The Idaho Junior Steelheads will take a perfect 8-0 record into this weekend’s three game home series in McCall against the Southern Oregon Spartans.
Games will be at the Manchester Ice and Event Centre, with Friday and Saturday night contests at 7 PM and Sunday afternoon’s beginning at 1 PM.
Including their victories in the last five games of last season, one in the semi-finals and four in the league finals tournament, Coach John Olver’s Junior Steelheads have now won 13 in a row.
The Junior Steelheads fashioned a three game sweep of the Seattle Totems last weekend in their first-ever trip into the State of Washington for regular season games.
Goaltender Blake Mendenhall (Anchorage, AK) polished off the sweep with a 3-0 shutout of the Totems on Sunday afternoon, saving all 18 Seattle shots. He had defeated Seattle 9-3 on Friday night, making 22 saves. Goaltender Victor Olofsson (Stockholm, Sweden) beat the Totems 5-3 on Saturday night with 18 saves.
The Junior Steelheads dominated the offense, scoring in every period but one over the three games.
Winger Stefan Brucato (Colorado Springs, CO) led the team with a nine point weekend. He had a goal in game 1 plus 4 assists, then added 2 assists each in games 2 and 3.
Defenseman Jake Webber (Centennial, CO) scored two goals and three assists on the weekend.
Center Dom Gabaj (Bratislava, Slovakia) also had a five point weekend with three goals and two assists, and was one of the seven Junior Steelheads players not to take a penalty.
The other 13 players did, in fact, amass penalty minutes totaling 120.
Seattle players took a total of 184 penalty minutes during the series.
For the Idaho team, Shamus O’Neill (Frisco, CO) had a goal in each game, Cole Larson (Urbandale, IA) had two goals in the series. Single goals were added by Connor Kingsbury (Boise, ID), Jespen Jensen (Enkoping, Sweden), Randy Patzner (Pine, CO), Kevin Lassen (Eagle, ID), Ivo Crhak (Brno, Czech Republic), and August Von Ungern-Sternberg (Boise).
The Southern Oregon Spartans will bring a 6-4 record into McCall for the upcoming series. They have split six games with the Ogden Mustangs during the last two weekends.
The Spartans, with whom the Junior Steelheads are familiar from pre-season games in the last two seasons and a game at the WSHL Showcase last December, feature leading scorers Tim Talty (Tinley Park, IL) with 19 points in 9 games so far, Avik Bordak (Vancouver, WA) with 14 points in just 5 games, brother Joe Bordak (Vancouver, WA) with 13 points in 6 games, and Nick Stirmel (Altoona, WI) with 10 points in 10 games.
The Spartans’ primary goaltender so far this season has been Sean Buckley, who played for the Seattle Totems last year.
Story by Dick Dorfman, Jr. Steelheads Play-by-Play Broadcaster