Colorado evens series with 3-1 victory
Boise, ID (4/19/14) - Colorado notched two goals early in the second period and then withstood a late charge from Idaho Saturday night, tacking on a late, empty-net goal to defeat the Steelheads, 3-1, in front of 3,342 fans at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.
The loss for Idaho evens the best-of-seven, first-round playoff series at one win apiece. Game 3 is Tuesday night at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado.
Neither team scored in the opening frame as Colorado's Brock Nixon blasted a shot from the slot off the post early in the period. Then, later in the period, Josh Robinson made a dazzling, right-pad save on Kyle Ostrow as he cut across the top of the crease to keep the game scoreless through 20 minutes.
The Eagles broke through early in the second on a power-play goal from defenseman Kevin Young at the 2:30 mark - a blast from the center point that marked his fifth overall tally against Idaho this season - to break the scoreless deadlock. Less than three and a half minutes later, the lead doubled on a Trent Daavatilla backhand from the left-wing circle through a screen that just snuck past Robinson's glove at 5:56 to make it 2-0 in favor of the visitors.
Idaho struck back at 9:24 when Charlie Dodero broke up a Colorado pass, setting David deKastrozza loose on a rush up the left wing. deKastrozza looked off a Colorado defender before rifling home a sizzling wrist shot from the circle, his third goal of the postseason, to cut Colorado's lead to 2-1.
The Steelheads generated some consisted offensive pressure in the third period but were denied twice by posts - first, it was a Damon Kipp blast from the center point that clanged off the left post, then a Luke Judson shot in close banged off the red iron as well. Idaho pulled Robinson from the net for an extra attacker with less than two minutes to go and pressured the Colorado net, including a Dodero shot that whistled wide, before Marc Nemec picked up a loose puck in his own zone, flipped it down the ice and watched it take a left-hand turn and veer into the empty net with 11 seconds left to seal the contest for the Eagles.
Robinson was strong in defeat for Idaho, turning aside 33 of 35 shots. In two games, the second-year pro has faced 78 shots, stopping 75 - a .962 save percentage. Dustin Butler turned aside 19 of 20 shots for Colorado in the victory.
Idaho came up empty on each of its two power-play opportunities. Colorado converted on one of four.
The series now shifts to Loveland, CO, for games 3, 4 and 5 starting on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM. The game will be broadcast live by KTIK (1350 AM) in the Treasure Valley and the team will also host a free watch party inside the SportZone at CenturyLink Arena. Doors open at 6 PM and a limited food/drink menu will be available.