WEST VALLEY CITY — After three and a half hours of hockey, Idaho’s Kyle Schempp snuck a goal by Utah Grizzlies goalkeeper Kevin Carr to give the Steelheads a 3-2 overtime win in Game 3 of the opening round of the Kelly Cup playoffs.
“We knew it would be a tight series; we were able to get on top of them in Game 1, the last two games went to overtime, anything can happen," Grizzlies head coach Tim Branham said. "We have to pay attention to the smaller details and be willing to pay the price. Idaho works hard for their goals, and we’ve got to work harder to stop them from scoring.”
With the win, the Steelheads take a 2-1 lead over the Grizzlies.
“I thought we deserved this game, to be honest. It is what it is, we’re down 2-1 in the series and the only thing that we can control is Friday. We’ve got to make sure that we come out with the same start that we had, clean up a few things in our own end,” Branham said.
Josh Dickinson was the star of the game for the Grizzlies, scoring a goal and assisting on a goal.
“He’s been good. Obviously, his skill set is high for this level. He’s a determined player and he plays in every situation for us. He’s done extremely well in this playoffs,” Branham said.
The Grizzlies scored their first goal of the night just 6:39 into the first period on a penalty kill, when Dickinson skated the length of the ice and slotted the shot past Idaho goalkeeper Tomas Sholl to give the shorthanded Grizzlies a 1-0 advantage. After the goal, many of the fans at the Maverik Center threw fish onto the ice to “Feed the Grizz,” continuing a tradition started when the franchise moved to Utah.
Idaho scored with just seven seconds remaining in the first period, as Brad McClure, assisted by A.J. White, got one past Grizzlies’ goalkeeper Kevin Carr to knot things up at 1-1 heading into the first intermission.
The second period featured no goals, but plenty of action. Multiple fights broke out in the period between the two rivals as the goal drought dragged on and frustration mounted, as the two teams each had good chances to score but couldn’t put the puck in the back of the net. Carr was masterful in the second period as Idaho threatened. The Steelheads had 17 shots during the second period to the Grizzlies’ six, but Carr didn’t allow a single goal as Idaho spent most of the second period in its attacking third without scoring a goal.Comment on this story
The Grizzlies scored the go-ahead goal three minutes into the third period. After Utah won a faceoff to the left of the goal in the Grizzlies’ attacking third, Dickinson found Tim McGauley for the goal. The Steelheads would respond back just three minutes later, as Henrik Samuelsson took advantage of a deflection and slotted home a goal to tie the game at 2-2. The game would remain tied for the remainder of regulation, forcing it into overtime.
The final goal came with 8:22 in the overtime period as Schempp scored the game-winner for Idaho.