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One of the goals Utah had headed into their 2 games in Idaho, was to steal game 4 and tie up the series. A bonus would be to get a 3-2 lead returning to the Maverik Center.
Well, consider it mission accomplished.
On the strength of Igor Bobkov’s 29 saves and Connor Hardowa’s two goals, the Grizzlies will have the chance to eliminate Idaho Monday night.
Colten Beck opened up the scoring to give the Steelheads a 1-0 lead at 10:48 of the opening period. For Beck, it was his fourth goal and fifth point of the series.
But just 17 seconds later, Hardowa beat goaltender Chris Rawlings five-hole to even the game. It was a goal that Grizzlies head coach Tim Branham said was “huge.”
“I just saw a hole and Michael Pelech is a great play-maker and he made a great pass to me and the puck went in the net for me,” said Hardowa on the first goal.
Idaho would hold a 2-1 lead after two periods, thanks to Wade MacLeod lighting the lamp at 6:10 of the period on a pass from defenseman Mike Dalhuisen. From there on, Igor Bobkov shut the door on the Steelheads.
The final period was all Grizzlies, scoring four goals in 12:09 in the middle to late stages of the period. Hardowa scored the game-winning goal at 12:29 of the period and Ryan Hayes chipped in two assists in the offensive spurt.
The series will shift back to the Maverik Center, for a potential series-clinching game 6 Monday night. It will likely be the most intense so far. “We just need the same effort,” Branham told the Salt Lake Tribune. “It’s going to be a war and I expect the fans to rocking the Maverik Center like they always do.”