Utah Grizzlies @ Tulsa Oilers: March-ing Onward

In game two of the Tulsa series, and the battle for second place in the Mountain Division, the roster remained the same, as did the lines.

First Period

  • Eric Freschi getting manhandled in the corner, not sure it’s penalty worthy, but not sure it’s not penalty worthy…
  • Ick. Not sure about that defensive coverage there. 1-0 Tulsa.
  • Good response from Utah though. Strong shift in the offensive zone.
  • Taylor Richart with a nice move to strip the puck from an Oilers player and start a rush up ice.
  • Josh Dickinson draws a power play!
  • MCGAULEY GOAL!! Fitzpatrick bit on Caleb Herbert, and Tim McGauley made good on the cross-crease pass.
  • Teigan Zahn taking his sweeeeeeet time behind the Utah net, haha.
  • Another Utah power play, but it’s negated.
  • Jake Marchment and Ryan Walters counter-punching short-handed is always great to see.
  • Taylor Richart is free with no official shots allowed on the PK!
  • Mike Economos with the hustle.
  • They’ve flipped the script in shots tonight, sort of. After 20 shots are 20-7 for the Grizzlies, score 1-1.

Second Period

  • LOTS OF PENALTIES.
  • Or just one. That’s anticlimactic. On the other hand, we’ll take the power play.
  • Austin Carroll doing what he does best, creating chaos. A little too much chaos there though, and he’s off to the box.
  • Jack Walker to the room. That’s not a good sign. Hopefully he’s back for the third…
  • Carroll drops the gloves with Scott Moldenhauer!
  • Dickinson draws a double minor.
  • Herbert takes a roughing call after a kerfuffle around the Tulsa net.
  • Marchy doing what he does best, scoring on Tulsa. It was a very nice backhand.
  • Utah’s been pretty aggressive overall so far.

Third Period

  • Another power play drawn by Dickinson.
  • Richart falls over, and still makes the play.
  • You get a high-stick, you get a high-stick! EVERYBODY GETS A HIGH-STICK!
  • ECONOMOS WITH A BREAKAWAY. No goal, but he does draw another power play.
  • Oh geez. Short-handed goal for Tulsa ties it up.
  • And the Oilers are pressing.
  • I swear, every game Economos seems to have gotten a step or two faster.
  • ERIC GIVES US A FRESCHI LEAD.

  • (Sorry, so not sorry)
  • Oh god. Cannata…be ok…
  • At the very least, Cannata is hockey ok, so that’s good news.
  • Walters with the latest of a series of good shots he’s had this game.
  • RICHART SCORES.
  • Wait. No he doesn’t. And Zahn is down, and Zahn takes a penalty. WHAT EVEN IS HAPPENING.
  • And now Richart for delay of game.
  • Internal screaming.
  • Empty net for Tulsa…
  • More internal screaming.
  • Marchment with the face-off win, Ausmus with the clear…
  • EMPTY NETTER FOR JAKE.
  • GRIZZLIES WIN 4-2!!!

Freschi (the game winning goal and six shots) and Herbert (two assists, six shots) were named first and second stars of the game, though Marchment certainly could have been a star as well, what with his two goals (granted, one into an empty net), and several crucial late-game face-offs. Cannata also played well, making 25/27 saves. Utah now stands tied with the Oilers for second in the division, though they hold four games in hand on their rival. They trail Idaho by only one point, and have a game in hand on them as well.

Now the Grizzlies head to Wichita for the final two games of the road trip.

Photo courtesy of Josh Pinnau.

Utah Grizzlies @ Tulsa Oilers: Holding the Fort

With the returns of Kevin Davis and Joe Cannata, the blue line got a bit crowded, and possibly as a result, Nolan De Jong sat this one out.

First Period

  • Good start for Utah, equally good start for Evan Fitzpatrick, unfortunately.
  • Fortunately, Cannata is looking good too.
  • Breakaway for Herbert, Fitzpatrick makes the save. Again.
  • That was a very nice move by Carroll to keep the puck in the offensive zone.
  • Tim Mcgauley clearly has some beef against Tulsa! His second fight of the season comes against Alex Kromm! He had not yet begun to fight, but the refs break it up.
  • The play is quite physical already.
  • Tulsa has put their foot down, and has doubled up on shots in the back half of this period.
  • MARCHY ON THE POWER PLAY.
  • Good first period for Utah, despite getting outshot 12-5. Cannata definitely has had to be sharp.

Second Period

  • Good kill to open the period. McGauley, especially, was strong.
  • …Well…that’s not a great goal.
  • 15-5 are the shots for Tulsa, that’s not ideal either.
  • Between Walker’s wheels, and some saves by Cannata, we’ve got another good kill.
  • Shots are now 20-8 for Tulsa…They’ve been able to set up in Utah’s zone for long stretches throughout the game.
  • Cannata is still looking strong, which is probably why this game is still tied.
  • Taylor, the puck is supposed to go into the net, not you!
  • Another good penalty kill to end a period.

Third Period

  • Cannata turns aside a short-handed odd-man rush.
  • That’s the second power play Ottenbreit has drawn this game.
  • Josh Anderson scores his first pro goal to put the Grizzlies up 2-1!!
  • Marchment is a fight away from a Gordie Howe hat trick, and McGauley just needs a goal for one.
  • Everyone from both sides is falling over in the Utah end. Turns out ice is super slippery! XD
  • Oilers’ net is empty…
  • Oh Richart did NOT miss the empty net by much.
  • GRIZZLIES WIN 2-1!!!

Jake Marchment and Joe Cannata were named first and second star of the game. Utah looks to complete the visit with a sweep before heading to Wichita.

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff.

 

Utah Grizzlies @ Kansas City Mavericks: Keeping Things Close

On the front edge of a marathon road trip (six games in three cities in eight days), the Grizzlies looked to repeat last night’s strong game. Kevin Carr once again got the start, while Mike Economos drew in, and Kevin Davis was absent due to his recall to Colorado.

First Period

  • Mavs appear to have a little bit more intensity to their start tonight, which is to be expected, considering their excellent home record, and the game last night.
  • It’s also a much more physical game from the get go.
  • That looked like a guaranteed goal into an empty net. And then suddenly Kevin Carr.
  • Mason McDonald, not to be out done, stops Josh Dickinson all alone on the breakaway.
  • Consecutive penalties to both #7s. Hopefully KC’s power play is as quiet as ours was.
  • Welp, so much for that. Kansas City strikes first.
  • Present captain ran over former captain, and now we’ve got a fight!
  • Even better than that, we’ve got a power play.
  • Taylor Richart scores the best way he knows how, with a rocket!
  • A pretty even first period comes to an end, 12-8 are the shots for the Mavericks, game tied 1-1.

Second Period

  • Caleb Herbert wastes absolutely no time giving Utah the lead! He’s definitely hit his stride again.
  • Aaaand KC comes right back to make it 2-2 two minutes into the second. That’s a lot of twos.
  • That was a nice shot from Anderson!
  • Jack Walker with the battle to keep the puck in the offensive zone.
  • Carr with the save as KC steams in short-handed.
  • Not sure how Walker held onto that for as long as he did! That was quite impressive.
  • Some serious run and gun hockey here, both teams getting looks, the crossbar and Carr keeping an odd-man rush from turning into a KC lead.
  • Turner Ottenbreit takes a puck to the face, and KC scores in the aftermath. Hopefully he’s back for the third…
  • J.T. HENKE TIES IT AGAIN.
  • 3-3 after two, shots now 22-20 for Utah!

Third Period

  • Oh good. Turner’s back.
  • That was a nice, long opening offensive zone shift.
  • Jake Marchment making friends with the Kansas City bench, lol.
  • That was some seriously scrambly defense, but it did get the job done. Barely.
  • That was not ideal. 4-3 for KC, Carroll back to the box for his second slashing penalty this period.
  • And now we’re four-on-three. Oh dear.
  • Everyone out of the box with no change in score.
  • Empty net for the Grizzlies.
  • No empty netter, but no last minute goal for Utah either.
  • It was a very close game though.
  • 4-3 for KC, shots 27-24 for Utah.

The game was a good one, closely contested throughout in front of a sell-out crowd on the Mavs’ Military Appreciation night. Henke’s goal and assist earned him second star honors and he now has 25 points in 25 games, including points in four straight. Eric Freschi picked up two assists, and Herbert now has four goals in three games, and is only one point out of first place in the scoring race, despite eight fewer games.

The Grizzlies continue on their road trip, heading to Tulsa, where they will play two games against the Oilers on Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff.

Grizzlies @Kansas City: Taming the Mavericks

After getting a bit of a break after playing four games in six days, the Grizzlies headed out on the road to face C.J. Eick and the Kansas City Mavericks. Josh Dickinson and Kevin Davis returned to the lineup, as did Ryan Walters, while Kevin Carr got the start after Joe Cannata was recalled to the Eagles. These additions meant that Mike Economos and Joey Raats both sat, and Carr was backed up by Christian Frey.

First Period

  • Dickinson jumps right in and makes his presence felt!!! 1-0 Utah, barely two minutes in!
  • It’s been a good start overall so far. Shots are 6-2 with less than six gone.
  • Carr looking calm, cool, and collected as per.
  • Good puck possession too.
  • WALKER WITH THE WHEELS! Oh, and nice pass from Dickinson too!
  • Herbert is looking good, and it’s sure nice to have Davis back!
  • Pretty sure it’s clear how everyone should feel about having Dickinson back.
  • It’s been a very quick, clean first period so far. Not a lot of whistles.
  • Big save by Carr there on the three-on-one.
  • First power play of the night goes to us!
  • That was a very good first period. Shots 12-9 for the Grizzlies.

Second Period

  • The speed of C.J. Eick puts the Mavericks offside.
  • HERBERT! Caleb scores his third goal in two games, and we’re up 3-0 3:31 into the second!
  • A little bit of zone time for the Mavs, but it’s not leading to much for them.
  • Freschi almost had one there against his former team.
  • There are sticks and gloves all over the Grizzlies’ zone, and Carr makes some big saves.
  • Mavericks are definitely pushing back. They have four shots to Utah’s two since Herbert’s goal.
  • Oooh McGauley did not miss by much there.
  • De Jong goes down hard, but despite the crowd that gathers, no penalties.
  • And then Marchment draws a power play! Four shots for the Grizzlies, but no goals on the advantage yet tonight.
  • Another Utah power play! Why do I have the horrible feeling that all these power plays going our way are going to come back to haunt us at some point in the very near future…
  • FRESCHI ON THE POWER PLAY! Gotta love that he scored his first goal with Utah against his former team.
  • Carr with a very big save at the end of the period.
  • It’s been a really good 40 minutes. Here’s to an even better final 20.

Third Period

  • Tyson acknowledging those of us who getΒ really cagy if you mention the thing that goalies can get before the game is over…which might be just as bad as saying the word…
  • CARROLL!!! Ooh it was a pretty one too. Marchment gets his second assist.
  • No babies in the refrigerator this time. 🀣
  • If they play all the rest of this game in the other end, they can’t ruin Carr’s…accomplishment-that-must-not-be-named, right?
  • There is a LOT of time left in this game…
  • Tempers fraying just a little bit. Not much though. It’s been a surprisingly penalty free game.
  • And the Mavs are spending more time in our zone… (Not that they’re doing much with it at the moment, but still.)
  • Of COURSE it’s Eick who ruins Carr’s shutout. Of course it is.
  • I’m definitely blaming this on Tyson, and not the defensemen who were nowhere to be seen.
  • This is what I call the Harry Potter scenario. Eick scores, but the Grizzlies win.
  • Walters takes the first penalty of the night for Utah with 4:21 to go.
  • Grizzlies definitely in turtle mode. Shots are 10-3 for KC on the period.
  • Doesn’t matter though!!
  • GRIZZLIES WIN 5-1!!Β 
  • Definitely a stylish beginning to the road trip.

Kevin Carr went 25/26 and was named first star of the game, while Josh Dickinson (1G, 1A) and Jack Walker (1G, 1A) were also outstanding, and Austin Carroll picked up his fourth point in two games, also collecting a goal and an assist. Marchment picked up two assists, and Caleb Herbert now has six points in the last four games, and scored his 22nd goal in 30 games.

The Grizzlies will look to continue this success in tonight’s rematch against the Mavericks.

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard, Jess Fleming and staff.

 

Utah Grizzlies vs Idaho Steelheads: An Avalanche of Goals

On a very snowy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Idaho and Utah met for the ninth time this season. Tim McGauley returned from suspension, and Joey Raats joined the forward core in place of Josh Dickinson who was recalled to Colorado after the last game. Joe Cannata got the start, facing down former Grizz goalie Ryan Faragher.

First Period

  • That was a very nice shift from J.T. Henke, Jack Walker, and Eric Freschi! Good traffic in front of Faragher and nice puck movement.
  • Austin Carroll is fun. That spin-o-rama pass was πŸ‘Œ
  • A pretty soft defensive play along the right side, and Idaho strikes first.
  • CALEB HERBERT STRIKES RIGHT BACK ON THE POWER PLAY.
  • And then he and Teigan Zahn both end up in the penalty box. Oh dear.
  • Richart with the hero play on that wide open net.
  • That was a HUGE kill.
  • That Henke/Carroll Walker unit got some SERIOUSLY pretty looks.
  • WAS THAT A GOAL???
  • IT WAS. CARROLL ON THE POWER PLAY.
  • The power play sure has heated up again.
  • Of course Idaho strikes right back. This is the rivalry in a nutshell.
  • Both Zahn and Economos have whiffed on what looked to be lining up for gorgeous shots this period.
  • All this period has missed to be peak Idaho/Utah is a fight. There hasn’t been much by way of antagonism.
  • Shots 11-10 Utah!

Second Period

  • Cannata goes on an adventure, but Idaho can’t handle the puck cleanly, and Joe’s set up again before they can take advantage of the screen and the empty net.
  • Walker with the wheels beats out the icing. Exactly no one is surprised.
  • An aggressive offensive shift leads to a two-on-one going the other way, Idaho makes it 3-2.
  • Ah. There’s the crowd gathering after a whistle.
  • THERE’S the fight.
  • Wait. RICHY dropped the gloves with KING? Well, ok.
  • Oh boy. Idaho doubles the lead on a flawless shot.
  • Apparently it’s totally fine to mug Caleb Herbert at center ice.
  • Two quick goals puts Idaho up 5-2. This is less than ideal.
  • Special teams have been quite good, but the defensive effort five-on-five left a lot to be desired.
  • So I say that, and then they proceed to have a couple of really good shifts.
  • JOEY RAATS SCORES HIS FIRST!!! Freschi and Richart get the assists!
  • Economos and Mitch Moroz drop the gloves!
  • POWER PLAY GOAL FOR CALEB HERBERT. THIS IS NOT A RECORDING.
  • Better put the league on notice. It looks like Herbert may have woken up!
  • 5-4 after 40 is definitely a lot better than 5-2 after 40!!!

Third Period

  • That was a pretty important save from Cannata there.
  • Sigh.Β And that shift started out so well.
  • It’s been a pretty quiet period other than that goal.
  • EVERY BODY GETS A PENALTY.
  • That was some nice passing on the very end of the five-on-three.
  • Empty net with 2:45 to go…
  • Empty net goal.
  • Idaho wins 7-4 and the grueling home stand comes to an end.

Herbert’s two goals earned him second star of the game, and some praise from Tim Branham. “He wasn’t scoring, but he was able to get a few points there over the weekend,” he said. “Tonight was huge, he’s got a lethal shot, when we can set him up for those chances I like our odds.”

Herbert wasn’t the only player who came in for some praise.

“[Richart]’s done a good job of defending. He blocks a lot of shots, I bet you he and Zahner have probably blocked the most in the league. Those guys do everything that it takes to sacrifice for the team. That’s what it takes if you want to have success, that’s what it takes to win. From here on out the games get hard. It’s the best division in the league, no questions asked, and it’s gonna take everybody every single night to get a W.”

Although a lot of goals once again ended up in the back of the Utah net, they certainly can’t all be blamed on the Utah net minder. “Joe’s our guy.” Branham stressed, “Joe’s our guy, he’s been good for us, and we know what kind of goaltender he is. A lot of those goals, we gotta do a better job defending. He’s a big part of this team. Also, five on five, looks like we’re a little tired, to be honest, we’ve played a lot of hockey lately, and we just made a few mistakes that were costly. Definitely happy with the special teams, the power play moved the puck around really well, we were able to score three goals there, and one five-on-five. That’s positive. Our penalty kill was good, killing off a full two minute five-on-three, so we’re gonna build on that, go on the road here and build on that. Hopefully we can get a couple of guys healthy.”

Obviously, picking up more points would have been ideal, but the Grizzlies played four games in six days, and that’s gonna wear anyone down.

Utah does get some road-trip reinforcements in the form of Josh Dickinson and Kevin Davis, while Kevin Carr takes over the nets with Cannata getting called up to Colorado once again.

The Grizzlies take on the Kansas City Mavericks today at 6 PM MT.

 

Photo courtesy Jess Fleming and staff.