Idaho Beats Alaska 3-2 In Overtime
Steelheads Lead Series 2-0

Statesman Staff
The Idaho Statesman

ANCHORAGE – The Idaho Steelheads beat the Alaska Aces 3-2 in overtime in Game 2 of their ECHL National Conference finals, in a game that finished early this morning in Anchorage.

Forward Taggart Desmet scored with 5:17 left in OT to give the Steelheads a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The series now shifts to Boise, where Game 3 will be played at 7:10 Friday night at Qwest Arena. Game 4 will be played at 7:10 p.m. Sunday at Qwest Arena, and if necessary, a fifth game would be played at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday in Boise.

Just one goal was scored during Idaho’s 1-0 win over Alaska in Game 1 on Monday night, and the first two periods of Tuesday’s game continued to show that goals were going to come at a premium.

The second period ended in a scoreless tie as Idaho goalie Steve Silverthorn turned away 17 shots and ran his shutout streak to 160 minutes. Alaska goalie Derek Gustafson turned away 11 shots through two periods.

The Aces were obviously trying to pick up their offensive pace after shooting 15 shots in Game 1.

After the two scoreless periods, the teams combined for four goals in the final period.

Idaho rookie defenseman Lars Helminen put the Steelheads on the scoreboard first with a 5-on-3 power-play goal 1:14 into the third for his second goal of the playoffs.

Alaska answered with a Barrett Heisten power-play goal of its own 4:22 into the period to end Silverthorn’s shutout streak.

Just 27 seconds later, with the crowd still cheering after Heisten’s goal, Aces center Mike Scott gave Alaska a 2-1 lead.

But Idaho fought back to force the overtime with veteran Scott Burt‘s first postseason goal since 2004. The goal tied the game 2-2 with 11:40 remaining in regulation.

Idaho is 3-0 in overtime during these playoffs after winning twice in OT against Stockton in their first-round series.