BOISE, Idaho – Idaho Steelheads (1-1-0) forward Kale Kessy scored the opening goal and the game-winning goal in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Utah Grizzlies (1-0-1) on Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena in Game 2 of the Mountain Division Semifinal. The Steelheads leveled the series at 1-1 with the win.
The Steelheads came out looking to rebound from the previous night and jumped to the early lead. At 5:53, Steelheads forward Kale Kessy received a trailing pass in the right circle and slotted a wrist shot into the net on the power play for the 1-0 lead. The Grizzlies found an answer at 9:13 with a one-time shot by forward Mike Economos to level the score, 1-1.
In the second period, the Grizzlies found the lone tally on the power play at 4:26 from a shot by forward Caleb Herbert to edge ahead, 2-1. The Grizzlies were awarded all six of their power plays in that frame, and the Steelheads also killed off a major power play in the process.
Coming out of that call stretching into the third period, the Steelheads started to churn. At 10:36, forward Robbie Payne won a draw to forward Elgin Pearce, who angled a lofting pass of the body of forward Henrik Samuelsson into the net to draw even at 2-2 and force the first overtime game of the series.
In the extra period, Kessy was a leading factor again by tipping a puck away in the offensive end, and forward A.J. White centered a pass back to Kessy, who flipped the game-winning goal into the net at 7:56 for the 3-2 overtime win and an even series, 1-1. The Steelheads win their first playoff overtime game since Apr. 15, 2015, also against the Grizzlies.
Steelheads netminder Tomas Sholl (1-1-0) halted 35 of 37 shots in the win, while Grizzlies goaltender Kevin Carr (1-0-1) turned aside 42 of 45 shots in the overtime loss.
The Steelheads and Grizzlies pick up the series with Game 3 of the Mountain Division Semifinal on Wednesday, Apr. 17 at 7:05 p.m. from CenturyLink Arena. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on 1350 KTIK-AM “The Ticket” and ECHL.TV.