Boise, ID - The Idaho Steelheads fell in a triple-overtime thriller to the Stockton Thunder by a 1-0 score; a Stockton win that cuts Idaho’s series lead to 2-1. The game was the longest scoreless overtime game in ECHL playoff history. The game was scheduled to begin at 8:00 PM MST, and took four hours and 15 minutes to play.
The Steelheads and Thunder battled to a scoreless tie after one period of play, as Richard Bachman turned away all 11 shots sent his way by Stockton, and Bryan Pitton stopped all 10 shots in the opening frame, as he was making his first start of the playoffs in goal for the Thunder. The goaltenders’ duel continued through the second, as Bachman and Pitton continued to match one another save-for-save.
The scoreless tie continued through the third period, as Bachman ended regulation time with 23 saves, and Pitton turned away 25 Idaho shots. The game marked the first playoff overtime affair for Idaho since game four of last season’s first-round playoff series against the Victoria Salmon Kings; a game Idaho lost, and a game that marked the Steelheads’ playoff exit over a year ago.
Battling into the second overtime, each team was forced to kill penalties, and they did so successfully. It was not until the third overtime, and the 0:36 mark of it, that a goaltender was solved. With Marty Flichel serving a tripping call that was to expire in six seconds, Stockton defenseman Ryan Constant fired a shot through traffic that found the back of the net, and cut Idaho’s series lead to 2-1.
Richard Bachman stopped 35 of 36 shots in 100:36 of work; he is now 6-0-1 in the postseason. Bryan Pitton steered away all 49 shots sent his way, and he is now 1-0-0 in the playoffs.
Game four of the National Conference Final will be Friday night in Stockton. The puck is scheduled to drop at 8:30 PM MST.
TONIGHT’S AQUAFINA THREE STARS:
1. BRYAN PITTON (STK)
2. RYAN CONSTANT (STK)
3. RICHARD BACHMAND (IDH)
TONIGHT’S COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: EVAN BARLOW (IDH)
TONIGHT’S BOX SCORE:
Idaho Steelheads 0 At Stockton Thunder 1 (OT) – Status: Final 3OT
May 5, 2010 – Stockton Arena
Idaho 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 0
Stockton 0 0 0 0 0 1 – 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Hunt Stk (slashing ), 7:19; Flichel Idh (hooking), 16:11; Gongalsky Stk (roughing), 20:00.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Barlow Idh (roughing), 4:13; Constant Stk (roughing), 4:13; Eizenman Stk (cross-checking), 9:06; Kushniruk Idh (roughing), 11:56; Gongalsky Stk (elbowing), 14:52; Tardy Idh (holding), 19:11.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-DeVergilio Idh (slashing ), 11:03.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
2nd OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Bendfeld Stk (kneeing), 2:09; Gongalsky Stk (delay of game), 6:53; McCutcheon Idh (interference), 7:36; Flichel Idh (tripping), 18:41.
3rd OT Period-1, Stockton, Constant 4 (Robinson, Bates), 0:36 (pp). Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Idaho 10-7-8-6-18-0-49. Stockton 11-9-3-4-8-1-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Idaho 0 of 6; Stockton 1 of 6.
Goalies-Idaho, Bachman 6-0-1-0 (36 shots-35 saves). Stockton, Pitton 1-0-0-0 (49 shots-49 saves).
Referees-Jean Hebert (27).
Linesmen-Steven Berry (77), Paul Reid (97).