Utah Grizzlies: No Dice

In game two against the Oilers, the Grizzlies lineup saw a minor shuffle, as Teigan Zahn drew into the roster in place of Alex Lepkowski, and Parker Gahagen got the start.

The Oilers got the first chance on net to start the game, but Utah jumped on the puck thereafter, getting a couple of shots, and causing some scuffles in front of the Tulsa net due to their insistence on trying to get second chances.

Both teams showed good speed, and the Grizzlies looked more alert and cohesive than they had the previous night. Especially of note was some nice puck movement from Scheid and the Boucher-Gerard-White line. Shots are 5-4 for Utah with 11:44 to go.

Zahn took an interference penalty at 8:25, and Gahagen made a nice save on an Oilers player who muscled his way past a Utah defender. Utah killed off the penalty fairly comfortably, but Diego Cuglietta took a hooking call at 11:57 to send Utah back to the penalty kill.

In the final five minutes, Tulsa got the best of the zone time, doubling Utah up on shots, but Gahagen was calm under pressure, shutting down the Oilers’ chances.

After 20 the Oilers outshot Utah 16-7, but there was no score.

Utah challenged a little more to start the second than they had at the end of the first, and drew a power play at 4:44. The good news was that by the end of the advantage, they had as many shots in the first seven minutes as they had in the entirety of the first, but the bad news was that they didn’t score.

They picked up momentum, and got some zone time, but took a too-many-men penalty ten minutes into the period. The kill started and ended with Utah in the offensive zone, as the Grizzlies killed it efficiently.

There wasn’t much of note between then and the end of the period, but the Grizzlies did significantly close the shot gap, outshooting Tulsa 12-9 in the period, though the Oilers still held the shot lead 25-19. Over all, the Grizzlies’ second period was superior to their first, but neither team was able to break the deadlock.

The Oilers got a power play 46 seconds in as Gerard tripped up an Oilers player in the offensive zone. Tulsa didn’t score on the advantage, but they did score just seconds after Gerard returned to the ice. Former Grizz J.C. Brassard got the primary assist.

Utah got a power play opportunity of their own, and there was some question of a puck going in with 14:48 to go which resulted in a very lengthy review. After about five minutes it was eventually concluded that there was no goal, and the power play continued.

Miles Gendron and Maxim Golod took matching minors as a crowd gathered at 12:35. Utah continued to close the shot-gap, but were unable to beat Roman Durny. The Grizzlies pulled Gahagen with a minute to go, but when the buzzer sounded, Durny’s shutout remained intact.

Overall, the Grizzlies struggled to hold the offensive zone for any extended period of time, and when they did, despite picking up quite a few shots, missed the net a surprising amount at crucial moments.

No one was particularly bad for the Grizzlies, but no one really looked great either, except Gahagen, who was excellent in net. Matthew Boucher and Charlie Gerard led the team with four shots.

These two teams will meet again tomorrow afternoon.

Goals

  • First: None
  • Second: None
  • Third: None
    Gahagen: 31/32

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard

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