By Brian Compton
The teams that receive contributions from everyone are usually the ones that win championships.
And because of the “all hands on deck” approach put forth by the Idaho Steelheads in the Kelly Cup Finals, Derek Laxdal’s club has won the ECHL title in five games.
“It’s been incredible,” Laxdal said. “This group of guys has been unbelievable. … To beat Stockton, to beat Las Vegas, to beat Alaska, and then to come in here and win three games and win the Kelly Cup is a tribute to these guys in the dressing room.”
After dropping Game 1 on home ice, the Steelheads took the next four games in this best-of-seven series, including a thrilling 2-1 double-overtime victory over the Dayton Bombers in Game 4 Tuesday night at the Nutter Center. Idaho defenseman Kory Scoran ended that nearly four-hour affair with his third goal of the playoffs at the 14:20 mark of the fifth period.
It was quite a moment for Scoran, who had just two goals in 67 games during the regular season. Tuesday night’s tally was his third in 21 playoff contests, and none came any bigger. Scoran, 25, had no trouble deciding where Tuesday night’s game ranked in his career.
“I’d have to say No. 1,” Scoran said. “It was great. I’m more of a stay-at-home, physical defenseman. I was like; ‘Someone’s got to end it.’ I was tired.”
Laxdal reminded his club during the intermission in between overtimes to keep the play simple, knowing full well that one miscue could result in a loss. At the same time, though, mental fatigue plays a huge role in marathon affairs.
“You just want to do the simple things and you don’t want to make any mistakes,” Scoran said. “You’re mind starts going when you start getting that tired. It’s pretty difficult to stay focused.”