ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Rookie goaltender Josh Robinson made 36 saves for his fourth shutout of the season to help the Idaho Steelheads spoil the Alaska Aces regular season home finale in a 2-0 Steelheads win at Sullivan Arena.The Aces welcomed another standing room only, capacity crowd of 6,599 for the game. The Aces (46-14-7) finished the season with a terrific 26-8-2 home record, despite dropping their third straight game to Idaho. Alaska’s magic number for the Mountain Division stayed at five points, and the number for the Western Conference and Brabham Cup remained at seven points. The Aces finish the regular season on a five-game road trip, and will return to host Games 1 & 2 of the Opening Round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Friday, April 5th and Saturday, April 6th.
The Aces and Steelheads played a scoreless period to start the hockey game. Alaska limited Idaho to just one shot through first 19 minutes, until Idaho received a late power play and added two late shots in the frame. Alaska outshot Idaho 7-3 in the period, marking just the second time in seven meetings that the Steelheads failed to score an opening period goal.
Alaska applied great pressure in the second period and outshot the Steelheads 15-7 in the frame, but could not solve goaltender Josh Robinson and the Idaho defense. The Steelheads finally broke the scoreless tie late in the period when Justin Taylor squeezed a shot from just outside the top of the crease through Gerald Coleman at 17:35. The Steelheads took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at second intermission.
Early in the third period rookie Austin Smith extended Idaho’s lead with a one-timer from the left circle at 4:25. The two-goal lead proved to be plenty for Robinson, as he stopped 14 more shots in the third period, en route to Idaho’s sixth win in seven meetings with Alaska this season. The rare shutout on home ice was the first the Aces suffered since November 12, 2011.
Gerald Coleman (21-5-2) played in his 300th professional game and made 19 saves on 21 shots in the loss. Josh Robinson (26-6-4) made 36 saves on 36 shots in the win. The Aces went 0-2 on the power play and the Steelheads were 0-1. Alaska outshot Idaho 36-21 in the game.