BOISE, ID. – Idaho scored four goals in the first period to propel the Steelheads to a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Eagles on Wednesday. Idaho forward Kellen Lain scored a pair of goals, while goalie Philippe Desrosiers collected the win with 34 saves on 37 shots.
The Steelheads turned on the offense in the first period and it was forward Joe Basaraba who would get it started when he stuffed in a loose puck on top of the crease on the power play to give Idaho the 1-0 edge just 4:00 into the game.
Just over five minutes later, Idaho forward Brandon Troock would fire a puck at the net off a turnover, catching a deflection from Lain and beating Eagles goalie Kent Simpson to grow the Steelheads lead to 2-0. Lain would strike again at the 16:53 mark of the first period when he snagged a drop-pass in the slot and fired a wrist shot that would light the lamp and give Idaho the 3-0 advantage.
With Colorado on its second power play of the night late in the first period, an Eagles turnover at the Steelheads blue line would lead to a breakaway for forward Mike McMurtry. Simpson would stop the initial shot with his right leg pad, but McMurtry would pull the puck back onto his tape and flick it into the net to give Idaho a 4-0 lead with 46 seconds left in the opening period of play.
The Eagles would finally get on the board in a much-improved second period, in which Colorado outshot the Steelheads 16-7. Eagles forward Josh Nicholls lit the lamp with a wrist shot from the right circle that found its way past Desrosiers at the 11:36 mark of the middle frame.
Colorado would continue to chip away at the Idaho lead when forward Shawn St-Amant unfurled a wrist shot from the right circle on the power play that would beat Desrosiers and slice the Steelheads advantage to 4-2 at the 4:03 mark of the third period. Less than six minutes later, the Eagles would earn themselves another power play and forward Darryl Bootland would take advantage by deflecting a shot from the blueline into the back of the net to cut the Steelheads advantage to 4-3.
Idaho would throw the brakes on the Eagles rally when forward Will Merchant capitalized on a turnover in the Eagles zone by snapping a wrister past Simpson to extend the Steelheads edge to 5-3 with only 4:15 remaining in the contest.
Colorado would pull Simpson in favor of the extra attacker, but would be unable to produce a goal, falling to Idaho by a final score of 5-3.
The Eagles continue their three-game series against the Idaho Steelheads at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho on Friday, January 13th at 7:10pm MT.
Season tickets for the 2016-17 season are on-sale now and can be reserved with a $50 deposit per seat by calling the Eagles ticket office at 970-686-SHOT (7468). A complete schedule can be found at www.ColoradoEagles.com.