Utah Grizzlies: Snowed In

If last night’s team looked a bit different from the team on Wednesday, that’s because it was, to some extent. After Tim McGauley and Griffen Molino were recalled to Colorado, Mitch Maxwell and Brandon Saigeon both returned to the lineup for game two against Florida on a very snowy Friday night. Meanwhile, in net, Brad Barone got his first home start for the Grizzlies.

Both teams got a couple of shots early, but Utah drew the first power play at 6:01. 48 seconds later, Saigeon scored his first pro goal goal to give Utah the 1-0 lead.

Just moments later, Peter Tischke was taken down, and the Grizzlies got another crack at the man advantage. This time, however, Florida kept them at bay.

The testy nature of Wednesday’s game continued, as crowds continued to gather following whistles, and at 11:35, Maxwell and Hunter Garlent both took roughing calls in front of Florida’s net.

No sooner had both teams returned to full strength, however, than Garlent got in one-on-one against Barone, forcing the latter to make a great save. Saigeon also found himself in the box for interference on the play.

Utah’s penalty kill had nearly as many good looks as the Florida power play, and Saigeon returned to the ice with no change in score.

With 38 seconds to go, Yuri Terao took a hooking call, but the Utah PK kept the Everblades chasing until the buzzer sounded.

Utah started the second period with 1:22 on the PK, but killed it off easily, and Barone continued to impress the home crowd with a great save.

Terao beat Cam Johnson on a snipe of a shot with 14:20 to go in the second, but the puck struck iron. Barone also had a couple of big saves as the period approached the eight minute mark.

Unfortunately, though Barone made the initial saves, Florida tied the game with 9:17 to go. That’s when the wheels came off just a bit. Utah got a good chance on one end of the ice, and on the other Florida scored two in quick succession. The Grizzlies called their time out to slow the game down.

On the next shift, Klotz laid a huge hit, and then clipped Michael Downing solidly up high, earning himself a game misconduct. Economos and Arvin Atwal also earned matching ten minute misconducts. So with only seven minutes left, all four players headed to the locker room.

The Everblades scored less than two minutes in to make it 4-1. As the PK continued, Joe Wegwerth got in on a breakaway, but a Florida player got back in time, forcing him to spin and fire wide. However, Florida had no answer for a flying Terao, who made no mistake, beating Johnson clean and one-on-one to cut the defect in half.

After 40, Utah trailed 4-2, out-shot 20-15, but had regained their composure.

Having scored his first pro goal in the first period, Saigeon sold Johnson on the pass, and then absolutely sniped one for his second unassisted. Shortly thereafter, Taylor Richart drew an interference penalty, and just four seconds later, Michael Downing (who fortunately seemed none the worse for wear after the hit) took a penalty in front of his own net, getting a double minor for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct. Jack Jenkins also took two for roughing. Unfortunately, Utah wasn’t able to accomplish anything on the nearly two-minute advantage.

Unfortunately for the Utah comeback effort, Barone sealed the post at 8:43, but the puck still trickled just past him to make it 5-3 Florida, and then the Everblades scored again at 9:25.

After that, the Grizzlies spent a substantial amount of time in the offensive zone, taking over the shot lead once more, and drawing a penalty at 16:41.

Right as the power play came to an end, an absolute sea of bodies converged on the Everblades net, as well as possibly the puck.  The call on the ice was no goal, and the call stood after a review of the play, as it went into Johnson’s shoulder, not the back of the net.

Although they spent most of the rest of the game in the offensive zone, the Grizzlies were unable to cut the lead down, despite out-shooting the Everblades 19-5 in the third period.

Despite the 6-3 loss, Brandon Saigeon’s first and second goals of his pro career earned him the second star, while Yuri Terao’s short-handed marker, and an assist, gave him third.

“He played really well tonight,” Tim Branham said of Saigeon. “We’re trying to get him to be stronger on the puck. He’s got a good shot, which we saw tonight, and if he plays that consistent game, he’s gonna have a lot of success. Like we’ve talked with Felix, and those guys coming out of Major Junior, sometimes it’s a little bit of an adjustment and a learning curve, but they’ve definitely got the talent.”

“I thought we played a pretty good game, it’s just a couple of shifts in a row there that we took our foot off the gas, and it cost us” Saigeon said.

“It’s always nice to get the first, got to give a lot of credit to my teammates, they’re great out there. My linemates, we had some good o-zone shifts, it’s nice to get the first couple pro goals, but not it’s back to work. We’ve got a game tomorrow, so now we’ve gotta just focus on that.”

With Klotz kicked out mid game, the Grizzlies, who only had nine forwards to begin with, were forced to play even shorter once Klotz was kicked out, and Economos took a ten minute major.

“I thought we played a pretty good game all around,” said Branham. “It was never gonna be perfect. I thought our group worked really hard. We were short-benched a lot of the game. I thought we looked really good in the third, I thought we looked a little bit tired in the second, our forwards. But against a team like Florida,  you’ve got to manage the puck a little bit better than what we did. It’s never going to be a perfect game, but I actually thought we played a pretty good game. We gave up 25 shots, so I’d take that any night.”

Overall, the team has adjusted remarkably well in a short time to the amount of players that have been up and down from the American league on a game to game basis. When asked how they’ve been able to adapt so quickly, Branham gave all the accolades to his team.

“I’m going to give credit to my players on that one. We’ve got seven forwards in the American League, and our players have done an amazing job of coming in, filling roles, listening, working hard, sticking to the system. You’ve got to give credit to them through the changes, they’re the ones playing, we just tell them what to do. They’re the ones who have to go out there and execute, and I think they’re doing a great job with that, because there’s certainly been a lot of movement.”

The changeover will continue into Saturday’s game, as it has been announced that Klotz was given a suspension and a fine with a hearing to come.

 

 

Utah Grizzlies: A Game to Be Thankful For

On the day before a snowy Thanksgiving, with yet another Florida team in town, the Grizzlies got reinforcements from Colorado in the form of Tim McGauley. With Hunter Miska back with the Eagles, Mason McDonald got the start, backed up by Brad Barone.

From their very first shift, Griffen Molino and Tim McGauley made things happen. Taking that into consideration, it was perhaps not surprising that a strong defensive zone shift about four minutes into the game led to an up-ice charge, and Molino’s fifth of the year.

That line continued to be dangerous, creating another chance on a rebound from Sasha Larocque several minutes later.

With 11:59 to go in the first, Utah drew a power play, and Eric Williams continued his scoring ways with a snipe just ten seconds into the advantage.

Unfortunately, less than ten seconds after that, Michael Huntebrinker shot the puck straight through a crowd to put the Everblades within one on their second shot of the game.

The cantankerousness between Utah and teams from Florida continued, and about 12 minutes in, Garrett Klotz dropped the gloves with Kyle Neuber behind Florida’s net. It was a lengthy bout, and shortly thereafter, Utah drew yet another power play.

The Grizzlies didn’t capitalize on the advantage, and at 15:39, they were unable to break up the perfect tick-tack-toe goal. While McDonald probably would have wanted that one back, he turned right around and made a huge, if somewhat unorthodox save one-on-one against an Everblades player on the next shift. Unfortunately, Patrick McGrath took a cross-checking call immediately thereafter. Though Florida briefly took the shot lead, they were unable to capitalize on the advantage, and the period ended 2-2, shots 9-9.

Utah got an early power play when at 1:35, John McCarron got Taylor Richart with an elbow to the face. Though the Grizzlies were able to pick up a couple of shots, they were unable to beat Ken Appleby.

Utah had a couple of good shifts, following the man advantage, but Florida got two skaters behind the Utah defense, and a clean shot beat McDonald to make it 3-2.

Molino continued to get great chances that, for one reason or another, just managed to stay out of the net, both on the breakaway, and in close quarters at the goal mouth, and the home crowd showed their appreciation for both McGauley and Yuri Terao, roaring in anticipation any time either of them led the up-ice rush in possession of the puck.

With 1:12 to go in the second, Feliz Lauzon went bar down from the edge of the blue paint, tying up the game once more. Richart got the assist, and after 40, Utah out-shot Florida 22-18.

Utah jumped into the defensive zone early, and with Mike Economos battling behind the net with an Everblades player, Garrett Klotz snuck around the net, and slipped the puck between Appleby and the post to make it 4-3 just 22 seconds in. Lauzon got his third point of the game, and Economos got the second assist.

Florida counterattacked, and drew a power play at 3:36, but the Utah penalty killers were well up to the task.

However, while they were up for the PK, they were unable to fend off a nearly identical Florida goal scored on yet another cross-crease pass.

The Everblades continued to control the play, getting the lion’s share of offensive zone time through the third period, and tying the shots up.

With under 1:30 to go, Florida rang iron, then Kyle Neuber high-sticked Yuri Terao, which drew a crowd. Teigan Zahn dropped the gloves with Neuber, and then Jack Nevins fought him immediately after. Zahn and Neuber both got two and five, for unsportsmanlike conduct and high-sticking respectively, and Nevins got five and a game for continuing the altercation. The kerfuffle led to a five minute Utah power play, 3:37 of which carried over to OT.

The Grizzlies didn’t need that long. Just 22 seconds into the extra frame, Joe Wegwerth put the puck past Appleby for the game winner.

Wegwerth’s game winner earned him first star honors. “I thought we had a really good start,” he said. “That’s been one of our objectives lately to come out of the gates quick every period. Obviously we had some lulls there in the first and second period, but I thought we battled through it. We’re gonna have some adversity. Not every game is going to be perfect, but we found a way, and when you start to put a streak together, that’s what you have to do, you have to find a way, and that’s what I thought we did.”

Having found success even without their top scorers, the answer to how they’ve got there is simplicity.

“I think we had a lot of success when we kept it simple, chipped pucks by people, I think when we try to skate pucks out of our own end or do too much, that’s when we get in trouble, so I think just simplifying our game, having everyone commit to chipping the pucks out, being hard on the forecheck, finishing checks, I think that’s what really gave us success tonight.”

“Obviously with the way things have been going down here, with guys getting called up, we needed different guys to step up.” Wegwerth continued. “Obviously [Williams] has been doing that right now, and ever since [Klotz] has been here he’s been performing, and being a leader and a big presence for us. It’s great to have guys like that, and obviously [Zahn], he’s a great captain, just a great guy. We’re lucky he’s on our team, he makes guys feel safe out there, that’s for sure.”

While there were moments that left something to be desired, overall Tim Branham was pleased with his team’s effort. “I thought we did a good job to get that good start, and then we kind of got complacent” said Branham. “We didn’t have the same hate on as we did for Orlando. I thought we really let our guard down and didn’t dictate the pace, didn’t dictate play. That first period they didn’t get a shot until eight minutes into the period. Second period, same thing though, and then the flood gates kind of opened. We’ve got to make sure that we’re able to control the game a little bit better. Our game plan was obviously play hard, play physical, but play that puck possession game because they have so many dangerous weapons over there that can score. So we want to make sure that we play that puck possession game. And I thought we did to start the first two periods. You know what, at the end of the day, our power play was great, our penalty kill was great, we were able to get the two points. It was a character win, we learned a lesson — you can’t let your guard down, you’ve got to make sure you play hard. Especially the team we have now. We have a blue collar, hard working team, and we saw that when we play that way against a good team like Orlando with great goaltending, we’re able to have success. We didn’t quite play that full 60 minutes tonight, but we still found a way to get the two points, and good teams do that.”

With two unfamiliar, and talented teams in town recently, every player on the team has stepped up. “Depth scoring, whether it’s from the back end or the forwards, we’re doing a really good job with that. I thought our D carried the play last weekend, tonight our forwards chipped in and scored some goals for us. It’s a fun group to coach. They want to do well, they have each other’s backs, and we’re finding ways to have success. That’s what it’s all about.”

It hasn’t just been the goaltending either. After Terao got taken down and Zahn stood up for him, the team made sure to get the win done on the power play he earned. “We wanted to make sure we had [Zahn’s] back there with the power play, and getting the game winner. When he does stuff like that it gets everyone going, and we want to make sure we repay him for doing that. It’s a tough job, [Klotz], it’s a tough job, but they’re used to doing it, they wouldn’t want it any other way, they’d do it all over again to get another win. This one feels good. That’s a good team over there, that’s a really good team, and we found a way to get two points. We’ve got to enjoy it, enjoy tomorrow with our families and our friends, and regroup again for Friday.”

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard

 

 

 

 

 

Utah Grizzlies: Fast and Furious

Back at home again, but still down Travis Barron, Cole Cassels, Josh Dickinson, Ryan Wagner,  Ty Lewis, and now Tim McGauley, the Grizzlies’ roster looked pretty different from the last time the home crowd saw them. In were Garrett Klotz, Jack Jenkins, and Jake Jackson, while Joe Wegwerth, Mason McDonald, and Hunter Miska all returned to the lineup. Teigan Zahn drew in as the tenth forward, and Misika, hot off a highly successful AHL stint, got the start.

Both teams came out flying, Utah looking especially quick and heavy hitting, creating all kinds of mayhem (but also having to defend against it as well). Into the first four minutes, Utah had decidedly the greater zone time, but had only put up two shots to Orlando’s one.

Yuri Terao especially had some fire in his step, while Garrett Klotz made sure everyone was wide awake with a big hit in the opening minutes. The Grizzlies drew the first power play of the night with Cody Donaghey heading to the box for slashing. Taylor Richart got a couple of big shots from both points, and then Eric Williams beat Clint Windsor with a backhand shot to give Utah the 1-0 lead.

On the next shift, Peter Tischke took a cross-checking call, and the Utah PK got to work half-way through the first, and killed it off. The play that followed wasn’t the cleanest Utah’s shown this season, but it got the job done.

At 7:15, Teigan Zahn and Jake Coughler dropped the gloves at the offensive zone blue line, Zahn got the take-down, and both were sent to cool their heels in the box.

Neither goalie saw much work through the first period, but Miska was where he needed to be when he needed to be, especially as Orlando began to pressure in earnest at the end of the first. The Solar Bears’ hard work paid off, as they took over the shot lead, and with 2:22 to go in the first, made it 1-1.

Utah had a little bit of push-back at the end, and at the buzzer, Mike Economos took the butt end of a stick to the gut, causing a crowd to gather.

After 20, Orlando out-shot the Grizzlies 8-5, but the score remained 1-1.

Griffen Molino had two prime looks to start the second, and Utah headed to the power play, thanks to a delay of game penalty from Chris LeBlanc.

The Grizzlies pressed hard on the advantage, and took the shot lead again before the power play came to an end.

Patrick McGrath took a roughing call about five into the second, but Miska and the penalty killers got the job done once again. J.C. Brassard had a stand out moment of his own shortly thereafter, managing to stall at the blue line long enough for his teammates to tag up while retaining possession of the puck.

The Grizzlies got another power play just past the half-way mark of the second. However, they only really got a couple of looks from the center of the ice before Orlando returned to full strength.

Leblanc found himself back in the box for the third time in the period after slashing Zahn’s stick out of his hands, but though Utah set Richart up perfectly several times, and moved the puck well, the best PK in the league held them at bay.

Orlando got a chance on the power play towards the end of the period when McGrath took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Miska once again showed the moves that earned him a shut out in the AHL, and the Grizzlies killed off the penalty.

The second period came to an end in the midst of a lengthy rugby scrum, shots 20-20, and the score still 1-1.

The third period got off to a choppy start, and both teams fought through the neutral zone for possession. Peter Tischke and Tayler Thompson got matching roughing calls, and Miska remained stellar.

As the period progressed, both teams found themselves in their respective offensive zones for prolonged periods of time. Utah took a delay of game penalty at 8:03, but were able to kill it off fairly smoothly.

As the game entered the final ten minutes of regulation, Miska continued to coolly hold down the fort, and another delay of game penalty sent Utah back to the man advantage.

Once again, the Grizzlies created some nice chances, and made some really nice plays, but were unable to finish on the man advantage.

As the final seconds raced by, Molino whistled the puck at the net, and only just missed giving Utah the regulation win. Utah earned the point, and headed into OT.

Terao got two grade A looks in the first 30 seconds, but was thwarted first by the bar, and second by Windsor.

Fortunately for the Grizzlies, their defense keeps stepping up to fill the scoring void, and Brassard ended OT with his second of the year.

Hunter Miska was easily the best player on the ice for most of the game, but Brassard’s OT GWG earned him first star while Miska took second star, and Williams was named third. Terao and Molino were on fire the entire night, and while they didn’t capitalize, their play led to some really terrific scoring chances.

“Stellar goal-tending, same with theirs, their goal-tending was stellar as well, really proud of the way that our group played” said head coach Tim Branham in his post game comments. “A lot of the things that we worked on in practice this week we implemented. We played a full 60 minutes. I couldn’t be more proud of them. And then the way that they played, the way that they battled, they played a full 63 minutes, whatever it was, can’t say much more other than how proud I am of the way they played.”

Things have been challenging lately, but though they’ve struggled, the Grizzlies haven’t backed down. “We’ve got six forwards in the American league right now, on one team or another. Kudos to these guys who have stepped in and filled those rolls. We knew that we’re not gonna score ten goals a game, or seven goals a game. It is what it is. Our challenge is to play well defensively, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that tonight. Special teams was good again, and it’s a work in progress. Right now this group wants it. They want it really bad, and they’re doing a great job.”

“We know that our record isn’t exactly what we want at this moment,” JC Brassard said of the team’s season so far, “But we’ve been working really hard in practice, doing all the right things, working hard in games, we just didn’t get bounces until tonight, and I think everyone is happy it paid off, and all the hard work is coming together.”

It was obvious that Miska’s return from the AHL helped as well. “When you have a goalie in net who you can trust, and you know is gonna clean up your mistakes, it makes playing a whole lot easier” Brassard added. “You play more relaxed, and you’re a lot more focused on the game as opposed to someone else’s job, so it helped a lot to have him here, and we’re really glad he’s back down.”

Despite having so much movement in the roster, the team seems to have gelled really well. “We’re all working together, we were all clicking today” Brassard said. “We got in a practice together with all the new guys. The coaches have been doing a really good job, and they get everyone informed before the game, and get everyone on the same page.”

The Grizzlies hope to bring the same mindset and execution to tonight’s rematch.

Goals

  • First Period: Williams (Lauzon, Wegwerth) (PP)
  • Second Period: None
  • Third Period: None
  • OT: Brassard (Jenkins)

PP: 1/5
PK: 4/4

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff

Utah Grizzlies: The Kelly Klima Show

The Grizzlies continued the second stage of their road trip in Rapid City on Friday night. Mason McDonald got the start, while Josh Anderson joined the team from Colorado. Colin Jacobs and Patrick McGrath both played in place of Tim McGauley and Yuri Terao, and Mason McDonald got the start.

This weekend, I’ll be returning to the far less formal “Top Six Minutes” style recap that made a few appearances last season, so be prepared.

First Period

  • Really good penalty kill for the Grizzlies after Travis Barron headed to the box for high-sticking.
  • Felix Lauzon heads to the box, but takes Kelly Kilma with him. REALLY excellent kill from Utah.
  • The Rush strike first on the breakaway. BOOO.
  • It’s a Grizzlies shooting gallery out there! Definitely the response you want to see after a goal against.
  • That was a fantastic scoring chance from the Captain.
  • Taylor Richart and Josh Dickinson both threw themselves in front of shots that shift. Looked painful, but neither of them missed so much as a shift.
  • There’s that lightning fast glove-hand of Mason McDonald’s there.
  • Ryan Wagner’s hands are marvelous.
  • Eric Williams draws a short-handed power play in the offensive zone!
  • Not a great power play.
  • Those were some really nice plays that didn’t lead to anything, sadly.

Second Period

  • Early power play for the Grizz there.
  • Oooh, Erik Källgren wasn’t 100% sure he had that shot from Richart.
  • Some speedy skating from Griffen Molino draws another power play!
  • What. A. Save. McDonald stones Montminy on a breakaway out of the box.
  • And a couple other big saves from them.
  • COLIN JACOBS TIES THE GAME. Nice move too. Wagner and Brandon Saigeon with the assists.

  • Power play again for the Grizzlies.
  • Oh, that SNIIIIIIIIIPE. Dickinson with his EIGHTH of the season on the advantage.
  • Never heard of a six minute penalty before. But McGrath is headed to the box for that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Two for slashing, four for high sticking, well that’s new, but makes sense.
  • And RC scores.
  • McGrath and Saulnier with a furious fight there with 3:44 to go.
  • Ohhhh that was almost a glorious Griffen goal.
  • Power play for the boys! So many power plays this game.
  • Oh man, it didn’t lead to a goal, but that whole Richart, Dickinson, Barron sequence was lovely.

Third Period

  • A Rush player ends up in the net, but not the puck.
  • What. A. SAVE.

  • Thaaat one not so much. Klima with the hat trick.
  • HOW did that Cassels shot not go in???
  • Nice stick from Barron there.
  • Another one from Klima. McDonald was wearing a couple of players on that one, unfortunately initiated by a Grizzlies player.
  • Molino’s kind of fast in case you somehow managed to miss that memo.
  • I’m not gonna argue very hard with something not being called against the Grizzlies, but how was that not a trip on Utah.
  • Josh Dickinson out there making scoring look absolutely effortless. 4-3 with just over two to go.

  • Late power play for Utah!!!
  • Six-on-four with an empty Grizzlies net.
  • No dice.
  • Utah falls 4-3, but it sure was an entertaining game.

After witnessing Josh Dickinson blaze his way through teams the past few games, the Grizzlies did get a bit of a taste of their own medicine. Klima scored all four of the Rush’s goals, and was named first star.

As was predicted ahead of time, power plays did indeed play a large part, both teams getting two. Rapid City does look to be a far better team than they have been in years past. As a result, although there were certainly some frustrating moments, and plenty of things to clean up, it was overall an entertaining game.

Utah looks to settle the score tomorrow night.

Goals

  • First Period: None
  • Second Period: Jacobs (Wagner, Saigeon) (PP), Dickinson (Richart, Cassels (PP)
  • Third Period: Dickinson (Wagner, Molino)

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff.

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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