With three straight wins under his belt, Joe Cannata got a well-deserved night off, Kevin Carr in nets being the only change in lineup.
J.T. Henke, and Jeremy Brodeur both ended up in the back of the Allen net 27 seconds in, sending Henke to the box, and Allen to the power play. There was nearly a disaster as the Utah defense left an Allen player wide open with a clear look at a gaping net, but he whiffed on the shot, and Carr dove on the puck. Henke returned to the ice with no further incident, shots 2-2.
The Grizzlies spent far more time in their own zone early than was strictly comfortable, but Carr kept them at bay early. Utah did also get some nice forays into the offensive zone, including one from Tim McGauley that culminated in a shot that ruffled the outside of the netting,
Carr took a delay of game penalty at 6:16, and David Makowski scored Allen’s first of the series five seconds later.
The Americans continued to keep the Grizzlies in their own end following the goal, though Utah held the slight edge in shots.
At 10:38 Cole Ully put the puck straight through Brodeur to tie the game on his sixth of the year. Unsurprisingly, Caleb Herbert got the primary assist, while Turner Ottenbreit got the secondary.
After the Utah goal, the Grizzlies looked more collected, spending more time in the offensive zone than previously. At about 13:36 Taylor Richart got hit and went off just a little bit gingerly. Jake Marchment took exception to this, and dropped the gloves with Jacob Doty. Doty got the edge on the bout, though Marchment gave a good account of himself, and both were sent off to cool their heels.
Richart broke up a play at the offensive zone blue line, but took a tripping call in doing so with 4:30 to go in the period.
The Grizzlies killed that off, and towards the end of the period, things got a little bit snarly. Gage Ausmus got called for holding, and then as Allen crashed the Utah net, Carr was shoved over. That gathered quite a crowd, and Carr wasn’t afraid to take his own revenge. Spencer Asuchak got two for roughing, and the period came to an end, shots 13-10 for Utah, tied 1-1.
The second period began with 1:20 of four-on-four before a very brief Grizzlies’ power play.
Though both teams got shots, the Grizzlies held more zone time in the first five minutes or so, out shooting Allen 17-13.
At 7:38 Josh Dickinson slung the puck past Jeremy Brodeur for his first with the Grizzlies, from Tim McGauley and Henke, who also picked up his first point with the team.
The Grizzlies came on strong after that, and Asuchak hauled Cole Ully down to send Utah back to the power play.
Asuchak and Doty seemed intent on stirring up trouble on the ensuing shift, but the refs kept them in line, and they contented themselves with throwing some big hits. At 12:10 Asuchak took a very weak two minutes for supposed interference against Josh Anderson, and Utah went off to the advantage.
McGauley capitalized in the dying seconds of the power play, scoring his seventh from Henke and Berry.
Austin Carroll struck just about a minute later scoring his sixth of the season from Marchment and Ryan Walters, and Zach Pochiro got thrown out for ten minutes for throwing equipment.
Walters took a tripping call at 17:49, but the Grizzlies killed it off, and the period came to an end.
The Grizzlies came out looking like the better team in the third, and there were plays against Walters and Ully that probably could have been calls. Carr continued to hold down the fort, and the Grizzlies’ defense once again did well, at least for a while.
Braylon Shmyr got a slashing call, followed by a holding call on Berry in the first ten minutes. Makowski got his second of the game at 12:19, cutting the lead in half. Walters took a tripping call at 16:49, Allen pulled Brodeur for the extra, extra attacker, and on the ensuing power play, Alex Breton made it 4-3.
However, Caleb Herbert scored his seventeenth goal of the year into the empty net, dangling around both Allen defenders to put the game out of reach. So Utah won 5-4, though out shot 39-35.
“Total team effort, that’s for sure.” Tim Branham said after the game, “When guys are out of the lineup other guys step up and we’re pretty deep. And now secondary scoring, all around a team effort that’s for sure. It’s really tough to sweep a team three in a row, so it was a good effort to get it done.”
When asked about his first goal with the Grizzlies, Josh Dickinson said, “It’s really nice. Getting the sweep is important, getting the first one out of the way was a lot of fun. It was definitely good to get it out of the way.”
After a number of games dominated by the first line, this game saw some secondary scoring, which didn’t surprise Dickinson. “We’ve got three lines that can go out in every situation so I think we have the confidence with each other to go out and play our best game.”
“We haven’t let in a goal in a little bit,” he added, “But that’s how it goes, there’s some good players on other teams, so we’re gonna let in some goals, and we’re gonna have a couple of mistakes on our end, but we found a way to win, came out with the sweep, so that’s the most important part.”
After a highly successful home stand that saw them improve to 12-2-3-0, which ties them with Tulsa atop the Western conference, the Grizzlies will finish November on the road against Rapid City.
Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff