BOISE, Idaho (ABC4 Sports) – For the fourth straight game in their highly contested playoff series, the Utah Grizzlies and Idaho Steelheads went to overtime. And for the fourth straight time, the Steelheads pulled out a victory.
Jack Becker scored the game winning goal 3:48 into overtime as Idaho defeated the Grizzlies 3-2. The Steelheads win the best of series 4 games to 2 and they advance to the Mountain Division Finals, where they will face the Allen Americans.
Utah won the first two games of the series in Boise, before losing three straight and home and one at Idaho, with all four losses coming in overtime.
Idaho scored first as Zane Franklin found the back of the net 9:04 in. Idaho led 1-0 after 1 period. Utah tied the game as Kyle Betts threw a shot off of Idaho’s Cody Haiskanen and into the back of the net 13:12 in. The score was tied 1-1 after 2 periods.
Utah’s Dylan Fitze scored 8:58 into the third period to take a 2-1 lead. Idaho tied it up 10:34 in as AJ White scored his 3rd goal of the series. Both teams went to overtime for the fourth straight games. Jack Becker’s game winner was Idaho’s fourth straight overtime victory as they advance to the next round.
The last 5 games of the playoff series were each one goal games. Utah’s Trent Miner saved 29 of 32 in the loss. Idaho’s Adam Scheel stopped 21 of 23. Utah was 0 for 3 on the power play. Idaho was 0 for 2.
Utah had to wait until the final day of the regular season to qualify for the playoffs, while Idaho had 58 victories, the most in ECHL history.
The Grizzlies, who made it to the Western Conference Semifinals last year, saw their 2023 Kelly Cup Playoff run comes to an end. They return to the ice in October for the 2023-2024 season.