Utah Grizzlies vs Idaho Steelheads: Heartbreaking

After the Grizzlies’ second 3-2 OT loss on Wednesday, the lineup saw some retooling. Jake Marchment sat this one out in the first of a two game suspension, while Jack Walker, Cole Ully, and Grayson Downing all drew back in in the place of the aforementioned Marchment, Gage Ausmus, and Michael Economos. Kevin Carr once again manned the net as Utah looked to even up the series.

First Period

  • Both teams get early power plays.
  • As nice as it would have been to have that goal, that was the right call to waive it off, I think.
  • NOW THAT’S WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT. Tim McGauley on the power play!
  • MUCH better possession from the Grizzlies than in pretty much all of the other playoff games up until this point. Idaho is still outshooting them, but not by much anymore.
  • Ully with a little of the old razzle dazzle there. Also, really good on Walker to stay onside.
  • The Ully, Joey Ratelle, Josh Dickinson line had a RIDICULOUS set of looks on that shift.
  • Grizzlies showing off both their skill and their grit. Everyone is setting up some seriously pretty looks, and throwing some big hits.
  • GREAT first period from the Grizzlies.

Second Period

  • Ew 36 seconds in and Idaho ties it up.
  • DOES NOT STAY TIED LONG. McGauley tips in a blast from Richart for his second of the game!
  • HAT TRICK FOR MCGAULEY AND IT’S NOT EVEN BEEN FIVE MINUTES!!!! The puck took a wild bounce off the boards, off Sholl’s back, and into the net!!! CARR GOT THE SECOND ASSIST.
  • And just about a minute later Downing gets in on the action o the power play!
  • Ah bah. Samuelsson makes it 4-2.
  • Ooh, Ratelle didn’t miss by a whole lot.
  • That’s the second goal that’s been waived off this game, this one for Idaho.
  • After that offensive outpouring from the Grizzlies, things have both settled down and gotten a little more scrappy.
  • Kale Kessy puts Ty Lewis into the boards and is officially public enemy number one in Utah. He gets five and a game. (He was later suspended for it.)
  • Downing to the box with 25 seconds to go…
  • Bah Idaho makes it 4-3.
  • WELL THEN. There’s NEVER a dull moment. Carroll roughs Petryk up on the face-off, and before that can get sorted out, Verpaelst and Kanzig drop the gloves. Carroll gets two for roughing, Petryk 2 for diving, and the combatants get five for fighting.
  • What a period.

Third Period

  • Ully with a pair of beauteous looks.
  • Lewis is back for the third, so that’s good.
  • 5’10” Ratelle drops the gloves with 6’3″ Mitch Moroz.
  • Boy, having McGauley back sure is fun. Having a line that includes McGauley AND Dickinson is even more fun.
  • Carr flashes the leather once more with 10:24 to go.
  • Well, if those speedy little circles Lewis is skating are any indication, his knees seem to be no worse for wear.
  • Barron gets high-sticked, and Richart makes a great defensive play. As he does.
  • Uhhg and Samuelson with that top corner snip to tie the game with less than five to go. That’s practically the identical goal he scored on Wednesday.
  • This game’s going to OT, isn’t it.
  • Some crazy combination of the post, Carr, and some quick moving defensemen kept that puck out of the net. I have no idea how.
  • BIG power play coming up with less than two minutes to go.
  • Aaaaand that’s OT once again. Shots 36-33 for Idaho.

OT

  • Downing had a gorgeous look, followed by a good one from Richart.
  • An uncomfortable amount of Idaho possession here in the last couple of minutes.
  • Walker shows off those wheels, but Sholl stops him.
  • The crowd’s been good all night, and it looks like most stuck around for OT.
  • Aaaaand that’s another soul crushing OT loss.

“It was great at the time for sure,” McGauley said of the hat trick which earned him second star, “We went up 3-1 I think it was, my third goal I was feeling good, the team was feeling good, we got a lot of momentum going our way, so at the time I felt really good, but obviously at the end of the day wasn’t the result we wanted. I would have liked to maybe get another one in over time, would have been nice, but we couldn’t pull it out tonight. The series is not over yet though.”

“If you want the honest to god truth, we played great, the referees allowed them to get back in the game, and then we didn’t play our game,” Tim Branham said, “We stopped doing the little things of winning battles, and keeping a good F3, and keep our foot on the gas and playing offensively. It is what it is, we’ve got to make sure we regroup and come out and play our game tomorrow.”

McGauley’s comments were similar. “Well, we started off really good in the game. Our first periods have been good, I feel like, the last two times I’ve been here, so we’ve gotta maintain that energy we had. Our second and third we just haven’t been keeping up to par with our first periods, and it’s been costing us lately.”

So what’s the message going into tomorrow?

“You gotta believe,” said Branham. “Have faith in every single guy that’s next to you, believe that we’re gonna get this done one game at a time. They beat us in overtime all three games, just like you said, it could easily be the other way. We’ve gotta look at the positives right now and just put our best foot forward.”

“We’re playing for our lives now so that urgency is gonna be there,” McGauley added, “If it’s not there obviously our season is done, so I’m sure that tomorrow you’re gonna see a different team, we’re gonna be 110% right from the get-go, we’re playing for our lives tomorrow, so we’re gonna need everyone.”

The Grizzlies will either go big or go home on Saturday night.

 

Goals

  • First Period: McGauley (Davis, Dickinson) (PP)
  • Second Period: McGauley (Richart, Herbert), McGauley (Verpaelst, Carr), Downing (Carroll, Ully) (PP)
  • Third Period: None
  • OT: None

UTA: 2/6 (20 PIM)
IDH: 0/2 (37 PIM)

 

Photo courtesy of Rob Church.


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