The Idaho Spuds have had a tremendous debut season in their new home. The Dakota Jackalopes affiliate rocketed off to a strong start this season and hasn’t looked back since. Barring a collapse, they will make the playoffs. And their merchandise – which features an angry hockey-playing potato – has become the most popular in the league.
On Thursday at Treasure Valley Arena, the Spuds gave their fans another moment to cherish in a memorable season. Facing off against the Hartford Harpoons, Idaho set a new CHL record for goals scored in a game during a 12-0 whitewashing.
“We were firing on all cylinders, but it went beyond that,” said Spuds coach Gilbert McCoyne. “We were firing on cylinders I didn’t even know we had.”
Idaho got the scoring started virtually right out of the gate. It took only 45 seconds for C Dale Wilcox to record the first goal of the game. Just 42 seconds after that, Wilcox scored again on a shot that deflected off the right leg of Hartford goalie Jonas Schemko and into the net. Six and a half minutes later, D Victor Addison cashed in on a power play to make it 3-0. Later in the period, D Brady Prussian banged home a pair of goals. By the end of the first period, the Spuds led by five and Schemko was out of the game.
Idaho seemed to throttle back a bit in the second period against backup netminder Jeff Bingley. LW Terry Cresson scored within the first 90 seconds of the period, and Addison tipped in a rebound for his second goal of the evening in the latter half, but those were the only tallies. After the frenzied barrage of goals in the first, the middle stanza gave the fans a chance to catch their breath.
The Spuds got things cranked back up again quickly in the third, however. Forty-seven second in, Wilcox fired a shot over Bingley’s left blocker to complete his hat trick. The fans sailed their lids onto the ice in tribute. Just over a minute later, Prussian stuffed one home for a hat trick of his own. The fans who had held onto their hats during Wilcox’s tally relinquished them now to salute Prussian. Several of the Spuds tossed their helmets on the ice to augment the total a bit.
“I told Victor he’d better not score again, because there weren’t any hats left in the building,” quipped Prussian.
Addison didn’t score again, but D Rusty Sienna put the Spuds in double digits just over seven and a half minutes into the period with a blast from the blueline that beat a screened Bingley. The fans barely had time to process that milestone, because RW Dylan Alizarin scored again a mere seven seconds later. Less than two minutes later, Cresson got has second goal of the game on a wraparound, making it an even dozen. Amazingly, the Spuds made it through the last half of the final frame without scoring again, which would have tied the Michigan Gray Wolves’ all-time SHL record for highest-scoring shutout.
“Somebody better check on [PA announcer] Brody Watkins,” joked McCoyne after the game. “He probably got laryngitis from calling out all those goals. I’d consider him day-to-day at this point. Hopefully, he can stay off the DL.”
The final stats were staggering. Four Idaho players had five-point games: Wilcox, Prussian, Addison, and C Jacob Cunniff, who had five assists. Only three Spuds failed to record a point: LW Rick Crisak, C Sammy Fryer, and D Gray Torian.
Harpoons coach Herman Chambers took the result in stride. “This only counted as one loss, thank God,” Chambers told reporters. “It’s not one we’re proud of, but it’s over now. Let’s bury this game film at the bottom of the ocean and move on.”