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Ontario forces decisive Game 5 with 3-2 win

Friday, April 6th
Ontario forces decisive Game 5 with 3-2 win

(Ontario, CA) - The Ontario Reign defeated the Idaho Steelheads Saturday night, 3-2, to even their best-of-five ECHL Western Conference playoff series at two wins apiece. The two teams meet again on Monday at 8 PM (Mtn) in Ontario in a decisive, winner-take-all fifth game at Citizens Business Bank Arena. The Reign, with their backs to the wall, came out with high energy early, scoring the only goal of the first period when Bill Bagron picked up a loose puck at the top of the crease and just snuck it past a diving Jerry Kuhn inside the near post at the 14:10 mark of the frame. Ontario added to its lead one minute into the second on Geoff Irwin's third of the playoffs on a nice feed from Tristan King, making it 2-0. Idaho crept closer at the 9:19 mark of the second period when Chad Nehring picked up a loose puck off of a Jacob Cepis shot and tapped it past Chris Carrozzi to make it 2-1. Moments later, Idaho was whistled for a tripping penalty and Ontario capitalized on the ensuing power play with Kevin Estrada deflecting a Chris Huxley shot from the high slot past Jerry Kuhn at 10:31 to make it 3-1 in favor of the Reign. The Steelheads would again inch closer at 16:31 when Aaron Lewicki's wrist shot from the right-hand wing beat Carrozzi cleanly on the short side, his third goal of the playoffs, making it 3-2 after two periods. Ontario tried to add to the lead in the third, but Kuhn stuffed JD Watt on a breakaway midway through the third period. Idaho had a golden opportunity denied by Carrozzi who managed to reach out and poke a loose puck away from Derek LeBlanc at the goal mouth inside the final eight minutes of play as Ontario held on for the win. Kuhn stopped 23 of 26 shots in the loss while Carrozzi stopped 26 of 28 in the win for Ontario. Idaho's power play was blanked for the first time in the series, going 0-4, while Ontario's cashed in once on four attempts. Game 5 is Monday night at 8 PM in Ontario with the winner advancing to the ECHL's Western Conference semifinals against the Las Vegas Wranglers. The Steelheads will be hosting a watch party for Games 3 and 4 at the SportZone inside CenturyLink Arena. There is no admission charge and there will be drink specials and a limited food menu for fans in attendance. COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Jacob Cepis AQUA FINA "3 STARS" - (1) Kevin Estrada (ONT) (2) Chris Huxley (ONT) (3) Geoff Irwin (ONT) Group outings at a Steelheads game are a great way to gather friends, colleagues, or co-workers for a fun night out in downtown Boise. Ticket prices are discounted and you can get a Pepsi, Double-R Ranch Hot Dog, and bag of Tim?s Cascade Chips with each ticket. Contact the Steelheads front office at 208.383.0080 or log on to www.idahosteelheads.com for more information.

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