Boise, ID (2/8/13) - Tristan King jabbed a puck across the goal line at 3:39 of overtime Friday night as the Idaho Steelheads defeated the Utah Grizzlies, 5-4, in front of a sellout crowd of 5,051 at Boise's CenturyLink Arena.
That marks four sellouts in the past seven home games for Idaho, which improves to 30-12-5 (65 points) overall and 17-3-2 on home ice.
William LaCasse's first ECHL goal at 2:18 of the first put Idaho on top as the Steelheads threatened to run away early. But Utah's Shane Owen made several saves in the opening frame to keep his club in it before Utah tied the game on a Mitch Wahl power-play goal to even the score at 1. Idaho would re-take the lead on Tyler Gron's power-play goal at 13:48 of the first as the Steelheads had a 2-1 lead after one period.
Utah tied it up on another Wahl power-play goal less than 30 seconds into the second period as the game remained tied at two deep into the frame. Idaho took the lead on a Justin Taylor shot from the right corner that deflected in off of Owen at 17:01, his second goal in as many nights, to make it 3-2. But Utah would once again answer. Once more on the power play, Wahl slammed home a perfect centering pass from Colin Vock with less than a second left in the second period to tie the game at three after two.
Utah's fourth power-play goal of the night, this one from Bryan Cameron, put the Grizzlies on top a minute and a half into the third period. This time, though, Idaho would respond as Gron juked his way past James Martin before beating Owen five-hole at 6:24 of the third to even the score at four apiece. Gron's two goals give him eight tallies in ten games since joining the Steelheads in January.
Neither team scored through the rest of regulation thanks to several circus saves from both goaltenders, Owen for Utah and Josh Robinson for Idaho, sending the game to overtime.
Less than one minute into overtime, Utah's Kory Falite was whistled for goaltender interference, putting Idaho on the power play. Falite angrily disputed the call, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as well, putting Idaho on a four-minute, double-minor power play with 4:16 left in overtime. A minute into the power play, Wahl anticipated an Idaho pass and sprung himself on a short-handed breakaway. Bidding for his fourth of the night, he fired the puck on Robinson, who denied the shot, giving the puck back to the Steelheads. Idaho patiently worked its 4-on-3 power play from there before Brett Robinson and Gron teamed up to get the puck to the edge of the Utah crease, where King powered it through Owen at 3:39 of the extra session for the game-ending, power-play goal.
Despite the goal totals, both goaltenders played strong games, Robinson (43 saves) for Idaho and Owen (37 saves) for Utah. The Grizzlies' power play gave Idaho fits all night, converting on four of nine opportunities while Idaho was 2-7 on the man advantage.
The series now shifts to Utah for two more games as the Steelheads and Grizzlies meet on Saturday (7:05 PM) and Sunday (4:05 PM) at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah.
Idaho returns home on Tuesday, February 12, to welcome the expansion San Francisco Bulls to Boise for the first time. Tickets are available by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office at 208.331.8497 or by going online at www.idahosteelheads.com
COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Tyler Gron
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Tyler Gron (ID)
2) Mitch Wahl (UT)
3) Tristan King (ID)
Group outings at a Steelheads game are a great way to gather friends, colleagues, or co-workers for a fun night out in downtown Boise. Ticket prices are discounted and you can get a Pepsi, Double-R Ranch Hot Dog, and bag of Tim’s Cascade Chips with each ticket. Contact the Steelheads front office at 208.383.0080 or log on to www.idahosteelheads.com for more information.