The Idaho Falls Spud Kings defeated the Provo Predators 4-3 in a shootout at the Mountain America Center Friday night.

“I thought we probably played our best 60 minutes of the year,” Spud Kings head coach Marty Quarters said postgame.

Idaho Falls entered Friday with a 4-6-1 record, following a 4-3 road loss against the Pueblo Bulls on Oct. 28.

Provo entered with an 8-2-0-1 record after defeating the Pueblo Bulls at home on Thursday.

Prestyn Carter started in net for Idaho Falls and was looking to win after his last start against Pueblo on Oct. 28.

Spud Kings goaltender Prestyn Carter kneeling in his net.

Spud Kings goaltender Prestyn Carter kneeling in his net. Photo credit: Will Vasseur

Michael Polston was given the start in goal for Provo. He was looking to rebound after being pulled from the game early in his last start on Oct. 19, giving up four goals on 17 shots. Polston posted a 35-save shutout on Sept. 19, in his previous start against Idaho Falls.

Predators goaltender Michael Polston standing in his net.

Predators goaltender Michael Polston standing in his net. Photo credit: Will Vasseur

“We were not trying to beat him, we were trying to beat their team,” Quarters said. “Our main thing was getting pucks behind them and then being able to tilt the ice on them. They are a good offensive team. They have some really good young players, so we wanted to keep them out of our zone for as long as possible.”

The Spud Kings got their first powerplay chance 10:56 into the first period after Leo Burns was given a penalty for holding.

Idaho Falls opened the scoring 12:16 into the game when a point shot from Matteo Mitrovic clanked off the post and beat Polston to give them a 1-0 lead. George Goodwin picked up an assist on the powerplay goal.

Spud Kings and Predators players watching as Mitrovic's shot beats Polston.

Spud Kings and Predators players watching as Mitrovic's shot beats Polston. Photo credit: Will Vasseur

The Predators evened the score with 0:27 remaining in the first period when a Spud Kings turnover led to Ben Picard chipping a pass to Jonatan Raatikainen who shot a puck off the crossbar and into the back of the net, tying the game at 1-1.

After one period, Idaho Falls and Provo were tied 1-1. The Spud Kings outshot the Predators 13-12 in the first period.

The Spud Kings extended their lead 3:55 into the second period when Jackson Howell came into the Provo end on a rush and flipped the puck over Polston, making the score 2-1. Jack O’Rourke collected an assist on the go-ahead goal.

Idaho Falls extended their lead with 10:48 remaining in the second period when Liam Filip found a rebound in the slot and put them ahead 3-1. Xavier Goodwin collected an assist on the goal.

The two teams played four-on-four for two minutes when George Goodwin and Cannon Lentz each took a penalty for roughing with 5:00 remaining in the period.

During the four-on-four, Provo got within a goal when Caleb Bendell found a loose puck and beat Carter to make the score 3-2 with 3:32 remaining in the period. Gavin Black was given an assist on the goal.

“We want to be more disciplined for sure,” Quarters said. “The guys are always going to stick up for each other. But if we get a powerplay out of it, we do not want to take ourselves off that … I would rather them stick up for their teammates than not stick up for their teams, as long as it does not hurt us.”

The Idaho Falls Spud Kings and Provo Predators fighting in a scrum following a whistle.

The Idaho Falls Spud Kings and Provo Predators fighting in a scrum following a whistle. Photo credit: Will Vasseur

After two periods, the Spud Kings led the Predators 3-1, while being outshot 25-23.

Idaho Falls took a penalty with 8:04 remaining in the third period after O’Rourke was called for tripping.

Provo tied the game as the O’Rourke penalty was expiring when Lucca Ori tipped a point shot from Jakub Sulik and tied the game 3-3 with 6:04 remaining in the game.

The Predators were put on the penalty kill for 5:00 when captain Picard was handed a major penalty for board, after hitting Howell in the corner with 4:26 remaining in the game.

The Spud Kings were unable to capitalize on the powerplay in regulation and the game went to overtime.

After regulation, the teams were tied 3-3, while Idaho Falls outshot Provo 40-30.

In overtime, both goaltenders made saves, holding the score at 3-3 and forcing a shootout.

Both teams were unsuccessful on their first try.

In the second round, DJ MacLeish faked a shot before beating Polston and putting the Spud Kings ahead.

“I’m going to give credit to our backup goalie Lucas (Malant) for that,” said MacLeish. “I go over to him and was like, ‘So, what should I do?’ and he was like, ‘give him a few fakes.’ So, I went out and I gave him a few fakes, and I kind of put it right between his armpit and it ended up in the back of the net.”

Bendell was the third shooter for Provo, needing to score. Ultimately, Carter saw the puck in front and reached out to poke-check it away, securing the win for the Spud Kings.

“Yeah, pretty much, it was just a reaction,” said Carter postgame. “I like to poke check too, so it works.”

Prestyn Carter poke-checking away the final shot in the shootout.

Prestyn Carter poke-checking away the final shot in the shootout. Photo credit: Will Vasseur

In the end, Idaho Falls defeated Provo 4-3 in a shootout.

“I was proud of our effort,” Quarters said. “That is what we have been searching for, is to find a way to compete for 64 minutes, and I think we did that today.”

Carter was paired with the win for the Spud Kings, stopping 27/30 shots, including all three shootout attempts.

“He is a good goalie,” Quarters said. “I mean, you look at his record he is 5-2 now. I think and he shut the door when we needed him to shut it.”

Idaho Falls Spud Kings players standing on defense in front of Prestyn Carter

Idaho Falls Spud Kings players standing on defense in front of Prestyn Carter Photo credit: Will Vasseur

Polston was handed the loss for the Predators, stopping 37/40 shots, and two of the three shootout attempts.

The Spud Kings will return to action on Saturday night when they welcome the Ogden Mustangs to Mountain America Center for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff.

Saturday will be Star Wars night at the Mountain America Center and the Spud Kings will be wearing Star-Wars-themed jerseys.