Idaho Steelheads survive in four overtimes; off to Alaska

Idaho's first-round clincher in Boise on Monday night is longest game in ECHL history.

bmurphy@idahostatesman.comApril 30, 2014 

  • STEELHEADS VS. ACES

    Game 1: Thursday, at Alaska, 9:15 p.m.

    Game 2: Friday, at Alaska, 9:15 p.m.

    Game 3: Monday, at Idaho, 7:10 p.m.

    Game 4: May 7, at Idaho, 7:10 p.m.

    *Game 5: May 8, at Idaho, 7:10 p.m.

    *Game 6: May 10, at Alaska, 9:15 p.m.

    *Game 7: May 11, at Alaska, 9:15 p.m.

    *If necessary. All games on 1350 AM; home games broadcast on Cable One 17.

— The goaltender who saved as many shots as anyone in league history and the forward who finally ended the marathon playoff game used the same word when it was finally over - exhausted.

"I'm exhausted," Steelheads goaltender Josh Robinson said early Tuesday morning. "It's completely a blur."

Behind Robinson, who turned back 83 of Colorado's record-tying 85 shots on goal, the Steelheads edged the Eagles 3-2 in four overtimes in Game 6 of their ECHL Kelly Cup Western Conference quarterfinal.

David deKastrozza's goal off a pass from Gaelan Patterson ended the game after 137 minutes, 18 seconds of game action - and 5 hours, 34 minutes of actual time. It also ended the series, pushing fourth-seeded Idaho to the conference semifinals against top-seeded Alaska.

"My leg was cramping at that point. I was just like, 'Don't miss.' It was pretty close to missing," said deKastrozza, who had an open net with the Colorado goalie on the other side. "It was definitely nice to be a part of history and be a part of the good side of it."

Idaho rallied from a 2-0 second-period deficit with quick goals from Patterson and Justin Mercier in the third. Robinson and Colorado counterpart Marc Cheverie then stopped everything that came their way for more than four periods, thwarting excellent scoring chances from both sides.

"We just said, 'Keep going.' We were getting stronger and we could feel them fading. We knew it was only a matter of time that we'd eventually score," Robinson said.

The Steelheads finally did. Rob Linsmayer carried the puck behind the net, shedding a Colorado defender. He found Patterson, who quickly touched it to deKastrozza alone by the right post.

The Steelheads don't have much time to celebrate their victory. They travel to Alaska on Wednesday for Thursday night's opener in Anchorage.

Idaho and Alaska played 12 games this season, with each winning six.

Alaska swept its opening series, outscoring Las Vegas 16-5.

"These next two days, we're going to be trying to talk to the guys, make sure they're re-energized, make sure they've got their legs under them," coach Brad Ralph said. "We just got to get up there - it's a long haul up there - and get settled as fast as we can."

REWRITING THE ECHL RECORD BOOK

Records set

Longest game: The Steelheads and Eagles played for 137 minutes, 18 seconds. The previous record was 126:10, set April 10, 2009, when Elmira defeated Trenton 5-4.

Most shots on goal (combined): The teams combined for 151 shots on goal (85 for Colorado, 66 for Idaho). The previous record of 145 was set by Elmira and Trenton in that same game.

Records tied

Most saves: Idaho goaltender Josh Robinson had 83 saves. Pensacola's Brian Ecklund had 83 saves in a 2-1 loss to Louisiana on April 14, 2004.

Most shots on goal (one team): Colorado's 85 shots tied the record, set by Louisiana in that same game.

Brian Murphy: 377-6444, Twitter: @MurphsTurph

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