Sam Carrick in the slot and the 20-year-old rookie quickly lifted a shot past Fallon at 6:34 to make it 2-0. Then, at 7:50, an Austin Smith shot from the right wing on the rush was tipped by a Las Vegas player over Fallon's shoulder, making it 3-0 and ending Fallon's night after ten shots.

The Steelheads would net two more in the second on backup goaltender Mitch O'Keefe. Jacob Cepis tucked home a rebound off of a John Ryder shot at 9:09 of the second to make it 4-0. The goal was Cepis's fifth of the season and the assist was Ryder's first professional point. Then, at 15:31 of the second, Adrian Foster fed Smith up the right-hand wing again and Smith was able to rip one cleanly past O'Keefe for his second of the night, sixth of the season, to make it 5-0 after two periods.

Las Vegas would score three goals in the first eight minutes of the third period, with Sean Wiles, Chris Francis, and Geoff Paukovich getting the Wranglers within two, 5-3, with still nearly twelve minutes left. But the Steelheads would score a big insurance goal with 4:59 left in the game when Carrick whacked home a rebound of a David de Kastrozza shot to put Idaho back on top, 6-3. It marked Carrick's first two-goal game as a professional.

All nine goals were scored even-strength as Idaho was 0-2 on the power play and Las Vegas was 0-4. Case and Carrick each carded plus-3 ratings for the night with four more Steelheads checking in at plus-2.

Josh Robinson improved his personal record to 7-0-1 on the season by stopping a career-best 44 of 47 shots for Idaho. O'Keefe winds up taking the loss for Las Vegas, allowing three goals on 26 shots in relief of Fallon.

Idaho wraps up the week by hosting the Las Vegas Wranglers Saturday at 7:10 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise. 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 - Sam Carrick

CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Adrian Foster (ID)
2) Austin Smith (ID)
3) Sam Carrick (ID)