The Butte Cobras gave a packed house at the Butte Community Ice Center something to cheer about Saturday night.
Four different Butte players scored a goal as the Cobras skated past the Bellingham Blaze for a 5-3 win in the opening game of a best-of-three playoff series. Stats
The Cobras will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon. The puck drops at 2 p.m. at the Community Ice Center.
Earl Webb scored a pair of goals, while Tyson Liverance, Joel Johnson and Jan Marcilis each scored one.
Petr Panacek assisted on three goals in the win. Jacob Rudloff assisted on two, while Webb, Liverance, Marcilis, Daniel Armstrong and Ethan Cooney each registered one assist.
Trey Cadwell’s two goals lead the Blaze. Thomas Steven added one.
The Cobras never trailed in the victory. Butte led 1-0 after Johnson’s goal 4 minutes, 32 seconds into the first period.
After Steven tied the game at 1 late in the first, Webb scored to make it 2-0 Butte in the first minute of the second period.
Cadwell knotted the game at 2 before Liverance scored off assists by Cooney and Rudloff to put Butte on top for good at 3-2 with 4:51 left in the second.
Marcilis and Webb scored goals as Butte extended the lead to 5-2 before Cadwell scored his second goal with 2:35 left in the game.
The Cobras outshot the Blaze 33-16, and Butte net minder Eric Ahlberg turned away 13 shots to pick up the win between the pipes.
If the Cobras finish off the playoff victory, they’ll head to Southern Oregon for a best-of-three series in round two.
The Blaze need to win to force a Game 3, which would be at 7 p.m. Monday.