The Idaho Steelheads handed visiting Las Vegas its first loss of the ECHL's Kelly Cup playoffs tonight, coming back from an early third-period deficit with two goals in a span of 2:12 and winning 4-3.
That marked Las Vegas' first setback after five straight wins -- the Wranglers swept Utah in three games and won the first two games of this ECHL Western Conference semifinal series in Sin City -- and cut Las Vegas' series lead to 2-1.
Cody Purves and Chad Nehring scored the pivotal back-to-back goals on a night when the creases were shooting galleries -- Idaho outshot Las Vegas, 45-37. Jerry Kuhn made 34 saves for the Steelheads and Mitch O'Keefe made 41 stops.
One key to Idaho's win: It did not permit a goal from the top line of Adam Miller, Eric Lampe and former Alaska Ace Judd Blackwater. Those guys, who have been tearing it up, were all -2, with a combined seven shots on goal.
On the other hand, former UAA Seawolves winger Josh Lunden furnished the Wranglers with one goal, one helper and a +2.
Game 4 in the best-of-7 series is Saturday night in Boise.