By Mark Gokavi
Dayton Daily News
BOISE, Idaho — The first time Trevor Frischmon (pictured) dove to the ice Wednesday night, he drew a four-minute high-sticking penalty.
“It was the right call,” Frischmon said. “I think I cut him a little bit, but it was totally unintentional. I was diving for the puck and kind of followed through and hit him in the mouth. Any time a guy’s bleeding, they have to give you four minutes.”
The Dayton Bombers center more than made up for it late in Game 1 of the ECHL Kelly Cup finals in front of 3,817 at Qwest Arena.
Frischmon’s second dive came after a Petr Pohl pass when Dayton gained control at center ice. Frischmon put the puck past Idaho goalie Steve Silverthorn with 2:36 left to give Dayton a 2-1 victory and 1-0 series lead.
“I just saw the puck laying at his feet and kind of desperately threw my stick at it,” Frischmon said. “It happened to pop through his feet.”
Dayton leads the best-of-7 series and collects its first Kelly Cup finals win — the Bombers were swept by Greenville in the 2002 finals. Game 2 is at 9:10 p.m. Friday night.
Tifu skated in on the right wing and snapped a wrist shot past goaltender Steve Silverthorn‘s stick side for a 1-0 lead at 13:24 of the first period.
Dayton kept the lead until Idaho tied it 1-1 at 13:55 of the third when Francis Wathier deflected a Peters shot and the puck fluttered past Berkhoel, who made 29 saves.
That set the stage for Frischmon, who won’t be confused with Sidney Crosby.
“He’s a great skater, but he’s got terrible hands,” Bombers coach Don MacAdam said. “He went in earlier in the first period and he had a great scoring chance and he fumbled, bumbled with the puck. The next thing you know they’re coming back down the other way with it.”
MacAdam also praised his rookie’s willingness to pay the price.
“It’s not much fun to do — go to the net and you’re going to take a hit,” MacAdam said. “He was on the ice because he took a hit to make the play. That’s what you ask guys to do. That’s what you need to do to win a game.”
Frischmon reluctantly accepts the perception of his style.
“I’m kind of a grinder, a gritty player,” he said. “Everyone would like to be the goal scorer.”
On this night, Frischmon was. “Any time you can chip in,” he said. “It works.”