Oliver Chau scored 14:06 into overtime giving the Florida Everblades a 3-2 win in Game 1 of the 2023 Kelly Cup Finals in front of a standing-room only crowd of 5,032 fans at Idaho Central Arena in Boise, Idaho.
The game marked the seventh time in the ECHL’s 34 postseasons that Game 1 of the Riley/Kelly Cup Finals was decided in overtime.
Idaho opened the scoring 15:38 into the first period while on a two-man advantage. Jordan Kawguchi gathered in a pass from Justin Ducharme and moved the puck to Dawson Barteaux at the top of the right-wing circle where he wristed a shot past Florida goaltender Cam Johnson for his first goal of the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Florida pulled even 7:06 into the second period. Cam Darcy won a faceoff back to Zach Uens, who fed Cole Moberg at the right point for a one-timer that eluded the reach of Idaho goaltender Adam Scheel for his second goal of the postseason.
Ryan Dmowski put the Steelheads back on top with his ninth goal of the playoffs at 6:54 of the third period. Willie Knierim gathered in a loose puck on the end boards and centered a pass to Dmowski, whose quick shot eluded the reach of Johnson.
The Everblades forced overtime at with a power-play tally at 12:40 of the third period when Blake Winiecki was able to push the rebound of a John McCarron shot past Scheel for his ninth goal of the playoffs.
The win was Johnson’s fifth career Kelly Cup Playoffs win, which is tied for the fourth most by a goaltender in ECHL postseason history.
Game 2 of the series is set for Sunday at Idaho Central Arena with the opening face-off at 4:10 p.m. MT. Catch all of the action live by tuning into FloHockey.
2023 Kelly Cup FinalsGame 1 – FLORIDA 3 at Idaho 2 (OT)Game 2 – Sunday, June 4 at 4:10 p.m. MT at IdahoGame 3 – Wednesday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET at FloridaGame 4 – Friday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET at FloridaGame 5 – Saturday, June 10 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)Game 6 – Tuesday, June 13 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, June 14 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)