STOCKTON, Calif – In game four of the Western Conference Finals, Stockton’s Olivier Roy stopped the tying penalty shot, with only 1.4 seconds remaining in the game, for the 3-2 Thunder win before 4,417 fans on their feet.
The Steelheads and Thunder were scoreless in the first frame of the game. The action was fast paced and very physical. Idaho led 12-7 in shots on net for the period, and killed off the only penalty late in the period.
Very early in the second period both teams traded a pair of goals. Idaho’s Justin Taylor passed a shot to the front of the net, where Brett Robinson wristed the shot past Olivier Roy in the net for the first goal of the night, only 47 seconds into the period. The Thunder’s Harrison Reed netted a goal past Josh Robinson in the net for the tying goal only 20 seconds later. The rest of the period remained scoreless, despite both teams having two opportunities each with the man advantage, coming up empty handed.
The early moments of the third period were reminiscent of the second, where both teams scored answering goals. This time, the Thunder fans were on their feet at 2:59, following a rebound goal from Captain Garet Hunt, that Erik Hunter and Ryan Hayes were credited with assists. Then fourteen seconds later, B. Robinson beat Roy for a Steelhead goal that knotted the game at two apiece.
Maxime Boisclair scored the eventual winning goal at 17:24, with an assist to Nathan Deck. J. Robinson wasn’t able to get back into position from the previous save, when Boisclair’s wrist shot hit the back of the net, giving the Thunder the 3-2 lead. Boisclair’s goal extends his point streak to every game in this series. The remaining few minutes of the game were fierce. Heavy defense on both ends of the ice.
Late in the period, Idaho pulled the goalie for the extra skater in the Thunder’s defensive zone around the net. Roy worked hard, however during the barrage, one of the Thunder players knocked the net off the posts. The referee called a penalty shot with only 1.4 seconds remaining in the game. Austin Smith was selected to face Roy, one-on-one. A goal would send the game into sudden-death overtime. Roy deflected Smiths shot sending it to the side.
Roy earned the win in the goaltenders dual, with 27 saves, while Robinson’s 32 saves equaled the loss for the game.
Idaho’s B. Robinson has five goals in the post season, with his two goals of the night.
The Thunder has an opportunity to clinch the Western Conference in game five on Saturday night before the home crowd.