After Friday night’s win, the lineup remained more or less the same, the only change being Joe Cannata in for Kevin Carr.
Utah got off to a brisk start, and then the game settled down into a pretty steady back and forth affair between the two teams. The Grizzlies picked up three of the first four shots as the refs kept their whistles firmly in their pockets.
Travis Barron had a glorious chance at about the half-way mark practically in the blue paint, but just missed putting the puck in under the top bar.
Utah allowed zone time, but they didn’t allow many shots at all, out-shooting Idaho 5-1 through the first fourteen minutes.
The period was fairly uneventful overall, shots ending 6-2 for the Grizzlies, who did a good job keeping Idaho to the perimeter or getting in the way of shots in their own zone.
Excellent defense fell apart a bit to start the second, and the game got pretty eventful in a hurry, as Cole Ully took the first penalty of the game, Joe Pendenza scored, and then the Ully drew a penalty, and Pendenza went to the box, all in the first three minutes.
The Steelheads made up the shot difference through out the second, as Utah allowed a few odd-man rushes, but they did eventually begin to push back, thanks to one of those increasingly familiar rushes led by Caleb Herbert and Austin Carroll.
With about twelve minutes to go, both the Steelheads and the Grizzlies kept Cannata and Philippe Desrosiers busy, and then Ully drew yet another power play.
The league’s best power play went to work then, cycling and getting a couple of looks before Tim McGauley scored as he fell, pouncing on Matt Berry’s rebound to tie it up.
Utah came alive at that point, peppering Desrosiers on the shifts that followed, and Herbert drew another penalty with just under six minutes in the period. However, they were unable to capitalize, and Cannata had to make a couple of big saves.
A little of the usual animosity bubbled over with 2:14 to go in the second, and a crowd gathered around Desrosiers, but nothing came of it.
The Steelheads took the 2-1 lead six minutes into the third, but Herbert returned the favor to tie it up just over a minute later. His seventh of the year went into a wide open net from Ully and Carroll.
Through the remainder of the game, Utah put up eleven shots to Idaho’s four, but despite a penalty to Herbert at 15:53, neither team was able to pull ahead. So, for the second time of the season, the Grizzlies and Steelheads went to overtime.
Idaho played a far more aggressive game three-on-three, and it paid off for them, Brad McClure scoring the game winner at 2:29.
It was a disappointing outcome, but the Grizlies are still an impressive 4-0-2 this year, picking up points in every contest thus far.
Herbert’s seventh goal of the season earned him the second star, while Tim McGauley nabbed third with his second goal.
When asked to talk again about Herbert, Tim Branham said, “He’s a special player. Colorado knew he was, that’s why they wanted to get him under contract, he’s proven why he’s had so much success in this league. He’s got good line-mates too, and I’m sure they all like playing together. Every game that line has been extremely dangerous, and for good reason. They work hard, they’ve got a lot of talent, and they want it really bad.”
In addition to the Ully-Herbert-Carroll line, Matt Berry was noticeable as well, especially in the early going, picking up four shots through the game
Overall, Branham was pleased with his team’s efforts in the season thus far. “I thought we had another good start. I mean, that’s a good team over there. They’re down that they’ve had to play us four times in a row. We’re a tough team. They’re a good team too, so some bad things are bound to happen when you play a good team four times in a row. I thought we played a good game. Come the second period we started getting three forwards caught low in the offensive zone, they had a few odd-man rushes, our D didn’t move the puck quick enough to our forwards, but it’s gonna happen. We’ve got a young D core, we’ve played a really good team four times in a row.I’m proud of the boys. I thought they played really well. ”
He also shared the mindset the team has adopted We’re splitting the season into six game segments, and we got ten out of a possible twelve points in our first six game segment. We still have a zero in the loss column, and we’re happy with the way things are going. Now we go out on the road and play some different teams.”
Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff