BOISE - The Idaho Steelheads lost Game 4 of the Kelly Cup semi-finals 4-1 on Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena, and now the Las Vegas Wranglers are one win away from moving on to the finals.
Joe Fallon made a successful return to the Las Vegas net, turning aside 25 of 26 Idaho shots, as the Wranglers now hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Each team picked up one tally in the opening frame. First, it was Adam Miller's second of the playoffs for Las Vegas as he knocked a loose puck past Jerry Kuhn at 5:49 of the period to give the Wranglers a 1-0 lead. Idaho then evened the score at 10:52 on a brilliant effort from forward Joe Pereira. Keeping the puck alive in the right-hand corner, Pereira then darted a backhand shot past Fallon for his fourth of the playoffs.
The game remained tied at one due to a brilliant glove save on a short-handed breakaway by Las Vegas forward Eric Lampe. He tried to pull to a backhand to beat Kuhn, but Kuhn snared the shot to the delight of the 3,705 fans in attendance.
But after Geoff Paukovich redirected a Chris Francis point shot at 7:08 of the second, the Wranglers got some insurance in the third. Ash Goldie beat Kuhn glove-side for his second of the playoffs at 1:56, then, Francis added another goal at 13:45 off an offensive zone draw to remove any doubt.
The Steelheads look to stay alive Sunday in the fifth game of the best-of-seven series. Puck drops at 7:10 PM at CenturyLink Arena.
NOTE: Kuhn turned aside 45 of the 49 shots he faced ... Neither team scored on the power play (Idaho 0-1, Las Vegas 0-2).