BOISE-- Personnel has been a headache for Idaho Steelheads head coach Hardy Sauter all season long. Call ups and injuries have left the second year coach without at least seven of his best players for much of the season.
"We've got five forwards out of the lineup that we counted on at the start of the year, two defenseman not playing in the lineup," Sauter said. "You take seven guys out of your lineup you're in big trouble."
That trouble has resulted in a four-game losing streak, and a No. 7 ranking in the ECHL Western Conference standings.
But help is on the way for Idaho. On Monday, the Steelheads announced that goaltender Jimmy Spratt and forward Ian Lowe have both been returned to Idaho by its affiliate, the Texas Stars.
Lowe could make an immediate impact for Idaho. In his 30 games with Idaho, the rookie tallied 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists). Spratt was loaned to Texas in November. Before his call up, he was 5-5 for the Steelheads with a .920 save percentage.
Both players will likely be put into action this weekend when the Steelheads go on the road for a weekend series at Utah, starting on Friday night.