Loveland, CO (4/25/14) – Gaelan Patterson scored off a rebound early in the third period and Josh Robinson turned aside 16 of 17 shots he faced in the final stanza as the Idaho Steelheads held off the Colorado Eagles, 2-1, in Game 5 of their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series Friday night.
Idaho's win gives the team a three games to two lead in the series with an opportunity to close out and advance on Monday night in Game 6 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise. Tickets are available by calling 208-331-8497 or logging on to www.idahosteelheads.com.
After a tight start to the game, Idaho hit the accelerator in the second half of the opening frame, taking the lead on a Brett Robinson shot from the edge of the right-wing circle at the 15:51 mark of the period, his second of the postseason assisted by Patrick Cullity and Rob Linsmayer, to take a 1-0 lead. Idaho pressed to extend the lead but Colorado goaltender Marc Cheverie denied William Rapuzzi on a breakaway and also robbed Mitch Wahl with the stick at the left-wing post to keep his team in the game after a first period that saw Idaho out-shoot the homestanding Eagles, 14-3.
In the second period, it was the Colorado penalty-kill that kept Idaho from widening its lead, coming up with a big, 5-on-3 penalty kill in the latter stages of the frame. Idaho appeared to extend the lead later when Rapuzzi jabbed the puck at Cheverie near the top of the crease. Cheverie appeared to slide back into his own net with the puck underneath him, which would be a goal, but referee Pierre Lambert ruled no goal and Idaho's 1-0 lead held into the third period.
Early in the third, Idaho picked up the insurance goal it needed when David deKastrozza won an offensive-zone faceoff forward and stepped around the opposing center to take a quick shot which was stopped by Cheverie. The rebound, however, rolled right to Patterson who banged home the loose puck at 5:13 from the left edge of the crease, his second of the postseason, to give Idaho a 2-0 lead. Colorado would kill off another 5-on-3 power play opportunity for Idaho to stay in the game but the Idaho defense, in particular Robinson in net, came through time and time again. Robinson's best save of the period was in close late in the game and the team's penalty-kill was able to shut down a late power-play chance for the Eagles.
Brock Nixon poked home a loose puck with just three seconds left in the game to spoil the shutout bid, but the outcome was no longer in doubt at that point.
Both teams were strong on the penalty kill. Idaho's penalty-killers were a perfect 4-for-4 while Colorado's were a perfect 6-for-6. Robinson got the win, stopping 27 of 28 to up his playoff save percentage to .948 (127/134) in four appearances. Cheverie was a tough-luck loser, turning in a solid performance with 29 saves on 31 shots.
Game 6 is Monday night at CenturyLink Arena in Boise. Tickets are available now by calling the CenturyLink Arena box office at 208-331-8497 or by logging on to www.idahosteelheads.com. A decisive seventh game, if necessary, would be Tuesday in Boise.
COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME – Gaelan Patterson (GWG)
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:1) Brett Robinson (ID)2) Marc Cheverie (COL)3) Josh Robinson (ID)
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.