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Steelhead struggle against Colorado scoring spree

Steelhead struggle against Colorado scoring spree
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Loveland, CO (4/7/13) - There weren't enough minutes on the clock Tuesday night for the Idaho Steelheads to complete an improbable road playoff rally, cutting a five-goal deficit to two in the third period before falling to the Colorado Eagles, 7-4, in Game 5 of the first-round ECHL Kelly Cup playoffs matchup.

Idaho still leads the best-of-seven series, three games to two, with Game 6 coming up at CenturyLink Arena in Boise on Friday night. Tickets for that contest go on sale Wednesday at 10 AM at the CenturyLink Arena box office or online at www.idahosteelheads.com

After killing off an early Idaho power play, the Eagles jumped on the Steelheads for three goals, two on the power play, to put the visitors in a big hole in the first period. Chad Costello's even-strength tally followed by man-advantage markers from Kevin Ulanski and Kyle Ostrow gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead after one. Head coach Brad Ralph made a chance at intermission, replacing Tyler Beskorowany in net for Idaho with Josh Robinson, but Colorado would add two more in the second, extending their lead to 5-0 with goals from Jake Marto and Trent Daavatilla.

Idaho got its first goal of the contest when Austin Fyten banged a puck through Kyle Jones off an offensive-zone draw at 17:15 of the second period to make it 5-1, but Colorado re-established the five-goal cushion at 4:38 mark of the third on Brock Nixon's goal that just crept over the goal line. Nixon's first of the postseason appeared to be nothing more than an add-on goal, but the Steelheads had other ideas.

Barely a minute later, at 5:56 of the third, Austin Smith scored from the right wing to make it 6-2. Just 28 seconds later, Smith would score again from the right wing to make it 6-3. The rally continued at 10:38 of the third on Ben Ondrus' second of the post-season as the announced crowd of 5,289 in Loveland began to squirm in their seats. Smith just missed adding a third goal in the period moments later and, from there, Idaho simply ran out of time as Colorado managed to keep the hard-charging Steelheads at bay. Chad Costello would add an empty-net goal to set the final score at 7-4.

Robinson wound up taking the loss in relief for Idaho, making 15 saves on 18 shots over two periods. Kyle Jones was the beneficiary of the early offense from Colorado, picking up the win despite allowing four goals on just 22 shots.

Colorado's power play was 2 for 4 on the night while Idaho's power play unit came up empty on four chances.

Smith (two goals), Fyten (goal, assist), Adrian Foster (two assists) and Matt Case (two assists) all had multi-point nights for the Steelheads. Foster has points in all five games in the series for Idaho. Trent Daavatilla led the way for Colorado with three points on a goal and two assists.

The two teams return to Boise for Game 6 Friday night at CenturyLink Arena at 7 PM.

COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Adrian Foster

CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) Trent Daavatilla (COL)
2) Kyle Ostrow (COL)
3) Brock Nixon (COL)
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