With Ryan Walters suspended for one game, and Gabriel Verpaelst not yet in town, the Grizzlies found themselves with only thirteen players once again. Joe Cannata got the start on Marvel night, as the Grizzlies took on Maine on Marvel Night, dressed as Captain America and Iron Man respectively.
- Grizzlies are pressuring hard early, and the jerseys look really, really good.
- The Ully special, stick handling with zero room.
- I do not know how the Grizzlies kept the puck out of the net on that shift.
- Five-on-three number one of the night…
- Good kill boys, good kill!
- Aaaaand back to the box we go.
- Taylor, don’t you dare be hurt…
- WILL SMITH FROM TAYLOR RICHART AND MITCH MAXWELL!!
- Cannata is looking very sharp tonight.
- Shots are 15-9 after one for Maine, but the Grizz still lead 1-0.
- Uhg tie game.
- Cannata was playing so well, and suddenly two quick goals for Maine.
- Good push-back though.
- The things that Cole Ully can do with zero space are remarkable. And I know I remark on them every time, but it’s worth it.
- Joey Raats did not miss by much on that one!
- That was a very strong shift.
- There’s still a LOT of hockey to play, but the Grizzlies really don’t look like a team playing horrifically short-handed.
- HERBERT TIES IT UP AGAIN ON THE POWER PLAY. What a move through traffic to get the shot for his 29th!!
- Teigan Zahn boards Josh Couturier and gets five and a game. Just what this short-handed team needed.
- Richart draws two power plays in a row!
- Fox to the box.
- CANNATA STONES A GUY ON A ONE-ON-NONE SHORT-HANDED BREAKAWAY.
- 2-2 after 40, shots 23-22 for Maine.
- Third period begins on a brief power play.
- Good energy in the third.
- Ack. Wraparound goal for Maine
- ULLY TIES IT UP ON THE POWER PLAY.
- Both teams are buzzing.
- oH. MY. GOD. JOE. Two huge saves two-on-none, and then another for good measure!!
- Turner Ottenbreit rings iron, and Michael Economos draws a power play!
- Gage Ausmus with a bomb, but it’s wide.
- LOTS of offensive zone time for the Grizzlies this period.
- Oh man. ten seconds left, offensive zone draw for Utah. Can they do it?
- JOSH DICKINSON WINS IT IN OT.
- Oh and it was super pretty too.
Ully and Herbert once again were named first and second star with a goal and an assist, while Josh Dickinson’s OT heroics earned him third star of the game. Taylor Richart put up three primary assists, and was named the defenseman of the game, while Cannata saved 32/35. Utah was a perfect 0/6 on the penalty kill in the game, and closed out the series against the Mariners without allowing a single power play goal. Herbert led the team with six shots, while Ottenbreit, Ully, and Economos were close behind with five each.
“We played four guys short for the majority of the game.” Tim Branham said after the game. “There’s a lot of character in that room, a lot of heart and soul.”
“Can’t say enough about the job these guys have done in that locker room.” He added later, “Sticking together, I don’t know how many penalties we killed again tonight, it’s pretty remarkable what they’ve done. Joe was outstanding in net, did a great job, made some huge saves, gave us a chance to win. Our power play is excellent again, special teams have really led the way for us this season, despite who we’ve had in the lineup. Really proud of this group.”
As well as the Grizzlies have played short-handed, it’s not a situation that anyone relishes. Fortunately, it sounds like reinforcements are on their way.
“Finally next week now we’re gonna start to get some bodies back. We’ll add Verpaelst, we’ll get Marchment, we’ll get Downing. Then the following week we’ll be able to add Carroll, we’ll be able to add Ratelle.”
Cannata had a pretty good game on Friday, but was even better on Saturday, and received a fair bit of praise as a result.
“I think Joe’s played some good hockey,” said Branham, “He’s made some big saves for us. Today was no different. There was a stretch there in the third, he made three saves right in a row at the end there. He’s been there before, he knows how to get the job done. Being able to add a guy like Verpaelst, who’s been there before, knows how to get the job done, Zahn, you can’t say enough about experience and guys who have been through the grind. I think Joe has done a remarkable job, a great job this season.”
Josh Dickinson’s thoughts on Cannata’s contribution to the win were similar.
“When we’re down in a game and you’ve got a goalie who’s playing like that, it’s so inspiring. Every game it comes from the back end out, and when your goalie’s making cross-crease saves back-to-back-to-back, you just want to win it for him too. It’s so nice to have him back there, and Carrsy’s great too, so we always wanna win it for our goalies as well.”
As mentioned, the Grizzlies were quite short handed to begin with, and then lost Zahn half-way through the second period. However, the remaining four defensemen buckled down and made it work.
“Our young guys have played some big minutes.” Branham said. “You look at Anderson, you look at Ottenbreit coming in from major junior, it’s a big step, and they’ve played big minutes and done an unbelievable job. They played big minutes, but also a lot of hockey, and it’s great experience for them. Then you’ve got guys like Ausmus and Richart. One thing’s for sure, when the going gets tough with this group, they respond. I know we were on a little bit of a skid there, but it’s a lot of adversity, and hopefully now there’s light there at the end of the tunnel with Ully back and Marchment and Downing and Verpaelst. We gotta get on a roll now.”
When asked about his OT game winner, Dickinson was pretty matter of fact.
“Yeah, I just had the time going down the wall, and I think it was a forward covering me on defense, so I saw he kind of lunged for the puck a little bit, so I just brought the puck to my backhand, and hoped for the best and shot it!”
Branham was a bit more effusive in his praise when asked about Dickinson’s play, both tonight and this series in general. “This weekend was phenomenal for Dickinson. He’s playing with an edge, his skills, you can see his skills out there, the skill level that he has, scoring goals, great attitude, he played a lot of hockey, he played every other shift tonight, him and Herbert, so good for them, and hopefully he can just keep that going”
Both Dickinson and Branham emphasized the need to keep the momentum going as they get more bodies back in the lineup and head out on the road, where they hope to keep the wins coming against Rapid City.
- First: Smith (Richart, Maxwell)
- Second: Herbert (Richart, Ully (PP)
- Third: Ully (Richart, Herbert) (PP)
- OT: Dickinson (Ottenbreit)
UTA: 2/7 (25 PIM)
MNE: 0/6 (16 PIM)
Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.
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