BOISE — The Idaho Steelheads broke things open in the third period, pulling away from a 4-2 lead for an eventual 7-2 victory over the Utah Grizzlies in Game 1 of their ECHL National Conference semifinal series Friday night.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled tonight at 7:10 p.m. in Qwest Arena.
Idaho built a 2-0 lead with two goals in 53 seconds, scoring at 13:02 and 13:55 of the first period, as Utah killed an early shorthanded situation. The Grizzlies made it 2-1 with Malcolm MacMillan knocking in a rebound with 1:54 left in the first period.
In the second period, Idaho again startedg the scoring at the 13:02 mark after Utah killed 4:13 of power-play time, including 1:20 when the Grizzlies were down by two men to preserve the 2-1 score.
The Steelheads made it 4-1 with two goals in less than 21/2 minutes (13:02, 15:29) before Ryan Kinasewich added a power-play goal with 29 seconds left in the second period to make it 4-2 at the second intermission.
The Grizzlies were unable to take advantage of an early third-period power play before Idaho tacked on three goals in a span of just 1:33 (5:54, 6:35, 7:27) to make the score 7-2 and put it out of reach for Utah.
Utah vs. Idaho
Game 1, Friday: Idaho 7, Utah 2
Game 2, Saturday: Utah at Idaho, 7:10 p.m.
Game 3, Tuesday, April 20: Idaho at Utah, 7:05 p.m.
Game 4, Friday, April 23: Idaho at Utah, 7:05 p.m.
*Game 5, Saturday, April 24: Idaho at Utah, 7:05 p.m.
*Game 6, Tuesday, April 27: Utah at Idaho, 7:10 p.m.
*Game 7, Wednesday, April 28: Utah at Idaho, 7:10 p.m.
* — if necessary