Idaho Steelheads Report: Robinson Steals Game 1 for Idaho

John Mulhern will be summarizing the Idaho Steelheads playoff run game by game. Last night, the Steelheads defeated the Colorado Eagles in Boise thanks to a 42 save effort from Josh Robinson. John has the period by period breakdown, but I would say all you need to see is this save:

Period 1

After playing each other seven times in the past month and a half, the Colorado Eagles and the Idaho Steelheads wasted no time getting right down to business. Both teams came out with a lot of end-to-end rushes and a lot of speed. The Eagles would end the first period with the shot advantage 16 to 6, but the Steelheads would have to lead 1-0 after a power play goal.

There would be only one penalty in the first period, and it would go against the Eagles Kevin Young. He received an automatic two minutes for delay of game after clearing a bouncing puck over the glass. David deKastrozza, who was promoted to the first power play unit after Tommy Grant had to leave a game after taking a puck to his hand, would get credit for the ensuing PP goal. On a nice passing play between Mitch Wahl and William Rapuzzi, deKastrozza was able to find a spot all alone in front of Eagles goaltender Dustin Butler and was able to bury the pass.

Despite the Steelheads getting that first goal, the Eagles were able to carry the remainder of the play and, for the most part, kept the Steelheads bottled up in their own end for the remainder of the period.

Period 2

There was no scoring in the second period, but it did not lack for quality chances for both teams.

The Steelheads came out with a much more aggressive forecheck and were able to create some chances off of Eagles turnover. Butler made some good saves to keep the Steelheads stuck at one on the scoreboard.

Not to be outdone, Josh Robinson made the save of the game halfway through the period after a couple of weak passes in the defensive zone, an Eagle player was left all alone in front and with Robinson holding his right post, he sold out Superman style and made a tremendous save to keep the game 1-0 in the Steelheads favor.

The Eagles finally did get their first power play chance of the game, but the Steelheads were able to kill it off. Idaho will however be shorthanded for the start of the 3rd period after a late high sticking call went against deKastrozza.

Period 3

The Steelheads started the third period shorthanded and were able to kill off the 1:59 of power play time that Colorado had. The one thing that the power play was able to do was give Colorado momentum and a foothold in the third period to launch an all-out assault on Idaho goaltender Josh Robinson. “Robo” was able to hold strong until a weird play at the side of the net where the puck found its way to Kyle Kraemer, and he was able to direct it by Robinson. That would be Robinson’s only blemish as he went on to save 42 of 43 shots on the night.

The game would need a hero, and with time running down and the Steelheads not being able to mount any kind of sustained offensive attack, the game felt as if the Steelheads were just going to try to counterattack when they could, but also play a tighter game and be content with overtime.

With 2:45 to go in the 3rd period, all that worrying about an extra session proved out to be for naught, as Rapuzzi would find Scott Czarnowczan who would fire a great pass to deKastrozza who once again was left all alone at the hash marks. With Butler having to move off his right post again, deKastrozza picked top corner glove side for the ultimate game winning goal.

Colorado would have a couple of good chances coming down the stretch and with the extra attacker, but the Steelheads defense would hold strong and make the one goal lead hold up.

It wouldn’t be a complete recap without mentioning that for as great as Josh Robinson played, Dustin Butler for the Colorado Eagles was with him just about every step of the way. Butler would end the game stopping 23 of 25 shots on the night.

Game 2 is Saturday right back at Century Link Arena in Boise as Idaho tries to extend their series lead to 2-0 and Colorado tries to take home ice advantage and go back to Colorado with the series tied at 1. Game 1 was a dandy, I would expect more of the same from game 2.