Utah Grizzlies @ Allen Americans: X Marks the Spot

In the first game of the lengthy and final road trip of the regular season, the Grizzlies faced off against the Allen Americans. Kevin Carr got the start, while Ryan Galt made his Utah debut. J.T. Henke and Will Smith sat this one out, while Jake Marchment, Grayson Downing, Joey Raats, and Josh Winquist all remained out of the lineup as well.

First Period

  • Both teams trade penalties in the first six minutes or so.
  • A lot of twos on that particular penalty kill, 21-12, 20-27.
  • Half a period to go, shots 6-3 for Allen.
  • Carr’s made some nice saves.
  • Tentative is the word I would use to describe this game so far.
  • Also, uneventful. Though that was a nice shift from Austin Carroll, Ryan Walters, and Cole Ully.
  • Huh. I thought Tanner Nagel beat out that icing.
  • It’s been a pretty quite game, but boy it sure is nice to be watching them play someone other than the Rush…
  • Allen with a lot of possession here with under four to go. Not that they’re doing much with said possession, but they’ve had it.
  • Fourth best power play, second best PK in the league? Nice.
  • Goal light went off behind Carr, but the puck appears to have hit the post and gone out. The ref was pretty adamant in waiving it off immediately.
  • That was a really, really nice back-check from Josh Anderson with two to go.
  • Carroll splits the D, gets a shot, and draws a power play.
  • Turner Ottenbreit with the BLAST just seven seconds into the advantage!
  • After 20 Utah leads 1-0, shots 10-7 for Allen.

Second Period

  • Allen getting all the shots in the first three minutes. Not ideal.
  • Carr’s been seeing them comfortably though.
  • Jack Walker to Michael Economos from behind the net and it’s 2-0 for Utah!
  • And on the very next shift, Allen makes it 2-1.
  • Economos and Ottenbreit both looking to get goal number two on this advantage.
  • A bit of a crowd gathers as Allen returns to full strength. Would seem like the feeling out process is over.
  • Nifty mitts from Eco there.
  • Ully draws a power play, Ottenbreit and Taylor Richart with a couple of cannons. Good movement from the Grizzlies in general, really.
  • The pace in the second period has been far quicker, both teams having to scramble in spots.
  • Zach Pochiro and Nagel collide, and Pochiro is pretty mad that nothing was called.
  • They’ve been calling offsides really tightly tonight. Not sure Allen was actually offside there though.
  • RATELLE SCORES HIS FIRST!! The puck somehow trickled past C.J. Motte. Not sure exactly how, but WHO CARES!
  • Walters racking up the points again.
  • Carrsy tells Pochiro YOU SHALL NOT PASS.
  • Allen pressuring with about two to go.
  • Some big shot blocking, and after 40, Utah leads 3-1, shots 24-19 for Allen.

Third Period

  • SECOND GOAL FOR RATELLE!!! Nagel gets his first pro point on that!
  • Adam Miller gets a penalty shot, and Kevin shuts him down.
  • It’s been an eventful two minutes!
  • Really nice shift from Richart, followed by a really nice stretch from Carr.
  • Utah, please go play on the other side of the ice for a while…
  • First pro game, first pro goal for Galt!! Walker has HIS second point of the game, and Gage Ausmus picks up the secondary. Looks like Verpaelst may have grabbed the puck for Galt as well!
  • Atkinson goes after Herbert, Ratelle responds, and there are lots of penalties coming.
  • Ok, after all that, Teigan Zahn and Curt Gogol get thrown out, Pochiro, Economos, and Ratelle all get two, so it is a power play for Allen.
  • That was the saddest celebration on that Allen power play goal.
  • This is probably the longest final two minutes I’ve ever witnessed.
  • One final penalty for Allen.
  • GAME WON, PLAYOFF SPOT CLINCHED.
  • 5-2 Utah.

Ratelle’s two goals earned him first star, while Carr took second star with 37/39 saves, and Ottenbreit snagged third star with a goal and an assist. Walker and Walters both picked up two assists each.

This was exactly the kind of win the Grizzlies needed to kick off the road trip, now they just need to keep their foot on the gas and keep going.

Goals

  • First Period: Ottenbreit (Richart, Walters) (PP)
  • Second Period: Economos (Walker, Maxwell), Ratelle (Walters, Carroll)
  • Third Period: Ratelle (Nagel, Ottenbreit), Galt (Walker)

UTA: 1/6 (23 PIM)
ALN: 1/3 (34 PIM)

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.


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Utah Grizzlies vs Rapid City Rush: Constructive Chaos

In the very last meeting between Rapid City and Utah in 2018-19, Joe Cannata once again got the start, Eric Freschi and Will Smith and Joey Raats sat out for new ATO signing Tanner Nagel, and Austin Carroll made his long awaited return to the lineup. Jake Marchment remained sidelined with an injury, as did Grayson Downing as Utah looked to clinch their playoff spot.

First Period

  • Carroll gets the second shot of the period on his first shift back!
  • Cole Ully gets a two-on-one-ish, but RC breaks it up before it hits the net. Shots are 4-2 for RC about five into the first.
  • Considering how grumpy the first period was on Saturday, it’s been surprisingly quiet in the early going.
  • A couple of really nice saves from Cannata there on the PK.
  • Carroll doing what he does best, creating mayhem and drawing power plays.
  • Taylor Richart with a great play to keep the puck in the zone on the PP.
  • It hasn’t led to anything yet, but the passing on the power play is looking really good.
  • Jack Walker flies in on the back-check to break up a developing one-on-none short-handed. Pretty sure he should be Jack Runner, or Jack Sprinter, or maybe Jack Roadrunner.
  • Sooo players collide, and go figure, it’s Carroll causing chaos again. And drawing penalties again.
  • There’s a reason I call him Chaos on Skates.
  • ULLY SCORES. JK. Ully does not score. Goalie interference called, apparently. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • …And to add insult to injury, RC makes it 1-0 short handed.
  • Jack Riley picks up his second hooking call of the period mere moments after the Rush returned to full strength.
  • THAT ONE COUNTS.
  • Richart was ROBBED.
  • 1-1 after 20, shots 14-13 for Utah.

Second Period

  • Really strong offensive zone shift from Carroll and crew about three minutes in.
  • Mitch Maxwell with a pair of strong defensive plays there.
  • Utah has a nice shift in the offensive zone, so of course, RC scores on the counterattack.
  • Good response from Utah though. Unfortunately, Carlson. (Where have we heard THAT one before. 🙄)
  • Oh geez. The puck went through Cannata at a really weird angle, hit the post, and then was snagged by a Utah player. Everyone breathe a sigh of relief!
  • Please go play in the offensive zone.
  • Richart has come really close on several occasions tonight
  • OTTER ON THE POWER PLAY. Tie game!

  • Carlson loses his mask twice in the span of two shifts!! O.O
  • Richart currently leads the team with seven shots.
  • Oh, there’s the cantankerousness that was missing from this game.
  • We give you one guess to pick who was in the middle of all the mayhem around Carlson.
  • If you guessed Carroll, you were right.
  • Oh, that was an unfortunately good goal. Cannata had the whole side sealed up, EXCEPT the one spot that Poulsen found.
  • 3-2 RC after 40.

Third Period

  • Grizz start the third on the power play.
  • Ully almost had an absolute beauty, but rang iron.
  • THAT EARLY POWER PLAY DID NOT GO THE WAY OF MOST. WALKER TIES THE GAME.

  • When Carroll isn’t creating chaos, he’s creating really nice takeaways/scoring chances like that one.
  • Oh wow. That was a great shift from Herbert, Gage Ausmus, Michael Economos, Joey Ratelle and Gabriel Verpaelst.
  • Utah is piling on the good shifts.
  • Well, that’s a new one, the Grizzlies’ net was just taken off and replaced!
  • Ratelle with a nifty dipsy-doodle to elude the Rush defensemen.
  • Watching defenders converge on Carroll is like watching a very strong magnet move through metal objects. He just draws defenders to him, which leads to the aforementioned chaos.
  • Uhhhhg power play goal Rush.
  • Carlson was WAY out of position, and STILL robbed Ryan Walters.
  • That definitely should have been tripping drawn by Walker.
  • In order to tie the game up, you’re definitely gonna have to go play on the other end of the ice…
  • 1:42 and Utah’s net is empty.
  • Herbert rings iron, and Utah draws a power play!!
  • Well, it went RIGHT down to the wire, and there was some INCREDIBLE plays from Verpaelst among others, to keep the puck away from the empty net.
  • If nothing else, that was a highly entertaining game, and thank goodness, that’s the end of the Rush for this season.
  • Rush win 4-3, shots 39-31 for Utah.

 

Caleb Herbert scored his thirtieth goal of the season, and is in the top five goal scorers, despite having played anywhere between five and ten games less than the players in front of him. His opening power play goal, and the assist on Walker’s tally earned him second star honors, while Turner Ottenbreit was named third star. Richart put up nine shots, and Carroll’s return seemed to bring a jolt of electricity through the entire lineup.

It was definitely an exciting game from start to finish, but the loss was made frustrating by the Ully goal that was waved off for supposed goalie interference in the first period.

“He even admitted he made a mistake on our goal that he waived off, should have had four power play goals. If he counts that goal, they don’t get their short handed goal” Tim Branham said. “Every time we have this guy it’s like that. It is what it is. You gotta battle through it and come out. But when you’re playing against a team that works hard and you have an extremely good goaltender that you’re playing against, this stuff gets magnified, and when the referee is dictating the outcome of the game, it makes it tough.”

After some struggles on the man advantage the Grizzlies scored four power play goals, even if only three of them counted.

“We had a little dry spell there,” Caleb Herbert said, when asked about the improvement. “So we switched a few things around, kind of simplified our end zone set up, got back to the basics like shooting pucks, puck retrievals, things like that. Tonight, pucks started going in. I think earlier in the series we were doing ok, but pucks weren’t going in, Carlson was making some big saves, so we got a couple good bounces tonight, and that obviously helps too.”

“He’s a talented hockey player, that’s for sure.”Branham said when asked about his 30 goal scorer. “He’s got a lot of talent, he does some fun stuff out there. He can shoot the puck, he’s got a great release, he’s really fast when he wants to skate, he’s had a good season.”

He had praise for Carroll’s performance as well. “I thought he had an amazing game, I thought played really well, he controlled the play, cycling in the offensive zone, made some good puck decisions, I thought he was really good tonight.”

While Coach Branham spoke about Carroll’s individual play, Herbert elaborated more on Carroll’s impact on the team as a whole in addition to his play on its own.

“Austin’s a really good player, he brings it every night. You know what you’re gonna get out of him–100% effort. Obviously you saw him in front of the net tonight, stirring things up and being a real physical presence out there. I think we’ve been missing a bit of that with him being out, so it’s obviously great to get him back, and he’s a big piece of the puzzle moving forward, so it’s gonna be good.”

“We’re getting some guys back here from injury, kind of fills out our lineup a little more, we’re a little more solid, we play with a little more grit, we have a little more depth.” Herbert added, “I think heading down the stretch that’s gonna be important for us, having those guys back, and I think we’re gonna turn the corner here heading into playoffs and have some momentum on our end.”

The momentum will have to be built on the road, however, as the Grizzlies head out for the final road trip of the year which will see them hit Allen, Wichita, Allen again, then Tulsa before they return home to close out the season against Idaho.

 

Goals

  • First Period: Herbert (Economos, Walker) (PP)
  • Second Period: Ottenbreit (Carroll, Walters) (PP)
  • Third Period: Walker (Herbert, Economos) (PP)

UTA: 3/7 (10 PIM)
RC: 1/4 (16 PIM)

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.


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Utah Grizzlies vs Rapid City: Fight, Score, Celly

Day 155 of the regular season and we’re still playing the Rapid City Rush. However, despite the billionth meeting of these two teams, there were some changes in the roster. Joey Ratelle (signed at the beginning of the year) finally made his Utah debut, Jake Marchment was once again out with an injury, and Joey Raats was a healthy scratch. Joe Cannata got the start for Utah, and on the other end of the ice, their arch-nemesis Adam Carlson.

First Period

  • Longest first shift in the history of ever.
  • Will Smith looking to stay hot on his first shift of the game.
  • Tyler Poulsen puts the puck through Gage Ausmus and Joe Cannata to put the Rush up 1-0.
  • Not even five minutes in, and already there’s some cantankerousness.
  • Cole Ully doing Cole Ully things.
  • Oh no…that’s exactly how Ratelle got hurt the first time this year…He’s certainly endeared himself to the fans though!
  • Point blank chance for Eric Freschi
  • Both teams playing with a fair bit of nastiness so far, certainly more than we saw in their past games against each other.
  • Freschi’s made some pretty nifty moves tonight, and the night is young.
  • Speaking of nifty, that was a great piece of stick work from Ausmus to take possession of the puck.
  • That was some really nice passing from Freschi and Jack Walker there.
  • That being said, please go spend some extended time in the offensive zone…
  • Pretty sure everyone on both sides moved before that puck got dropped, haha!
  • Well. That’s not good. 2-0 with five to go.
  • Turner Ottenbreit lays a huge hit and gets two for elbowing, leading to the first power play of the night.
  • You know that thing I said about cantankerousness? We’re definitely past “some”.
  • I’m not sure I have ever seen a full line brawl live before. The penalty box is gonna get PREEEETTTY full. Teigan Zahn and Gabriel Verpaelst get five each for fighting, Taylor Crunk gets two for slashing, two for instigating, and five for fighting, and Liam Bilton gets five for fighting.
  • Well. That was…eventful.
  • 2-0 RC, shots 19-7 in their favor.

Second Period

  • Utah opens with two full minutes of power play time, and a minute of five-on-three.
  • That opening power play goes the way of many opening of period power plays. That is to say, nowhere.
  • If nothing else, they got Carlson moving shortly afterwards I guess.
  • Zahn just led a really nice up-ice rush that culminated in a mad scramble around Carlson.
  • Mitch Maxwell with a speedy wrap-around attempt. Shots are now a far better 19-14.
  • More importantly, possession is much improved, and they’re skating hard.
  • Ottenbreit and Caleb Herbert get a really nice chance short handed.
  • MAXWELL WITH THE SHORTY.

  • Utah’s taken over the shot clock, 20-19 with 10:36 to go.
  • If RC had actually managed to pull off that stick toss, it would have been impressive. Illegal, but impressive.
  • VERBEAUTY. TIE GAME.
  • Walker does NOT look like a guy who’s been out for a month and a half with a leg injury.
  • Freschi and Walker get a glorious short-handed chance.
  • Another whistle, another scuffle. Michael Economos and and Garrett Klotz to the box.
  • ECONOMOS WITH THE SNIPE.

  • 3-2 UTAH as Economos positively flew out of the box! Great feed from Zahn too.
  • Carlson starting to look human over there.
  • Everyone falls over each other from both teams. Ice is slippery, don’tcha know!
  • Shots are 20-7 for Utah in the period.
  • The Grizzlies OWNED the second.

Third Period

  • Every time someone blocks a Verpaelst shot, I wince a little.
  • The way Ully just makes space for himself is so effortless.
  • Good start to the period for the boys.
  • I DON’T BELIEVE IT. IT WENT IN. O CAPTAIN OUR CAPTAIN.
  • Free chili for all.
  • Ok, please get back to playing mostly in the offensive zone.
  • Please stop icing the puck…
  • And again…
  • At this rate, we’re gonna have to crack out the Herb Brooks “again” gif. (Only this is not the sort of thing he’d have wanted over and over and over and over…)
  • You know that thing I said about Verpaelst’s shots at the beginning of the period? That.
  • I haven’t really mentioned him so far this game, but Cannata’s been good.
  • Freschi’s been very good this game.
  • BIG save from Cannata!
  • Rush net is empty with 2:30 to go.
  • ECONOMOS INTO THE EMPTY NET!!!
  • GRIZZLIES WIN 5-2!!! And they out-shot RC 34-33 in the end, Cannata going 31/33.

Economos’ two goals and assist earned him first star of the game, while Maxwell (1G, 1A) and Zahn (1G, 1A) took second and third stars. Walters’ assist was his 300th professional point.

“We earned this one.” Tim Branham said after the game. “I didn’t think we were that bad in the first to be honest. We passed up on a lot of scoring opportunities to only get five shots. I thought we had more chances than that. They worked hard, they worked for their bounces that period. Then between the first and second we talked about how enough was enough, we need to out play them and out work them like we did that last third period. The boys came out and took control. Five-on-three, our five-on-three hasn’t been good all year to be honest, I think we’ve maybe scored one, but we got one on the power play, and our penalty kill was huge, and we got one short-handed. So specialty teams was huge, specialty teams has been huge this whole series, and tonight it worked in our favor.”

As has been the case in the last few games, the Grizzlies’ secondary scoring has come through. “It’s huge,” said Branham. “Really, I just rolled the lines there for a while with our ten forwards so I don’t really what was our first, second, and third line, but to get that secondary scoring you’re talking about, it’s huge. Come playoff time, teams are going to be keying in on our top guys, and our second and third line are the ones that gotta to carry the load. Third lines win championships.”

“It’s huge” Economos said of Maxwell’s goal. “When you get a short-handed goal and things aren’t going your way it was something that really sparked us. We just talked about working hard and that’s what we did tonight. It was nothing fancy really about that game out of us tonight, it was just working hard, crashing the net, getting in front of Carlson’s eyes cause he’s been red hot against us, so it was really big for us.”

He was, predictably modest about his own game winner.

“It was just right place at right time. Zahner just happened to look up at the perfect time when I was getting out of the box. The boys were joking with me that I wasn’t trying to go five-hole, and honestly I wasn’t,” he said with a laugh, “But you know sometimes when you miss it works out. Finally a bounce went our way, and it was great to see that go in.”

Military night is always popular in Utah, and Saturday was no exception with 9,237 in attendance, and they made a difference. “It was amazing. Any time there’s a hit, any time there’s a fight, any time there’s a goal, it was just electric in there. Sometimes you don’t hear the crowd because you’re so into the game, but tonight they were a factor, and they definitely gave us some life out there.”

The difference between the Grizzlies’ first period and second and third couldn’t have been more stark. “I think we just said that we got that out of the way. It’s been chippy against them every time we’ve played them, so we kind of got that out of the way and were just able to focus on our game. They might have still been in that mentality of just trying to get in fights and pushing and shoving, and we just wanted to get in front of the goalie’s eyes, put it on net every single time we could, it was great for us.”

The Grizzlies face the Rush for the fourteenth and (thankfully) final time on Monday.

 

 

Goals

  • First Period: None
  • Second Period: Maxwell (Ottenbreit) (SH), Verpaelst (Herbert, Henke) (PP), Economos (Richart, Zahn)
  • Third Period: Zahn (Economos, Smith), Economos (Maxwell, Walters) (EN)

UTA: 1/5 (29 PIM)
RC: 0/5 (39 PIM)

 

Photo courtesy of Josh Pinnau.

 


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Utah Grizzlies vs Rapid City: Unfortunately, Carlson

Another night, another game against Rapid City, but with a slight difference. Both J.T. Henke and Jack Walker returned to the lineup for the first time since February 9th and January 30th respectively, and Kevin Carr got the start. The returns meant that for the first time in forever not only did Utah dress sixteen skaters, but they dressed sixteen skaters all playing their actual positions.

First Period

  • A LOT of offensive zone pressure for RC here…
  • Jack Walker getting a great chance very early on in his return game.
  • Oh man, Caleb Herbert didn’t miss by much there.
  • Carr with a big save.
  • Everyone seems to be showing a lot more offensive creativity than we’ve been seeing lately.
  • It’s really nice to have all three lines able to create offense again.
  • WHAT A SAVE FROM KEVIN.
  • After that first shift or so, Utah’s definitely been more dangerous and spent less time in their zone.
  • That and Kevin Carr is ON tonight.
  • Did you know Micahel Economos had mitts like that? (Unfortunately, Adam Carlson is up to his usual tricks.)
  • WILL SMITH BEATS CARLSON. There will be no RC shutout tonight.

  • Assists go to Jake Marchment and Gabriel Verpaelst. Does that make them that 20s line like the Kings had that 70s line a while back? (Verpaelst being a defenseman aside…)
  • Hey Schorny, did you sew Velcro to Carr’s jersey? He’s pretty much allowing nothing by way of rebounds.
  • The Rush have had most of the shots since Smith’s goal. That does not bode well.
  • Taylor Richart objects to the traffic around Carr and is sent to the box for roughing.
  • Carr makes a bunch of big saves on one side of the net, but the Rush slip one past him on the other to tie it up on the advantage.
  • Shots are 13-9 for RC after 20, tied 1-1.

Second Period

  • Henke with a nice shot for the first of the period.
  • …Why is it ALWAYS Cedric Montminy?
  • Please go play in the other zone for a while.
  • Perfect pass from Smith to Eric Freschi, Carlson stops it though.
  • Smith is having himself a game. A couple of good moves from him in the defensive zone.
  • Really though, please go spend more time in the offensive zone.
  • Economos with a snappy little shot there. Unfortunately, Carlson.
  • Another beautiful save from Kevin there.
  • So you know that thing we said about Will Smith? It’s relevant again.
  • I would not want to be anyone watching a Turner Ottenbreit shot coming towards my head.
  • Oy, do not elbow Moose! Go sit in the box and feel shame.
  • Freschi’s got a couple of pretty good looks tonight as well.

Third Period

  • Walker with those WHEELS almost ties it up. Except Carlson. Again.
  • That Herb Brooks speech, except about Carlson.
  • Carr with a couple more nice saves.
  • Walker with a bad giveaway, and a great and immediate takeaway.
  • Herbert with a nearly nifty play there.
  • Hero block by Richy leads directly to a great chance from Ryan Walters.
  • That’s the offensive zone pressure the Grizzlies have needed this game.
  • Shots are 6-1 for Utah through the first six minutes.
  • Josh Anderson has improved so much from the start of the season.
  • Very few whistles this period. Shots are now 8-2 for Utah with 8:40 to go
  • They’re getting more shots, but it feels like fewer dangerous chances.
  • And then, of course, Carlson.
  • That’s the third minor Taylor Crunk has taken this game.
  • Ottenbreit’s reach is seriously impressive when he extends himself all the way.
  • Grizz pull Carr for the extra skater, but no dice, despite hitting 43 shots, and limiting the Rush to just three shots in the third.
  • Utah falls 2-1.

“We gotta work, we gotta work like we did in the third period.” Tim Branham said after the game. “I thought we played a really good first ten minutes and then a good last 20. SO we took thirty minutes off there in between, and when you play half a game, you leave it to chance, so we’ve got to make sure we play a full sixty minutes, and play motivated hockey.”

There might have been some lapses throughout the game, but several players definitely stood out. One of them was obviously Carr, and another was Will Smith. “He’s getting better and better every day, that’s for sure,” said Branham of the lone goal scorer. “We talk about it with him all the time, he’s getting more and more confidence and doing what he needs to do, and he scored our goal tonight. We need our best players to be our best players, but it’s nice to get the scoring from our depth guys.”

Josh Anderson’s play has been more and more noticeable as he’s gotten more ice time through the back half of the season, and last night was no exception. “That’s what he needs to do, he needs to play. He’s a young D-man, not even old enough to drink! He’s here to play hockey and to learn, and to get better, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

So they’ve been playing better against Carlson, but the Grizzlies are going to have to do something about him in the next two games. “It seems like he’s got our number right now” Smith said about Carlson. “It’s pretty tough to get pucks by him, he’s a really good goalie. I think what we talked about is getting more traffic in front of him so he can’t see it. Just keeping it really simple, just throwing pucks at him, at his feet, whatever we can do, having guys there. Coach said it in between periods today. It may not necessarily be the first shot that goes in, but it might be the second or third or even fourth rebound that might go in. So we’ve just gotta get in front of him and cause havoc there.” That is, in fact, exactly what Smith himself did on his third goal of the season.

When asked about the noticeable uptick in the quality of his play, he said, “I think the first few games I was here I was a little bit tentative. Any time you get to a new team you try to fit in where you fit in, just in the locker room. It was actually nice coming here cause I played with Economos last year and he really helped smooth things over for me, but first couple of weekends, I just didn’t feel like I was playing to my full potential, I was a little bit nervous. Then in the last little while here, I feel like I’m fitting in a bit more with the guys on the team and that just changes everything — it changes the way you play on the ice, and feeling more comfortable for sure.”

This is the first time in quite a while that the Grizzlies have dressed six defensemen and ten actual forwards thanks to the return of Henke and Walker, and while they didn’t score, you could definitely notice the increase in offensive opportunities that their return brought all the way through the lineup. Of their return, Smith said, “That’s huge, cause we’ve got a lot of really talented guys who have been out. Since I’ve been here I haven’t really seen them, to be honest. But Henke, I’m living with him, and I checked his stats, and he’s got over a point per game, 30 in 30 or whatever it is, so he’s a guy who would obviously help our offence, and when you don’t have a guy like that in the lineup it definitely affects the outcome for sure, and guys playing out of position, playing with a limited number of guys, it just adds a little bit of adversity to what we’re trying to do. Those guys are coming back and you see them in practice and they’re getting better, it’s exciting for our team.”

Utah’s got two more meetings against Rapid City on Saturday and Monday, and from the post-game comments, it’s clear they know what they need to do. It’ll just be a matter of execution.

 

Goals

First Period: Will Smith (Verpaelst, Marchment)

UTA: 0/4 (6 MIN)
RC: 1/2 (10 MIN)

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.


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Utah Grizzlies @ Rapid City Rush: A Slight Improvement

On Saturday night the Grizzlies looked to Kevin Carr to out-goalie Adam Carlson, and Grayson Downing, after returning to the lineup on Friday, once again was a scratch.

First Period

  • Good possession for the Grizzlies in the first four minutes or so.
  • Good possession continues. No whistles either. Utah has the only shot seven minutes or so in.
  • Utah’s definitely dominating possession right now (and shots, which are 5-0 half-way through the first).
  • Liam Bilton gets the first Rush shot of the game, but Carr calmly bats it aside.
  • No rust on Carrsy, that’s for sure. (Not that he’s really been tested so far either though.)
  • The Devils comparison Tyson made the other night is quite apt. Serious shut-down hockey with great goaltending. Effective, but boring.
  • Ryan Walters with some wheels on that PK!
  • COLE ULLY MAKES SURE WE WON’T BE SHUT OUT TONIGHT, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS.
  • OH boo. Carlson isn’t perfect tonight, and neither is our penalty kill. Tie game.
  • Good possession on this power play.
  • 1-1 after 20, shots 8-5 for the boys.

Second Period

  • Well, that was a very, very scrambly first shift!! gulp
  • Well, after that scrambly beginning, the Grizzlies have had some good shots.
  • I don’t think Carlson knew where that puck went.
  • Either he’s having an off night, or the Grizzlies have succeeded in making him look human finally.
  • Verpaelst with a thunderous hit on the power play there.
  • Carlson really is looking mortal this evening. He’s still really good, but he’s not absolutely flawless and unflappable like he was the previous two games.
  • Oh my goodness, Kevin.
  • Jake Marchment is so strong on his skates.
  • Turner Ottenbreit absolutely FLYING over there.
  • HUGE save by Carr. He’s been so good tonight.

  • 17-15 are the shots for Utah in this tied game.

Third Period

  • Two minutes to Rapid City for making us sit through Baby Shark during intermission.
  • Good hustle there by Ully to bale out Richart after his stick broke!
  • Carr gets tripped up behind his own net, and Ottenbreit and Verpaelst are deeply unamused.
  • The puck is seriously bouncing in the Utah zone, and it’s nerve-wracking.
  • Raats takes a huge hit to the head, and the Grizzlies are off to a five minute power play. Klotz gets shown the gate.
  • Turner, you’re supposed to put the puck in the net, not yourself!
  • TAAAAAAAYLORRRRRR 2-1 ON THE POWER PLAY!!
  • Oh, never mind, Marchment deflected it, but STILL.
  • Goodness. Not sure how Kevin or the defenseman got over in time to take away the WIDE open net there.
  • Utah’s got fewer shots tonight, but they’ve definitely put them to better use.
  • Oh no. Economos to the box for tripping. It wasn’t a great call either.
  • Absolute mayhem around the net, and the puck gets put past Carr with 13 seconds left. No one is happy. (Well, the Rush are, but that’s besides the point.)

OT

  • Carlson has gone back to god mode. Ully and Verpaelst with a pair of nice shots there.
  • I don’t know how Verpaelst managed to hold onto the puck and keep it in the zone.
  • Youch. Rush player blocked that Ottenbreit shot with his face!

SO

  • Have I mentioned recently how much I HATE the shoot out??
  • Rush win 3-2 in the skills competition.

 

Goals

  • First Period: Ully (Herbert, Ottenbreit)
  • Second Period: None
  • Third Period: Marchment (Richart, Herbert) (PP)

UTA: 1/8 (10 PIM)
RC: 2/5 (22 PIM)

 

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.


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