Game 2 of the series is Thursday night at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.
Both teams came out with loads of energy in a virtually whistle-free first period. The visiting Eagles seized momemtum and began attacking the Idaho net, finally finding success at the 17:19 mark of the first when Trent Daavatilla made a nice move to create space in the left circle for a wrist-shot winner over Josh Robinson's shoulder to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Colorado would score no more, though, despite out-shooting Idaho 17-8 in the opening frame.
The 1-0 lead held until the teams approached the mid-point of the second period. Idaho's Ben Ondrus dumped a puck down the right-hand wall into the corner, where Colorado's Aaron Schneekloth picked it up. His breakout pass attempt across the ice clicked right off the skate of teammate Collin Bowman and past a startled Adam Brown, into the net, at 7:32 of the second to even the score at 1-1. Colorado would re-take the lead at 14:14 on Jake Marto's shot from the left circle, a shot that snuck over Robinson's glove as there appeared to be some contact between his arm and the stick of an Eagle player as he reached for the puck. The goal was deemed good, however, and the Eagles took a 2-1 lead into the third period.
Idaho got another big break at 2:11 of the third period. Justin Taylor picked up a loose puck near the center circle, skated toward the left wing, and sent a hard shot from the neutral zone toward the Colorado net. Brown was unable to handle the shot, which zipped in past his glove, tying the game at 2-2. For a third time, Colorado would take a one-goal advantage when Kyle Ostrow scored on his own rebound at 11:39 of the third to take a 3-2 lead. Moments later, the Eagles appeared to take a two-goal lead but referee Marc-Andre Lavoie waved off an Eagle goal after a Colorado player made contact with Robinson in the crease before the shot.
Given a new life, the Steelheads would answer once again in the final five minutes. Rookie defenseman Steve Ferry hustled to keep a puck alive along the left-hand wall. David deKastrozza picked up the puck, passed it to Adrian Foster, and then got it right back before stuffing the puck inside the near post at 15:40 of the third to tie the game at 3-3. Both teams had chances, but neither could net the game-winner in regulation.
The Steelheads jumped on the Eagles as soon as the overtime session began, getting three shots on net in the first 25 seconds of the extra frame. It was the fourth shot, at the 26-second mark of OT, that won it for Idaho. Chase Schaber fed a puck from the trapezoid behind the net to Gron as he cut across the top of the crease. Brown made the first save, but Gron stayed with the play to flip home his own rebound for the game-winner.
Robinson got the win in net for Idaho, stopping 35 of 38 in his first professional playoff start. Brown took the loss, surrendering four goals on 27 shots for Colorado. Neither team scored on the power play, Idaho was 0-2, Colorado was 0-3.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night at CenturyLink Arena beginning at 7:10 PM. 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) David deKastrozza (ID)
3) Josh Robinson (ID)