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Junior Steelheads sweep extends WSHL win streak to 22 - Junior Hockey News
Published: Sunday, 12 Feb 2012
By: Dick Dorfman
|The Idaho Junior Steelheads' WSHL winning streak has reach 22 straight games following this weekend's three game sweep over the Boulder Bison at Boulder Valley Ice at Superior, Colorado.
Saturday night's 6-0 shutout by goaltender Josh Benton (Anchorage, AK) clinched first place in the Mountain Division for the Junior Steelheads. The John Olver-coached team now has a record of 37-2-2 for 76 points and leads the second place Bison (27-10-3) by 19 points.
Boulder came close twice in the three games, taking the Steelies to overtime Friday night before bowing 4-3, then leading in Sunday's game 3-2 before two late third period goals by Idaho brought another 4-3 win to keep the streak alive.
Jordyn Kaufer (Stillwater, MN) picked up the two 4-3 wins in goal. His league-leading stats show a 19-0-1 record and 1.60 goals against average, but are actually better than that. He should have received credit for another win when it was not noticed he entered the game in relief, and he gave up no goals in that contest, which lowers the GAA slightly.
The Junior Steelheads have not lost since a shootout loss on the night after Thanksgiving in the second game of a three game series in El Paso. They have not lost in regulation time since a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Fresno Monsters back on October 29.
The 22 game skein includes four wins in the league Showcase in Las Vegas in December.
The Steelheads line of Stefan Brucato, Filip Kasaly, and Ben Hanus was super-productive in the three wins over Boulder.
Kasaly (Pehlrimov, Czech Repub.) notched 3 goals and 7 assists to lead the attack. Hanus (New Kensington, PA) had 4 goals and 3 assists. Brucato (Colorado Springs) had 3 goals and 3 assists and has taken over the team lead in scoring. He had the game winning goal on Sunday after Sean Van Eysden (also Colorado Springs) had tied it.
Friday night team captain Justin Videen (Meridian, ID) scored the game-winning goal 2:36 into the overtime.
Next weekend the Junior Steelheads return to McCall, Idaho, to host the first-year Dallas Ice Jets in a three game series Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, all contests starting at 7:00 PM MST.
The Ice Jets are in second place in the Midwest Division and will have a lot at stake when they make the trip north to the West Central mountains of Idaho.
The Ice Jets, in line to host a first round playoff series, have 52 points in 37 games. Midwest Division leader El Paso has 64 points in 40 games, so the Ice Jets would still have a mathematical chance to overtake the Rhinos.
At the same time, the Grapevine, Texas, based Ice Jets face a challenge from the third place Texas Brahmas, who have 47 points in their 37 games. The Brahmas have enough time to take over second place and thereby host the probably first round playoff series between the two Metroplex area teams.
The Junior Steelheads have now locked in their first round playoff series and will host the Ogden Mustangs on the weekend of March 9-10-11. Sites and starting times have not been announced as yet.
The Mustangs defeated the Park City Moose 3-1 Saturday night at the Weber County Ice Sheet in Ogden to eliminate the Moose from playoff contention.
Boulder will host the third-place Cheyenne Stampede in the first round.
Submitted by Dick Dorfman - Junior Steelheads Play-by-Play - (208) 514-5419
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