Salmon Kings Advance to Western Conference FinalApril 23, 2011 - ECHL (ECHL) Victoria Salmon Kings
The Grizzlies received an early power play two minutes into the game, and capitalized to open the scoring at 2:44. Brett Parnham put a puck on net from the left circle that Shantz saved, but Simon Ferguson was at the top of the crease to slide the rebound into the net. The marker was Ferguson's fifth of the postseason. Both teams looked to take control of the game after the first goal as they both had several scoring opportunities. Halfway through the frame, Utah forward Kevin Deeth threw a cross crease pass to Hugo Carpentier on the right side, but Shantz reacted to make the left pad save. Minutes later Salmon Kings' forward Milan Gajic collected a rebound in the left circle and put it towards the net as the Utah goaltender reacted for the right pad save. Victoria then received back-to-back man advantages. The Salmon Kings were able to set up in the Grizzlies zone, but could find the tying marker. Utah had a 1-0 lead heading into the second frame.
The Salmon Kings opened the second period with an early power play. On the man advantage Victoria forward Matt Siddall fed a back pass to Kiel McLeod in the crease area, but Lamoureux read the play and snagged the puck out of the air with his glove. On the faceoff that ensued Chad Klassen got the puck in the slot area and fired a wrist shot off the crossbar. Victoria picked up their physical play in the game after McLeod laid a solid body check on Matt Sorteberg behind the Grizzlies net. Just over halfway through the period Utah went on their second power play of the night. During the man advantage Grizzlies defenseman Giffen Nyren broke into the zone before he fired a pass over to Carpentier to the left of the net. Carpentier one timed the puck on goal, but Shantz slid over to make the save and keep it a one goal game. The Salmon Kings used the momentum from the penalty kill to lock the Grizzlies in their zone for several minutes which saw a number of quality scoring chances. At the 18:55 mark Rick Cleaver threaded a pass between two Utah defenders to send McLeod in on a breakaway. The Victoria veteran fired the puck between the legs of the Grizzlies netminder to tie the game. The goal was McLeod's third of the Kelly Cup Playoffs and sent the game into the third period in a 1-1 tie.
Victoria carried the momentum from the end of the second period into the third as they controlled the play for the first five minutes of the frame, but couldn't find the go ahead tally. The Salmon Kings continued to play a physical game after McLeod levelled Nick Tuzzolino behind the Grizzlies' net. With eight minutes left in regulation Salmon Kings' player Rick Cleaver broke down the right side before he passed to Gajic in the high slot. The Victoria forward wristed a shot high, but Lamoureux was able to get his right shoulder on the puck to keep the game tied. The next shift Utah got their opportunity after Carpentier flew down the left side and fired the puck on net, but Shantz got his left shoulder on the puck to deflect it out of play. The last 10 minutes saw few whistles as both teams exchanged end-to-end rushes. The game remained tied 1-1 after 60 minutes and would be decided in overtime.
The Salmon Kings had several opportunities in the first minute of overtime that resulted in a power play. Victoria held the puck in the Grizzlies' zone for the whole two minutes and had multiple chances to end the game, the best chance coming when Jeff Caister put the puck off the right post from the top of the left circle. After Shantz had made a save a crowd gathered in front of him which resulted in another power play for Victoria. On the power play Siddall gathered the pick in the left corner and walked out in front of goal. The Salmon Kings' forward looked to wrap it around Lamoureux, but the goaltender slid post-to-post to make the save. Just over 10 minutes into overtime Victoria had another man advantage, but the Grizzlies goaltender made several quality stops. With seven minutes left in overtime Ferguson broke towards the net and tried to go around Shantz, but the Victoria goalie put his right pad for the save. The Salmon Kings hold a 51-41 lead in shots as the game headed to a second overtime.
At the 48 second mark of the second overtime, Ryan Dingle forced a turnover in the Grizzlies' zone. The puck found its way to Adam Taylor who fired the puck from the right half boards. The puck deflected off a Grizzlies' defender and eluded Lamoureux as it went in by the left post for Taylor's third of the playoffs and clinched the series for Victoria. Salmon Kings 2 Grizzlies 1 2OT. Victoria wins the Western Conference Semifinal 4-0.
Victoria went 0/8 0.0% on the power play, while Utah was 1/2 50.0%. The Salmon Kings outshot the Grizzlies 52-41.
The Salmon Kings will now move onto their first appearance in the Western Conference Final as they will play the Alaska Aces in the best-of-seven series. The full schedule and ticket details are to be announced. Keep posted to www.salmonkings.com and the Facebook (www.facebook.com/salmonkings) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/thesalmonkings) fan pages for all details.
ECHL Stories from April 23, 2011
- Greenville Extends Series With Win in Game Five - Wheeling Nailers
- Road Warriors Thwart Nailers - Greenville Road Warriors
- Salmon Kings to Face Aces in Western Conference Finals - Victoria Salmon Kings
- Aces Announce Conference Finals Series Schedule - Alaska Aces
- ECHL Announces Fines, Suspensions - ECHL
- Countdown to Faceoff: Game 5 Tonight at WesBanco Arena - Wheeling Nailers
- Greenville Road Warriors Game Preview - April 23 - Greenville Road Warriors
- Schedule Announced for ECHL Western Conference Finals - ECHL
- ECHL Today - April 23 - ECHL
- Salmon Kings Advance to First Conference Final, Game 5 Ticket Rollover Available - Victoria Salmon Kings
- Salmon Kings Advance to Western Conference Final - Victoria Salmon Kings
- Grizzlies Season Ends in Double-Overtime - Utah Grizzlies
- ECHL Transactions - April 22 - ECHL
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