Utah Grizzlies vs Idaho Steelheads: Battling Back

In the second to last game of the regular season Josh Dickinson made his return to Utah, while Tanner Nagel drew back in, and Cole Ully and Turner Ottenbreit sat out. Kevin Carr got the start.

First Period

  • A lot of hustle here from two teams that got in during the wee hours of the morning!
  • Great kill from the boys and Economos draws a power play on the next shift!
  • Aw man, Caleb Herbert missed a wide open net on a fabulous cross-crease pass.
  • Yes it’s a power play, but the Grizzlies have had really good possession all game.
  • Great give-and-go from the Herbert line!
  • Jack Walker shows of his wheels, and presumably gets a speeding ticket, cause he’s headed to the box! (It was for tripping.)
  • Really nice shift from Michael Economos on that penalty kill. Forced the puck out of the zone twice!
  • Idaho with some good zone time (though not a lot of shots) since their power play.
  • Joey Ratelle throws a puck just wide…
  • Passes are slightly less crisp than they were at the start of the game.
  • Idaho’s had all the shots since that power play…
  • Really could do with some more possession in the offensive zone.
  • The last couple of minutes have been mostly Kevin Carr vs Idaho.
  • Idaho’s intercepting a lot of passes, which is definitely contributing to Utah’s possession struggles.
  • Ty Lewis gets roughed over and retaliates. Only he goes to the box.
  • However, the power play is quickly negated on a double minor for high-sticking.
  • Shots are 14-7 for Idaho after a scoreless 20.

Second Period

  • Four on four for 1:12, then a Utah power play.
  • Josh Dickinson’s back-hand squeaks just wide, and then Herbert bobbles a pass from Kevin Davis.
  • Uhg. Idaho strikes first on an absolute rocket from the point.
  • Who else but Taylor Richart with the big block before the puck is redirected wide.
  • Really alert move from Dickinson? I think? to keep the puck from slipping past Carr.
  • Teigan Zahn and Kale Kessy are the main culprits in a tussle that breaks out by the Utah bench. Kessy socks Zahn so he gets an extra two minutes of shame.
  • Shots are now 19-19.
  • OOOh. A very nice pair of saves from Carr there.
  • Carroll running the Steelheads around their own zone on this Herbert penalty. Looked like King was trying to goad Austin into taking a penalty on the way back to the bench. Didn’t work though.
  • 2-0 Idaho through traffic right as the power play was expiring.
  • 25-23 shots for Utah, 2-0 score for Idaho.

Third Period

  • Ok, need a big 20 minutes here.
  • Lewis bats in his third of the year from Zahn and Dickinson at 3:07!
  • Well, the 9,345 people in attendance are NOT happy about the non call on Economos. It happened so fast I’m not sure it even should have been a penalty.
  • Snazzy little glove save from Carr there.
  • OOooh that was a quiiiiiick whistle as the puck bounced away from Tomas Scholl.
  • Just need one more…
  • Idaho is starting to look tired. They’ve iced the puck a couple of times, and now they’ve flipped the puck out of play.
  • Davis with a couple of ROCKETS.
  • Pretty sure the Grizzlies should have gotten credited for a few shots on goal during that power play…
  • OH WE NEEDED BOUNCE LIKE THAT. The puck JUUUUUST squeaks past Scholl and over the line!!!
  • To OT we go!

OT

  • HERBERT WINS IT IN OT.

 

Caleb Herbert was named the first star of the game with the game winning goal–his 32nd of the year. Ty Lewis got second star for his assist and two goals, and Josh Dickinson’s two assists earned him third.

“He plays a lot like Ully.” Tim Branham said of the second star. “Those guys are fast, skilled, they can really get around the ice. He’s been good for us. He’s been really good for us, he’s had five points his first two games, we kind of struggled offensively as a team there, and then tonight, right, getting us on the scoreboard, getting us going, and good for him, he’s a good player, he’ll have a real long career, and not at this level.”

“I thought [Dickinson] played really well tonight,” he continued. “We’re just trying to rest Cole there, just save him for playoffs. I thought Josh came in and played an excellent game. He hasn’t been on the ice for a long time, he’s been injured up there in Colorado, hasn’t played, and I thought he was really good. Really good tonight.”

After Friday’s game misconduct, Carr was back in command of his net, and Branham had praise for both his goaltenders. “Kevin was great yesterday, and he was great today. I thought Alex Leclerc came in and played a really good game yesterday. It was a tough situation he got put in. Questionable call, I think at the end of the day I think it might have been the right call by the referees, but very questionable, but it was a tough situation for Alex to come in and play. I thought he did a great job, he’s a good goaltender. He moves really well laterally, and he’s a great kid. Carrsy, Carrsy’s…” he paused, before adding “Great game, great both games, today and yesterday, passionate guy, did a great job for us today.”

The team has had a bit of a rough go of it lately, and that was painfully obvious on the most recent seven game road trip, but the problems began well before that, as Branham noted.

“Rough road trip! We’ve had a rough since February 16th! You know what, our roster has changed so much this year, we’ve played real short handed many times, and then when you have an influx of players sometimes it takes a little bit to gel, and we’ve had a lot of that, a lot of change in and out. Battling to find our consistency, there have been games where we played well, just couldn’t find ways to score, we haven’t scored a lot of five-on-five goals lately, our power play has been carrying us. This was a character win tonight. Obviously that’s a good team, probably who we’re gonna face in playoffs. We definitely needed that one, cause they were getting some bounces, then we finally got some bounces there at the end. Really proud of the way the boys played that third period, though we played a really good first period to be honest as well. It was good to get the win.”

The game was Lewis’ first home game with Utah, and he enjoyed it.Β “It was a pretty cool experience,” he said. “The fans here are fantastic, it’s a great atmosphere, and I really like the group of guys here, so it was fun playing here tonight.”

As much as he enjoyed the moment, it was clear that he’s focused on the future. “It’s huge,” he said of the win, “Going into playoffs this is a potential playoff match-up and to battle back like that in the third is big for our group. I thought the crowd was fantastic, lots of energy–especially in the third– and I thought we fed off that really well. It’s a good win, and just looking forward to tomorrow!”

“I thought we were pretty good defensively for the most part, there were a few breakdowns here and there but we have a really diverse group in there. After the second period we knew we had to find a way to win, and every single guy in there stepped up their game and brought their effort. It’s a huge play by Herbs there in overtime to put that in, so its good on him and good for our group, and hopefully keep it going for playoffs.”

With Utah’s win and Kansas City’s loss, it is now official that Idaho will in fact be the Grizzlies’ first round opponent, as well as their opponent in the final game of the regular season.

 

Goals

  • First Period: None
  • Second Period: Lewis (Zahn, Dickinson), Lewis (Dickinson, Marchment)
  • Third Period: Herbert (Davis, Lewis)

UTA: 0/6 (10 PIM)
IDH: 1/4 (14 PIM)

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.


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