Hats off! Fyten leads Steelies to ‘W’

clangrill@idahostatesman.comDecember 7, 2013 

Austin Fyten began the season with Oklahoma City of the AHL.

Friday night, he played his fourth game with the Steelheads since rejoining the team last week.

And while he was named an ECHL All-Star during his rookie campaign with Idaho last season, he had yet to notch a goal this season — until he scored three Friday night.

Fyten’s hat trick lifted the Steelheads to a 4-2 win over the Stockton Thunder in front of an announced crowd of 3,337 at CenturyLink Arena. Idaho will try to sweep the three-game series Saturday night.

“The floodgates have opened,” Fyten said after he scored his third goal into an empty net with 8 seconds remaining. “It couldn’t have felt better.”

Coach Brad Ralph said Fyten deserved to be rewarded for the effort he has put in since being sent down from the AHL.

“He’s been doing all the little things well,” Ralph said. “I hope that’s something that will filter through to the rest of the team.”

Fyten’s hat trick overshadowed another stellar night for Idaho forward Mitch Wahl, who had a goal and two assists to extend his point streak to 13 games. He is two games away from tying the record for longest point streak by a Steelhead in the ECHL era.

“He sees the ice so well,” Fyten said. “He’s just super-skilled.”

PLAYER RETURNS

Idaho acquired forward Rob Linsmayer from San Francisco in exchange for future considerations Friday. Linsmayer made his pro debut with the Steelheads last season. The Holy Cross product played with Idaho on Friday night and finished with a plus-2 rating. He has three goals in 16 games as a professional.

The addition of Linsmayer helped fill a void at the forward position. Brett Robinson was suspended for Friday’s contest after being suspended for one game for an elbowing penalty that resulted in a game misconduct.

TEDDY BEAR TOSS

Saturday’s game features one of the Steelheads’ most popular promotions, the Toys for Tots Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used non-breakable toy to the game. They can toss the toy on the ice after Idaho scores its first goal.

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