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Steelheads Regain Series Lead in Stockton

Friday, May 7th
Steelheads Regain Series Lead in Stockton

The Idaho Steelheads rebounded and won after back-to-back defeats at the hands of the Stockton Thunder, and now have a 3-2 series lead in the National Conference Finals after Saturday night?s 6-3 victory at Stockton Arena. Marty Flichel scored a pair, and Rejean Beauchemin won in his first start of the playoffs. Game six is scheduled for a 7:10 PM puck drop on Tuesday night at Qwest Arena. The Stockton Thunder opened the scoring for the third straight game when James Bates collected a pass from Matt Robinson, walked in, and placed a backhand along the ice to beat Idaho goalie Rejean Beauchemin at 7:56 of the first period; Beauchemin was making his first start of the playoffs. Robinson gathered the puck on an intercepted outlet pass by the Steelheads defense. Marty Flichel answered for the Steelheads with a slapshot from the top of the left circle that beat Stockton?s Bryan Pitton over the left shoulder. The goal came on the power play at 13:44 of the first period, and was assisted by Dustin Friesen. The second period certainly did not have a shortage of goals, as Mark Derlago scored his fourth of the playoffs and first of the series on a shot from the left wing at 10:49, assisted by Guillaume Monast and Dustin Friesen. Mark McCutcheon was in front providing the traffic, and Pitton did not have a clear line of sight on the puck as Idaho took a 2-1 lead. At 11:24, Colin Hemingway answered back for Stockton to tie the game at 2-2, just 32 seconds before Guillaume Monast sent a puck toward the goal from the right boards that found its way into the net for Monast?s first goal of 2009-10; he was held out of the goal column all season. John-Scott Dickson and Michael Neal assisted. Matt Robinson tied the game at 3-3 for Stockton on a shot from the slot at 12:14. At 17:05, Marty Flichel one-timed a pass from Mark Derlago over the left shoulder of Pitton once more to regain a 4-3 lead for Idaho; McCutcheon also assisted on Flichel?s second of the game, and fourth of the playoffs. Late in the third period, shortly after a Stockton scoring chance was reviewed and the ruling on the ice of ?no goal? was upheld, Evan Barlow streaked up the left wing and scored on a wrist shot from the left circle to extend Idaho?s lead to 5-3; the goal was Barlow?s fifth of the playoffs. Just over a minute later at 19:41, McCutcheon scored an empty-net shorthanded goal with Flichel in the penalty box to ice the game, and give Idaho a 6-3 lead. Beauchemin improved to 1-0-0 after making his first start of the playoffs; he stopped 13 of 16 shots. Pitton turned away 26 of 31, and is now 2-1-1 in the postseason. Game six is scheduled for Tuesday night at Qwest Arena. The puck will drop at 7:10 PM MST.

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