Josh Robinson stopped all 29 shots he faced in the win, recording his first professional playoff shutout. The best of seven series is now tied at two games a piece with the crucial fifth game set for Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.
Idaho's potent power play, among the ECHL's leaders all season, snapped out of a 1-for-16 dry spell at 7:30 of the first period to break the ice. Austin Smith weaved his way down the end line from the left corner to the top of the crease, stuffing the puck through the legs of J. F. Berube for his sixth goal of the postseason to give Idaho a 1-0 lead.
The lead grew just over three minutes later on a fluke goal that seemed to deflate the visiting Reign. Cullity carried the puck in front of his own bench and attempted a routine dump-in along the left-wing wall. Berube left his crease, waiting for the puck to rim around the glass to him behind his net. But the puck caught one of the metal dividers between the glass, sending it careening at a strange angle behind Berube and perfectly into the vacated net at 10:51 of the first. Cullity's second of the postseason extended Idaho's lead to 2-0. Another big goal came at 16:31 of the first when Tyler Gron quickly bounced back up to his feet after getting knocked down in the high slot and snapped a quick wrist shot inside the left post to extend Idaho's lead to 3-0 after one period.
Ontario tried to rally early in the second, but Robinson delivered one of his best saves of the season on Adrian Van de Mosselaer from point blank range to keep it 3-0. Ontario's Brady Calla found Van de Mosselaer streaking in the right wing all alone and delivered a perfect pass, but Robinson gloved the shot down, keeping Ontario off the board.
Idaho would play add-on after that. First, it was Gron again, this time from the right wing with a well-placed shot just inside the post again for his team-leading seventh goal of the postseason at 10:25 of the second, making it 4-0. Then, at 19:03 of the period, Van de Mosselaer lost control of a puck behind his own net and David deKastrozza picked it up, delivering a centering pass from the trapezoid to a wide-open Justin Taylor for a goal that made it 5-0.
Berube, who had allowed just ten goals in seven playoff games coming in, was relieved by Chris Carrozzi after surrendering five goals on 18 shots through two periods.
The Steelheads netted one more in the third as Austin Fyten knocked home his third of the postseason at 7:02 of the final frame to round out the scoring.
Robinson picked up the win for Idaho while Berube was tagged with the loss. Idaho's power-play unit converted one of three opportunities while the Steelheads' penalty-kill unit was a perfect three-for-three against Ontario's power-play unit.
Cullity (goal, two assists), deKastrozza (two assists), Smith (goal, assist), Gron (two goals) and Fyten (goal, assist) each had multiple points on the evening. Cullity added a plus-3 rating while defenseman Hubert Labrie was plus-4.
The all-important fifth game is Saturday night in Boise at Boise's CenturyLink Arena on Saturday night. Tickets are available by going online to www.idahosteelheads.com or by calling 208-331-8497.
COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Patrick Cullity
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Josh Robinson (ID)
2) Tyler Gron (ID)
3) Patrick Cullity (ID)