Five straight wins have Steelheads on top of Pacific


Thanks to a five-game winning streak, the Idaho Steelheads have moved to the top of the Pacific Division with a 6-1-0 record and 12 points.


Idaho swept a three-game series against Stockton at CenturyLink Arena last week, outscoring the Thunder 16-7 in the process.


The Steelheads opened the week with a 3-0 win on Wendesday. Jason Bast scored twice and assisted on Idaho’s other goal, while Olivier Roy turned aside all 28 shots he faced to record his fifth career ECHL shutout.


On Friday, Idaho raced out to a 4-0 lead less than 21 minutes into the contest, only to see Stockton erase the deficit with four straight goals of its own before the second period ended. Jesse Root’s shorthanded goal, his third point of the night, 7:41 into the third period put the Steelheads back on top to stay as Idaho prevailed 5-4. Wade MacLeod scored a pair of goals in the win while Henri Kiviaho earned his first North American win with 23 saves.


Idaho faced a 2-0 deficit in the series finale on Saturday before scoring eight of the game’s final nine goals en route to an 8-3 win. Bast and David de Kastrozza both scored two goals, while MacLeod added three assists.


The Steelheads have featured a good mix of offense and defense in the early going as the club is tied for fourth with 4.00 goals per game while leading the league with 2.00 goals-against per game. Idaho’s +14 goal differential leads the league, and is four goals better than the second-place squad.


Bast’s seven goals this season lead ECHL rookies, and are tied for first overall in the league, while his nine points have him tied for third among first-year players and tied for fourth overall. de Kastrozza, who led the league last season with six shorthanded goals and 10 shorthanded points, has picked up where he left off as his two shorthanded goals and three shorthanded points once again pace the league.


Roy has been solid between the pipes, as his five wins lead the league, while he ranks third in minutes played (328), and fifth in both goals-against average (1.28) and save percentage (.949).


The Steelheads hit the road this week for a three-game series at Colorado on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.