Eagles even the series with OT win

Boise, ID (4/4/13) - Kevin Ulanski's shot from the bottom of the left circle with 2:23 left in overtime gave the visiting Colorado Eagles a dramatic, series-evening 6-5 victory over the Idaho Steelheads Thursday night in the opening-round ECHL Kelly Cup playoff series.

The Steelheads had won the series opener one night earlier on an overtime game-winner from Tyler Gron. Ulanski's OT winner on Thursday tied the best-of-seven series at one win apiece as the series shifts to Colorado for Games 3, 4 and 5.

Idaho drew first blood on the power play as Matt Case slammed a shot from the high slot past Adam Brown at 5:33 of the first period to make it 1-0 Steelheads. Both teams had an array of chances over the next 12 minutes, but Brown and Idaho's Josh Robinson made big save after big save until Aaron Schneekloth scored for Colorado on the power play at 19:17 of the first to tie the game at one goal apiece.

Schneekloth's second power-play goal of the night, at 16:06 of the second, gave Colorado a short-lived, 2-1 lead before the Steelheads exploded for three goals in less than three minutes. The first tally came from Rylan Galiardi just 34 seconds after Schneekloth had put Colorado on top as he fielded a Jace Coyle pass off the end boards from the right point at the left post for the game-tying goal. Just 43 seconds later, at 17:23 of the second, Idaho took the lead on a perfectly-executed three-on-two rush. Justin Taylor and David deKastrozza maneuvered the puck into the slot where Austin Fyten crushed a shot top corner over Brown to give Idaho a 3-2 lead.

Colorado coach Chris Stewart changed goaltenders at that point, bringing in Kyle Jones, but Idaho would add one more as Steve Ferry played a puck off the end boards from the left point to Brett Robinson. Robinson was able to knock the puck past Jones at 19:34, giving Idaho three goals in 2:56 to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.

The first five minutes of the third were controlled by Idaho until a Collin Bowman power-play goal at the six-minute mark gave the Eagles life, cutting Idaho's lead to 4-3. Colorado tied it at 9:55 of the third when a loose puck hit Michael Forney in the chest, falling at his feet, and Forney spun home a shot from the bottom of the right circle to even the score at 4. Then, at 14:16 of the third, Chad Costello gave the Eagles a 5-4 lead on a seeing-eye blast from the right wall that just snuck past Robinson.

Idaho answered at 16:53 when Austin Smith, recognizing that Jones didn't have a stick in net for Colorado, fired a shot from the high slot between Jones' legs to even the score at 5-5 and send the game into overtime.

The Steelheads had two golden opportunities to win it in overtime, but bad puck bounces derailed scoring chances for Smith and Chase Schaber to keep the game even. With less than three minutes left in overtime, Jake Marto powered the puck down the left wing wall for Colorado, setting up Ulanski for his game-winner at the bottom of the left circle at the 17:37 mark of overtime.

Josh Robinson took the loss for Idaho despite making 45 saves on the night. Kyle Jones is credited for the win for Colorado, making 16 saves on 18 shots in relief of Adam Brown. Idaho's power play unit was 1-3 while Colorado's was 3-5.

Games 3 (Saturday), 4 (Sunday) and 5 (Tuesday) will all be at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, CO, beginning at 7 PM. The Steelheads will host free watch parties in the SportZone at CenturyLink Arena for each game and Sunday's game will also be broadcast regionally by Altitude Sports and Entertainment, available in the Treasure Valley on both DirecTV and Dish Network.


1) Matt Case (ID)
2) Kevin Ulanski (COL)
3) Aaron Schneekloth (COL)