Utah Grizzlies vs Idaho Steelheads: Fending Off the Steel

On a much less snowy night, the Grizzlies looked to give a repeat of Wednesday’s performance. With Sergei Boikov recalled to Colorado, Joey Raats drew back in, while Kevin Carr once again got the start.

First Period

  • Josh Dickinson and Kyle Schempp getting into it early along the boards.
  • Shots are 1-1 after the first four minutes, but it’d definitely be good if the play spent more time in the offensive zone…
  • Anderson and Moroz drop the gloves, and Moroz gets an extra two for instigating!
  • That was a silky, silky move by Herbert. And THAT was a very nice look by Henke.
  • Caleb Herbert is SO much fun to watch.
  • Marchment and his face-off wins. So reliable.
  • The Nantel-Downing-Herbert line has been so close to finding the back of the net so many times this period. Starting to get the feeling that it’s only a matter of time before they capitalize.
  • Idaho strikes iron on the power play, and there is a collective gasp from the crowd. But we’re back at full strength!
  • I don’t entirely understand how that Zahn shot didn’t go in.
  • THAT ONE’S IN FOR SURE. J.T. Henke makes it 1-0 on a rebound from Gage Ausmus and Dickinson!!

  • The back half of this period has been much better than the front. Everyone looks more engaged.

Second Period

  • Puck support and active sticks. Gotta love it.
  • So naturally, Idaho sores.
  • Carr’s had to make some extra athletic moves in the past couple minutes!
  • Some nifty mitts from Grayson Downing, and Herbert didn’t miss the net by much to finish it off.
  • Sholl with a CRAZY scramble there, and somehow no one beat him on the power play.
  • Herbert splits the D, but rings it off the cross-bar. He does draw a power play though!
  • THAT’S TWO FOR J.T.!!! Ottenbreit and Walters with the assists!
  • Walters with the stealth attack there.
  • 1:32 of 4-on-4 coming up now.
  • Dear Idaho, please stop flying into the Grizzlies’ net. You’re making making us all very nervous on Carr’s behalf.
  • OH GEEZ TAYLOR. Richart plays the role of Superman, saving the day by diving behind Carr and batting the puck out of danger!!!
  • OTTENBREIT.
  • 3-1 Utah after 40!!!
  • Even more impressive, they only allowed four shots!

Third Period

  • Richart is having himself a NIGHT. Big defensive move there to tie up the Idaho player in front of Carr.
  • Seriously, one of these days the incredibly close calls the first line is having will end up in the back of the net. That latest look by Nantel was crazy.
  • Matching minors now…Idaho is pressing…
  • Nantel absolutely flies in, but still can’t beat Sholl.
  • Carr’s stick work has been so strong this game.
  • Nantel with an amazing look short-handed. He’s got the trifecta of beautiful looks this game. Or, if you will, the hat trick of frustration.
  • Oh great. 5-on-3 for 33 seconds…
  • Idaho draws within one on the power play.
  • Well, they certainly had the right idea on that shift. Some really good passing to keep Idaho moving.
  • Four minutes is too much time with a one goal lead, and the notoriously good-in-the-third-period Steelheads…
  • Two minutes…
  • HERBERT INTO THE EMPTY NET.
  • We get chili, we get chili!!
  • Matching penalties…
  • …and a goal for Idaho…
  • GRIZZLIES HOLD ON FOR THE 4-3 WIN. 

Henke (2 goals), Ottenbreit (1 goal, 1 assist), and Ausmus (1 assist) were named the three stars of the game.

“It’s nothing fancy, just getting shots on net and getting lucky” said Henke about his penchant for finding the score board twice.”

He waxed far more eloquent about the team’s overall effort.

“We played great, holding a team like that to only 23 shots is pretty good, Carrsy stood on his head. They only had 23 shots, but they were all hard, Grade A shots, especially there at the end, and he came through huge.”

He wasn’t the only one to praise Carr’s play. When asked about his diving save in the second period, Taylor Richart was also quick to refer to the play which has helped the Grizzlies to points or wins in all three of his last stars.

“I was kind of boxing a guy out,” said Richart, “And I saw the shot come, and at the last second I saw it trickling through, so I knew I had to do something, cause I don’t think Carrsy saw it. But either way, I though he played really well. He’s been playing really well lately. All in all, I think it was a good defensive team effort.”

Head Coach Tim Branham was also pleased with the team’s efforts against a tough opponent.

“Our game plan is just keeping it simple. We’ve got so much talent and skill that we don’t need to cheat to make plays. When you keep things simple and you get pucks in, it keeps them back on their feet. It forces them to come 200 feet and we end up getting turnovers and scoring goals from it. We’ve just got to stick to that game plan. They’re able to score a couple of goals, five-on-three and whatnot, so really proud of how the boys battled through that adversity.”

He also praised the first line, who came agonizingly close to quite a number of goals throughout the game.

“Downing, Herbert, and Nantel, they’ve got everything. They have experience, they’ve got skill, they’ve got goal scoring, they should be dominating every single shift. I thought they were really close to scoring four goals themselves. I thought they had a really good game.”

“It’s been great.” He concluded, summing up the games against Idaho so far, “We got the four points. Tomorrow will be the biggest game of the series. We need to enjoy this one, rest up, and be ready to battle. It’s going to take everybody.”

That would be putting it lightly, as Idaho hasn’t lost two games in a row since November, and will no doubt be looking for some payback in today’s final game of the week.

Goals

  • Henke (Ausmus, Dickinson)
  • Henke (Ottenbreit, Walters) PP
  • Ottenbreit
  • Herbert (Zahn) EN

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography

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