Steelheads on thin ice at goalie position © 2014 Idaho StatesmanJanuary 24, 2014 


    The Steelheads play a rare Sunday game this weekend when they host the Bakersfield Condors. Game time is 5:10 p.m. at CenturyLink Arena (games typically start at 7:10 p.m.)

    Æ The Boise State men’s basketball team plays at 4:05 p.m. Saturday when it hosts San Jose State.

    Æ Boise State wrestlers host Lehigh at 11:30 a.m. Sunday in Bronco Gym.

Steelheads coach Brad Ralph is having a “goalie nightmare.”

He lost third-year pro Pat Nagle to the Texas Stars of the AHL on Thursday. Nagle started 10 of Idaho’s past 11 games while Josh Robinson, the other goaltender to open the season with the Steelheads, has been in Texas.

That leaves Ralph with one active goaltender: Josh Watson, a rookie out of Rochester Institute of Technology who has started two professional games.

“I’m at a loss right now,” Ralph said. “It’s difficult to project this happening.”

Without any roster changes, Ralph is expected to start Watson in Sunday’s home game against Bakersfield.

Thursday’s transaction was necessitated when Texas starter Cristopher Nilstorp was injured against the Iowa Wild on Wednesday night. Robinson relieved Nilstorp and earned a 4-3 shootout victory.

“We’re still waiting to get an answer from Texas, whether it’s a long-term or short-term situation,” Ralph said. “Obviously, if it’s long term, we’d be looking to bring in another goalie.”

Meanwhile, the spotlight is on Watson, who has one start with Reading (ECHL) and one with Idaho. He has a 1-1 record and an .896 save percentage after stopping 29-of-33 shots for Idaho in a 4-2 loss at Utah on Saturday. Watson allowed a goal on the first shot he faced in both of his pro starts.

“He doesn’t have a ton of experience,” Ralph said. “But we didn’t give him any help with the goals that were scored on us. He made the saves he should have.”

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