Grizzlies Insider Adam Turner on OT Loss
When two teams as evenly matched as the Utah Grizzlies and Idaho Steelheads meet up, 60 minutes of hockey often isn't enough time to determine a winner. That is particularly true in the Kelly Cup playoffs. Following Utah's 7-1 laugher in Idaho to begin the series, the Steelheads responded with a 3-2 overtime victory. And wouldn't you know it, after three periods, the team that would take the upper hand in the best of seven series hadn't been determined. That was until Idaho's Kyle Schempp's attempt trickled past Utah's Kevin Carr as Idaho escaped with the same outcome as game 2, defeating Utah 3-2 once again in overtime and taking a 2-1 series lead.
"We knew it'd be a tight series and we were able to get on top of them in game one and the last two games went into overtime and anything can happen," head coach Tim Branham said. "We have to pay attention to small details and be willing to pay the price. You've got to want it more than them."
Both goaltenders in Utah's Carr and Idaho's Tomas Sholl were nothing short of sensational and each provided his team with a chance to win. Idaho was relentless in their pressure against the Grizzlies defense, and Carr was up to the task, saving all but three of the Steelhead's 48 shots, several of the breathtaking variety. Utah countered with 40 shots and Sholl proved equally worthy, brushing aside 38 of 40.
The Grizzlies penalty kill was perfect Wednesday, and produced an early goal as well. Forward Josh Dickinson, who has recently found an additional gear, scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway, providing Utah with a 1-0 lead. Idaho would respond, however, when Brad McCLure deposited the puck with a mere five seconds remaining in the first session.
Idaho would amass 17 shots in the second period to Utah's six, but there was a reversal of fortune in the third as the Grizzlies fired 16, one of which was successful. Tim McGauley, who since the early part of the season has spent the majority of his time with the Colorado Eagles, rushed the net and blasted past Sholl to give Utah a temporary lead. Moments later, Henrik Samuelsson would tie it at 2-2 to force the extra period.
"The only thing we can control is Friday and we need to come out with the same effort that we did in the first period tonight," Branham said. "I thought we came out hard and took it to them. We hit a couple of posts. Ultimately we need to bear down and hopefully our luck will change and some of those bounces will go our way."
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