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Idaho Steelheads win season opener as fans return to Idaho Central Arena

Posted at 11:21 AM, Oct 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-24 17:38:21-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Steelheads defeated the Utah Grizzlies 7-3 in their first game home game since the pandemic began in the spring of 2020.

Fans were able to return to the arena after the ECHL had to cancel hockey season a year ago because of the pandemic.

"We lost the season mid-19 and last year so it is great to be back," said Steelheads fan Jason Trabakoolas who has been watching the NHL on tv. "It’s awesome, it’s cabin fever at its best to be out and back and watching the games live instead of on tv, it’s a good time."

After Utah scored the first goal of the game, the Steelheads responded with four unanswered goals in the second period to take the lead for good.

Luc Brown scored the first two goals of the season and one of those came on the power-play as the Steelheads scored four power-play goals in the game.

"Wow, they flat out came to life, their passes are connecting and they got that momentum right now," said Steelheads fan Carl Krueger. "It's the best game in town, it’s very fan-friendly and a great place to bring the family."

The ECHL has a lot of turnover with its players as they try to use this league as a stepping stone to higher levels of hockey so fans are adjusting to pretty much a brand new team.

A.J. White is one of the returning players for the Steelheads as this is his fourth season, White scored a hat trick in the opening game as he found the back of the net three times in front of a sold-out crowd of 5,039 fans.

"That’s the good thing about this league there are always prospects coming up maybe future NHLers you never know," said Krueger. "These kids play hard."

One of the new faces is the first-ever Steelheads player from Boise as Zachary Walker made his debut and made a couple of big hits out there on the ice.

We are planning to meet up with the team sometime next week as the Steelheads have home games next Friday night and Saturday night, but before that happens they have two road games at the Utah Grizzlies this weekend.