Idaho Steelheads finally get their break in Game 3

Fyten's power-play tally gives Idaho new life entering Game 4.

clangrill@idahostatesman.comMay 10, 2013 

Idaho's Austin Fyten laid out Stockton's Harrison Reed early in Game 3 of the ECHL Western Conference Finals on Wednesday night, then provided the winning goal in overtime.

CLIFFORD OTO — The Record (Stockton, Calif.)

Just one break.

After losing the first two games of the ECHL Western Conference Finals, that's all Steelheads coach Brad Ralph wanted.

He got it deep into the first overtime late Wednesday night, as a Stockton penalty led to a power-play goal by Austin Fyten. Idaho won the game 2-1 and crept back into contention in the series, which the Thunder lead 2-1.

"It was great to get the first win of the series under our belt," Ralph said. "It was a lot like Game 1 and 2, but we found a way to get this one. … I thought we played a very good hockey game from start to finish, and fortunately the special teams came through for us in the end."

It was the first time Stockton dropped an overtime game in the postseason. The Thunder won Game 2 of the series 4-3, and when they did they tied a league record for most overtime wins in the postseason with five.

That loss put Idaho in a 2-0 hole as the series shifted to Stockton, but Ralph said his players weren't hanging their heads.

"It's funny, but we've been confident since Day One, Even when we were down 2-0, I still think there was a lot of belief that we can do what we have to do here," he said. "We just have to keep working."

One player who has been working with some success lately is Fyten. He scored the series-clinching goal in the semifinals against Ontario, and followed that up Wednesday.

"Fyten, (Chase) Schaber and (Austin) Smith, we've kind of nicknamed them The Kid Line," Ralph said. "I like their game, and they seem to create a lot of offense and play a real aggressive game."

Idaho's next mission is to try to win Game 4 on Friday night in Stockton. The Steelheads need to win that game or Game 5 on Saturday night to send the series back to Idaho. Game 6 would be at 7:10 p.m. Monday at CenturyLink Arena, and tickets for that game will go on sale as soon as it is necessary.

Chris Langrill: 377-6424

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