FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 3, 2002

FALCONS FALL IN SHOOTOUT IN FINALS RE-MATCH
Teams Combine for Five Power Play Goals in 4-3 Decision

BOISE, Idaho - Just as they did last May 24 when the Fresno Falcons and Idaho Steelheads were tied at the end of regulation in Game Six of the Taylor Cup Finals, the Falcons and Steelheads again needed extra time on Friday night. But Idaho prevailed this time around, 4-3 in a shootout, in front of 5,012 at the Bank of America Centre.

The Falcons drew first blood when Glen Gulutzan's centering pass from the right wing corner glanced off a skate and by Idaho netminder Jason Cugnet at 7:53. The Steelheads tied the game at one at 12:51 when Chris Marinucci banged home a power play goal on his team's first opportunity. Fresno also scored on their first power play chance after Jason Weaver beat Cugnet for his fourth of the year to give the Falcons a 2-1 lead heading to the second.

Idaho would score again on the power play in the middle frame to tie the game. Scott Swanson found Marty Flichel at the far circle, who then beat Falcons goaltender Terry Friesen with a one-timer for his league-leading 18th tally of the season at 12:30.

The third period opened with the Steelheads taking their first lead of the evening, 3-2, after their third power play goal off a one-timer by Marinucci at 4:01. Fresno would rally for the equalizer with yet another power play goal with under three minutes to play. Kayle Short scored his second of the year when he took a slapshot that snuck through traffic and slid over the goal line by only a matter of inches at 17:21.

Fresno found themselves in their fifth shootout over their last seven games but fell after Marinucci and Flichel both beat Friesen and only Murphy scored on Cugnet in the tie-breaker. Friesen was sparkling all night long as he made 33 saves.

The one shootout point gives the Falcons a two-point lead over the Long Beach Ice Dogs in fourth place in the standings. They are now 12-11-4 with 28 points and are unbeaten in six of their last seven.

The Falcons and Steelheads square off again tomorrow night in Boise. All of the play-by-play action can be heard on 103.1 FM, The Mountain Cat, beginning at 5:50 p.m. PST with the Mail Boxes, Etc. Pre-game Show. Fresno's longest road trip to date then continues on Tuesday and Wednesday in Anchorage against the Aces before the club returns to California for games at Bakersfield and Long Beach next weekend.

1st Period Summary: 1, FRE, Gulutzan 2 (Weaver, DeWaele), 7:53. 2, ID, Marinucci 11 (Flichel, Keup), 12:51 (pp). 3, FRE, Weaver 4 (Murphy, Haupt), 18:14 (pp).

2nd Period Summary: 4, ID, Flichel 18 (Swanson, Rybar), 12:30 (pp).

3rd Period Summary: 5, ID, Marinucci 12 (Mylymok, Swanson), 4:01 (pp). 6, FRE, Short 2 (Barrie), 17:21 (pp).

Shootout Results: Fresno - Murphy (goal), Porter (miss), Barrie (miss), Embley (miss), Gulutzan (miss)
Idaho - Shermerhorn (miss), Marinucci (goal), Swanson (miss), Flichel (goal)

Scoring by Period: 1 2 3 SO F
Fresno 2 0 1 0 3
Idaho 1 1 1 1 4

Shots on Goal: 1 2 3 T
Fresno 11 6 9 26
Idaho 15 12 9 36

Saves: Fresno - Friesen (33-36)
Idaho - Cugnet (23-26)

Power Play Results: Fresno - 2 for 6, Idaho - 3 for 7