Sports

Reign scores two in final period to edge Idaho

Reign scores two in final period to edge Idaho
Boise, ID (4/24/13) - A bad-hop defensive-zone turnover with less than five minutes to play led to Mario Lamoureux's eventual game-winning goal Wednesday night as the visiting Ontario Reign rallied to edge the Idaho Steelheads, 2-1, in Game 3 of their ECHL Western Conference semifinal series.

The Reign now lead the best-of-seven series, two games to one, with Game 4 coming up in Boise on Friday.

Idaho would score first at 4:37 of the first period on an offensive-zone faceoff win from rookie Chase Schaber. He won the draw back cleanly to defenseman Patrick Cullity, just returned to Idaho from the American Hockey League, and Cullity blasted a shot from the top of the left circle past J. F. Berube to give Idaho a 1-0 lead. Schaber, who turned pro in March, now has seven points in nine playoff games with the assist on Cullity's first of the playoffs.

That score would hold through the first and second periods, despite seven combined power-play opportunities, as Idaho took the slim, one-goal lead into the third period.

Early in the third, Ontario evened the score on a seeing-eye wrist shot from Adrian Van de Mosselaer from near the top of the right circle. The puck weaved through several bodies in front of Idaho goaltender Josh Robinson, tucking inside the far post at 1:49 of the third period to tie the game at one goal apiece. The Steelheads penalty-killers, strong all night, would kill off another Ontario man-advantage near the midway point of the third period as the possibility of overtime for the fourth time in as many home games in the playoffs for Idaho loomed.

With less than five minutes to play, Ontario got the puck behind the Idaho net. Steelheads blue-liner Matt Case attempted to back-hand the puck out of harm's way and up the wall to an awaiting teammate, but the puck appeared to hop slightly, causing the back-hand to roll just a couple of feet to Ontario's Brady Calla. Calla circled across the top of the crease before finding Lamoureux at the right post for a quick snap goal at 15:27 to give the Reign a 2-1 lead.

Idaho's late rally attempts fell short as Berube made a pair of saves at the left post in the closing seconds to secure the one-goal victory.

Berube picked up the win, stopping 28 of 29 Idaho shots. Robinson was the tough-luck loser despite stopping 21 of 23 Ontario shots. Idaho's power play came up empty on three chances and is now 1-16 in its last five games while the Steelhead penalty kill was a perfect 5-for-5.

The Reign lead the best-of-seven series, two games to one. Game 4 is Friday night in Boise and Game 5 will also be played at Boise's CenturyLink Arena on Saturday night. Tickets are available for both games by going online to www.idahosteelheads.com or by calling 208-331-8497.

COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Patrick Cullity

CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Mario Lamoureux (ONT)
2) J. F. Berube (ONT)
3) Patrick Cullity (ID)
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