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Idaho wins triple-OT thriller to tie series

Wednesday, April 6th
Idaho wins triple-OT thriller to tie series

(Las Vegas, NV) ? Dustin Friesen's wrister through traffic found the back of the net, ending the sixth-longest ECHL playoff game ever as the Idaho Steelheads defeated the Las Vegas Wranglers, 3-2, in triple overtime Wednesday night. The triple-overtime affair comes on the heels of a double-overtime contest on Tuesday night, meaning the Steelheads and Wranglers played over 200 minutes of hockey - more than three full games - in two nights at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. With the win, the best-of-five playoff series is tied at one win apiece with Game 3 coming up in Boise on Friday night. Game 4 will also be at Qwest Arena in Boise on Saturday night. Friesen's winner came after a prolonged offensive shift by Friesen, Marty Flichel, Tristan King, Tyler Ludwig, and Geoff Irwin. The five kept the puck in the offensive zone, not allowing the exhausted Wranglers to get a line change, until the puck wound up on Friesen's stick just inside the blue line on the near side of the ice. He let fly with a wrist shot that weaved its way through traffic in front and splashed into the back of the net, sending the Idaho bench into a celebratory frenzy. The teams traded goals in the second and third period. Blair Riley gave Las Vegas the lead in the second period, but Mark Derlago evened it on a scramble in front of the Wrangler net at 19:22 of the second. Chris Higgins converted a pretty Justin Bernhart feed into the go-ahead goal early in the third, but Flichel tied it up with a power-play blast midway through the final frame, setting the stage for another marathon of overtimes. Both goaltenders - Idaho's Jerry Kuhn and Las Vegas's Michael Ouzas - were fabulous again. After the pair carried a scoreless tie deep into the second overtime on Tuesday night, Kuhn stopped 44 of 46 Las Vegas shots and Ouzas turned aside 40 of 43 Idaho shots on Wednesday. Both goaltenders made several highlight-reel saves to keep the game tied through two overtimes and a good chunk of the third before Friesen won it for Idaho. Idaho was 2-5 on the power play while Las Vegas was 0-4. The ECHL's Kelly Cup playoffs come to Boise's Qwest Arena on Friday night as the Idaho Steelheads host the Las Vegas Wranglers in Game 3 of the best-of-five playoff set. Fans can lock in their favorite seat for every possible home playoff game while saving up to 35 percent off the walk-up prices with the ?Pay as We Play? playoff ticket plan. Contact the Steelheads front office at 208.383.0080 or log on to www.idahosteelheads.com for more information. COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME ? Dustin Friesen AQUA FINA THREE STARS 1) Dustin Friesen (ID) 2) Jerry Kuhn (ID) 3) Michael Ouzas (LV)

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