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Steelheads advance in playoffs with win over Wranglers

Monday, April 11th
Steelheads advance in playoffs with win over Wranglers

(Las Vegas, NV) - Tristan King netted his first two postseason goals as a professional and Jerry Kuhn turned aside 22 of 23 shots as the Idaho Steelheads eliminated the Las Vegas Wranglers from the ECHL Kelly Cup playoffs with a 3-1 win on Tuesday night. The victory, witnessed by 2,622 fans at the Orleans Arena, gave the Steelheads a three-games-to-two victory in the best of five series. Idaho advances to the Western Conference semifinals to face the top-seeded Alaska Aces. Game One of the best of seven series is Friday night in Anchorage at 9 PM (Mtn). King got Idaho on the board first at 9:02 of the first period. Evan Barlow's shot from the near side was initially saved by Wrangler goaltender Michael Ouzas, but the puck snuck out of Ouzas' grasp. Eagerly waiting along the far post was King, who poked home the loose puck to give the Steelheads their first first-period lead of the series. The Wranglers didn't wait long to even things up. Blair Riley ripped a shot over Kuhn's shoulder just 1:08 later to tie the score. It was Riley's fourth goal in the last four games of the five-game series, leaving the score tied at one after one period. King gave Idaho a 2-1 lead early in the second period, finishing a rush with Barlow and Marty Flichel at 2:52 of the second frame to put Idaho back on top. That score held into the third period. The Wranglers played with great desperation, putting a lot of pressure on the Idaho net, but Kuhn and the Steelheads skaters held serve. Ned Lukacevic narrowly missed tying the game midway through the third period as a puck rolled just past the near post. Finally, with 1:17 left in regulation, Idaho's Evan Barlow picked up a puck along the near boards, edged across the center line, and launched the game-clincher into an empty net to give Idaho a 3-1 lead. He finished the night with three points (1 goal, 2 assists). Kuhn picked up his first professional assist on the empty-netter. Michael Ouzas stopped 23 of 25 Idaho shots in the loss. Neither team scored on the power play, with Idaho going 0-2 and Las Vegas going 0-3. Here's a look at the upcoming ECHL Kelly Cup Western Conference Semifinal schedule: Alaska (1) vs. Idaho (5) Game #1 ? at Alaska (Friday April 15) ? 9:15 Game #2 ? at Alaska (Saturday April 16) ? 9:15 Game #3 ? at Idaho (Wednesday April 20) ? 7:10 Game #4 ? at Idaho (Friday April 22) ? 7:10 Game #5 ? at Idaho (Saturday April 23) ? 7:10* Game #6 ? at Alaska (Tuesday April 26) ? 9:15* Game #7 ? at Alaska (Wednesday April 27) ? 9:15* * - If Necessary Tickets for Games 3 & 4 of the semifinal series against Alaska in Boise will go on sale at the Qwest Arena box office Wednesday morning at 10 AM. Tickets for a potential Game 5 will go on sale once it is determined the game will be necessary. COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Tristan King AQUAFINA THREE STARS 1) Tristan King (ID) 2) Blair Riley (LV) 3) Evan Barlow (ID)

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