BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho Steelheads beat the Utah Grizzlies 7-3 in their first home game since the pandemic began in the spring of 2020.
Fans were able to return to the arena after ECHL had to cancel the hockey season a year ago due to the pandemic.
“We lost the season in the middle of 19 and last year so it’s great to be back,” said Steelheads fan Jason Trabakoolas who watched the NHL on TV. “It’s great, it’s cabin fever at its best coming and going and watching the games live rather than on TV, it’s a good time.”
After Utah scored the game’s first goal, 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 them came on the power play as the Steelheads scored four power play goals in the game.
“Wow, they came to life, their passes connect and they have that momentum right now,” Steelheads fan Carl Krueger said. “It’s the best game in town, it’s very fan-friendly and it’s a great place to bring the family.”
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 for fans to adjust to a whole new team.
AJ White is one of the Steelheads returning players as this is his fourth season. White scored a hat trick in the opener as he found the back of the net three times in front of a sold-out crowd of 5,039 fans.
“It’s the good thing about this league, there are always prospects ahead, maybe future NHL players that you never know,” Krueger said. “These kids are playing hard.”
One of the new faces is the very first Boise Steelheads player as Zachary Walker made his debut and landed some big shots on the ice.
We plan to meet the team next week when the Steelheads have home games next Friday night and Saturday night, but before that they have two road games at the Utah Grizzlies this weekend.