Last season, the Steelheads launched a promotion that featured one of the teams most popular and talented players: The Rat Pack was going to celebrate Kael Mouillierats achievements.
The promotion never really took full flight, however, as Mouillierat was called up to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in December and ended up playing 38 games with the AHL team.
The forward is back with Idaho, but the Steelheads should be forgiven if they are a little gun-shy in resurrecting the promotion.
After all, the way Mouillierat is playing, his time in a Steelheads uniform could be cut short again.
He would probably be at a higher level if the (NHL) lockout wasnt happening, first-year Idaho coach Brad Ralph said. But hes come here with the attitude that he wants to prove himself again and get another shot in the AHL.
So far, so good.
Mouillierat came into Saturdays game against the Bakersfield Condors leading the Steelheads in points (16) and goals scored (seven). He added to those numbers with a second-period goal that tied the score, and later scored one of Idahos two goals in a shootout as the Steelheads won 5-4.
Its safe to say that Mouillierat has been clicking with his linemates, Andrew Carroll and Justin Dowling.
Dowlings an incredible player, Mouillierat said. He just finds you everywhere. And the same with Carroll he just bangs bodies and gives us room to do our thing.
Mouillierat was certainly doing his thing Wednesday night in the first game of the series when he scored a hat trick against the Condors.
Hes got instincts on the ice and he goes to the net hard, and that translates into points, Ralph said. Theres a couple different weapons in the bag for Kael.
Mouillierat more than held his own last season with Bridgeport. He tallied eight goals and 14 points in his 38 contests with the Sound Tigers.
Ralph thinks its just a matter of time before Mouillierat gets another shot at the next level.
I think it will happen for him, even if the lockout doesnt get resolved, he said. Teams are still going to have injuries and theyre going to be looking to upgrade their rosters.
GAME NOTES: Neil Graham, who began the season on the 21-day injured reserve, saw his first action with Idaho (8-2-2). Austin Fyten, Tristan King and Dowling scored the Steelheads other goals. Josh Robinson turned away all four shots in the shootout to improve to 5-0-1. His counterpart, Condors goalie Brian Stewart, had been 14-1 in shootouts prior to Saturday.