Steelies stop two-game skid with four-goal effort at home

Steelies stop two-game skid with four-goal effort at home »Play Video
Idaho's Patrick Cullity celebrates after his first goal of the season on Tuesday night at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.
Boise, ID (11/26/13) – Defenseman Patrick Cullity notched his first two-goal game as a professional and Josh Robinson stopped 23 of 24 shots Tuesday night as the Idaho Steelheads kicked off an 11-game homestand with a 4-1 victory over the Las Vegas Wranglers at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.

The win pushed Idaho's record to 9-5-3, good for 21 points in the ECHL standings.

Cullity's first goal of the night, an even-strength shot from the left point, deflected off Las Vegas's Geoff Paukovich at 16:22 of the first period to give the Steelheads a 1-0 lead after twenty minutes. The Wranglers tied the game at 6:27 of the second when former Steelhead Matt Tassone dug a loose puck out from behind Robinson in the crease and pulled home his fifth goal of the season, evening things at 1-1.

Las Vegas was buzzing, looking for a go-ahead goal moments later when Robinson made a series of four consecutive momentum-swinging saves to keep the Wranglers out of the net. Idaho then scored the go-ahead goal when William Rapuzzi snuck a forehand shot past Travis Fullerton at a sharp angle from the left post at 10:39 of the second, making it 2-1. Idaho extended the lead just over four minutes later, at 14:53, when Taylor Vause knocked home a rebound off a Tommy Grant shot. Vause's sixth of the season - and first since November 2 against Ontario - gave Idaho a 3-1 lead after two periods.

Idaho's penalty kill withstood a pair of Las Vegas power-play opportunities before Idaho got a power play of its own at 7:12 of the third. Just 14 seconds into the power play, Mitch Wahl's pass from the left wing set up Cullity for a one-timer from the center point, beating Fullerton glove-side at 7:26 for his second of the night, extending Idaho's lead to 4-1. Wahl's assist extended his point streak to ten consecutive games, the longest point streak in the ECHL so far this season.

Las Vegas never threatened after that as Idaho was able to control the play over the final twelve minutes in the win. Robinson got the win with his 23-for-24 save effort in net as he has now stopped 78 of the 81 shots (.963 save percentage) over his past three starts, all Idaho wins. Travis Fullerton took the loss, allowing four goals on 28 Idaho shots.

The Steelheads went 1-2 on the power play while the Idaho penalty-kill was a perfect 5-for-5.

Idaho's season-long, eleven-game homestand resumes Friday with another game against Las Vegas on CenturyLink Hat Night. Tickets are available by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office at 208-331-8497.

COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - William Rapuzzi (1G/1A)

CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Patrick Cullity (ID)
2) Josh Robinson (ID)
3) William Rapuzzi (ID)