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Idaho Steelheads in driver's seat heading into Toledo road trip

The Steelheads will have two chances to clinch the ECHL Western Conference Finals while visiting the Walleye.

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Steelheads will be on unfamiliar ice Wednesday when they visit the Toledo Walleye for the first time all season, but on this road trip, the Steelies are packing a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

In the first two games of the series Saturday and Sunday at Idaho Central Arena, the Steelheads did not allow a single Walleye goal. Idaho won both games by a score of 3-0, giving goalkeeper Adam Scheel a three-game shutout streak that began in the final game of the Steelheads’ second-round series against the Allen Americans. He’s the first goalie in ECHL history with three straight shutout victories in the playoffs.

Scheel tallied 33 saves against Toledo Sunday afternoon. Wade Murphy put Idaho up 1-0 late in the first period. Justin Ducharme sent a backhand shot over Walleye netminder John Lethemon’s glove at 15:27 in the second period, and Colton Kehler scored the Steelheads’ third goal of the game on a power play with 2:09 left in the third and final period.

In the first game of the series Saturday night, also at Idaho Central Arena, Jade Miller, Ty Pelton-Byce and Willie Knierim all scored for the home team. Scheel stopped all 29 of Toledo’s shots on goal to secure the 3-0 shutout.

The Steelheads and Walleye did not play head-to-head during the regular season. Until Saturday, Toledo had not lost a playoff game.

Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals series is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24, at 5:15 p.m. MDT/7:15 p.m. EDT in Toledo, Ohio. Game 4 is set for the same time on Friday, May 26, and Game 5, if necessary, is scheduled for Saturday, May 27. Toledo would need to win two of those three games for the series to go back to Idaho for a sixth or seventh game.

The winner of the Western Conference Finals best-of-7 series will play for the ECHL Kelly Cup against the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Newfoundland Growlers and Florida Everblades. Florida leads that series 2-0 going into Monday night’s Game 3 at home.

 More information about the Kelly Cup Playoffs is available here.

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