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. “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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Utah Grizzlies @ Idaho Steelheads: Road Rage

It’s the final road game of the season, and the final of a disappointing—and quite lengthy—road trip. With Joe Cannata called up to Colorado, the Grizzlies signed Alex Leclerc to an ATO. Jake Marchment and Cole Ully both returned to the lineup, but they also lost Ryan Walters after the game in Allen. So, once again, they went with nine forwards and seven defensemen.

First Period

  • All I want is for no one else to get hurt.
  • You can tell these familiar rivals haven’t seen each other in a while. Things looking pretty cautious in the first five minutes.
  • Much better possession for Utah now, which leads to a power play!
  • Oh those Idahops!
  • Good movement, no shots.
  • That was an almost ugly and also very pretty move from Charlie Dodero out of the box. Carr met him easily though.
  • Liking how the guys are looking. Unfortunately, Tomas Sholl is also looking good.
  • Not a lot of shenanigans, just hockey so far.
  • 8-6 are the shots for Idaho after 20, no score.

Second Period

  • Austin Carroll gets mauled in the offensive zone, and draws a power play.
  • Good possession, not enough shots.
  • Joey Ratelle takes a stick to the face by accident, possibly even from Carroll, and now Taylor Richart is hobbling off. This is Not Good.
  • And now it’s Teigan Zahn who’s down.
  • Very nice save from Carr there.
  • Shots went from 8-6 to 15-8 for Idaho right around the same time everyone got hurt.
  • Richart’s back, thankfully.
  • I do not know how that did not go in, but I will not be complaining.
  • Idaho’s got the momentum though, and it’s concerning.
  • Carr gets tripped, and Utah gets their fourth power play. Really would be good to get one here…
  • Not entirely sure why Moroz doesn’t like the call…it was pretty obvious.
  • Josh Anderson playing forward for Ratelle.
  • Carr draws ANOTHER power play!
  • So please get something going on this one…
  • KEVIN DAVIS MAKES IT 1-0!! That’s what I’m talking about.
  • The physicality has skyrocketed. Please no one else get hurt…
  • Zahn and Ondrej Vala drop the gloves, Zahn gets two for boarding.
  • Uhhhg tight angle shot goes off Carr and in.
  • …Wtf??????????????? Carr gets thrown out of the game???? Because…. rEASONS????? What did he even DO!???? No one really protested though, for whatever that’s worth.
  • Alex Leclerc making his pro debut!
  • Apparently Carr shot the puck into the crowd???
  • 1-1 after 40, shots 21-17 for Idaho.

Third Period

  • Ratelle’s back!
  • Laclerc stops all three shots he’s seen so far!
  • A lot more energy in this period so far.
  • Idaho gets in on a three-on-two, but they pass just a bit too much, and Caleb Herbert swoops in and leads the rush back up the ice.
  • I’m not the best at judging icing races, but pretty sure that’s the second puck that Michael Economos has gotten to first that’s still resulted in an icing call.
  • A great save there from Leclerc!
  • Moose draws a power play.
  • Anderson appears to still be playing forward, even with Ratelle back.
  • 2-1 Idaho with seven to go. Do not like.
  • White gets a point blank chance, but Leclerc shuts him down.
  • EN goal for Idaho.
  • Boo.

 

 

Goals

  • First Period: None
  • Second Period: Davis (Lewis, Ully)
  • Third Period: None

UTA: 1/6 (19 PIM)
IDH: 1/2 (17 PIM)

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.


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Utah Grizzlies @ Tulsa Oilers: Shots Allowed

Going into their second of three games in as many days, the Grizzlies got some reinforcements in Tulsa in the form of Kevin Davis. Saturday’s game also kicked off the first of two very important games in terms of playoff standings, and a potential first round match-up as Tulsa entered the weekend four points ahead of the Grizzlies. Joe Cannata once again got the start, while Ryan Galt sat for Davis, Utah going with seven defensemen and nine forwards.

First Period

  • Tulsa’s start has been a little better than Utah’s in the first four minutes, but not by much.
  • Wingers seem to be staying consistent, though the centers appear to be rotating at the moment.
  • Please go play in the offensive zone for a while.
  • The Oilers are really skating so far.
  • Very nice shift from Utah about half-way through the first.
  • Really, pretty uneventful all around. Neither team has held onto possession for any extended time.
  • Cannata looks quite collected, so there is that.
  • This game is quite a bit different from Friday’s. No penalties, a lot of speed, not a lot of flow though, for all that.
  • Tulsa picking up on the shots again, but Cannata’s met every one so far.
  • Really nice little move from Caleb Herbert there. It wasn’t anything particularly impressive, but really, there isn’t much going on.
  • Herbert with Ty Lewis and Austin Carroll is quite a fun line.
  • Would really like some more shots though.
  • I think that scuffle started with Mike McKee shoving Herbert into the net, which no one in white appreciated. McKee and Turner Ottenbreit both cool their heels with matching minors.
  • Ah bah. Tulsa strikes first with 38 seconds to go.
  • 1-0 Oilers, shots 13-6 in their favor.

Second Period

  • Please get some more shots this period.
  • Immediately giving up two shots was not what I meant.
  • DOESN’T MATTER, TIE GAME RATELLE.

  • On the other hand, Tulsa immediately goes back to offensive zone possession, which isn’t great.
  • Wouldn’t exactly say that Cannata has had to stand on his head, but he’s had to be quite sharp, that’s for sure.
  • Tommy Mele and Michael Economos very much wanted to drop the gloves, but the refs wouldn’t let them go. Matching unsportsmanlike conducts for the pair.
  • Shots are 20-10 for Tulsa just over five into the second. Too many shots against, not enough for…
  • Mele and Economos get their fight after all, just a couple of minutes later than they originally intended!!!
  • Oof. Ty Lewis got leveled.
  • Things have heated up, and McKee is causing all sorts of issues.
  • Too. Many. Shots. Allowed.
  • Good thing Cannata is seeing the puck.
  • Tanner Nagel is not at all afraid to lay the boom!
  • BREAKAWAY SAVE BY CANNATA.
  • I think Zahn is playing forward with Economos in the box.
  • Cannata is the reason this game is still tied.
  • Six minutes left in the period, and Tulsa has 30 shots to Utah’s 11. That is not great.
  • McKee is gonna hurt someone before this is over.
  • That was a beautifully orchestrated rush from the guys, and it draws a power play!
  • If Utah does not score on this PP, it’s not through lack of effort. Four shots on it already.
  • Gage Ausmus with a really good one-on-one defensive play there, and Cannata makes the save.
  • Ok, so the bad news is Tulsa is out-shooting Utah 31-17. The good news is that they’re tied 1-1, which is what really matters.

Third Period

  • Grizz open the third with four great shots in the first minute or so.
  • Not like Devin Williams has looked anything other than cool as an irritating cucumber.
  • Unfortunately, they’re following that up with a stint in their own zone. No shots so far though.
  • Spoke too soon. Nice little glove save from Joe though.
  • Far too much zone time for Tulsa…
  • McKee and Ratelle get shown the door for Continuing Altercation. McKee has been agitating all night.
  • Too. Many. Shots.
  • At least the Grizzlies have climbed to a respectable amount as well.
  • Joe Cannata is in excellent form, which is why we’re still tied.
  • Cannata is 41/42 at the end of regulation, 1-1 headed into OT.

OT

  • Well, getting a point is good. Getting two would be better.
  • Davis, Lewis, Herbert? That’s fun. Carroll, Walters, and Richart? That is also fun.
  • Oh lord, Gabriel Verpaelst blows an edge AND CANNATA SAVES THE DAY NOT ONCE BUT TWICE.
  • Oh goody. The shootout.
  • Not.
  • (Have I mentioned I hate the shootout??)

Shootout

  • Herbert scores, but Tulsa takes it 2-1 in the coin-toss.

 

Joe Cannata was in true Joe Cannata form, stopping 46/47, nearly all of which he made look easy. His performance earned him a well deserved second star of the game. Ryan Walters’s seven shots led the team, while Ty Lewis followed close behind with six. The grueling final road trip of the regular season concludes on Sunday afternoon.

 

Goals

  • First Period: None
  • Second Period: Ratelle
  • Third Period: None

UTA: 0/3 (23 PIM)
TUL: 0/2 (25 PIM)

 

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography


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Utah Grizzlies @ Allen Americans: Bad Blood

In their final meeting of the season against the Allen Americans, the Grizzlies hoped to get the win to take the season series. Cole Ully remained out of the lineup, and with Duggie Lagrone released, Josh Anderson returned to action while Joe Cannata got the start.

First Period

  • Well, the bad blood boiled over right off the face-off! Joey Ratelle drops the gloves with Jacob Doty!
  • AAAAND now Verpaelst drops the gloves with Curt Gogol!
  • And two more penalties for Allen and Utah! There have been more penalties than shots so far.You get a penalty
  • The latest player to head to the box is Braylon Shmyr. Still scoreless with 9:30 to go.
  • Good possession on the PP, but no threat at all.
  • O CAPTAIN, OUR CAPTAIN! 1-0 Utah!!
  • There are now as many shots as penalties this period. (Utah holds the slim edge, outshooting Allen 4-3 with 3:30 to go.)
  • Another scuffle after a whistle, and another penalty for Allen!
  • 1-0 for Utah after 20, shots 6-4 in their favor!

Second Period

  • The period opens with 1:57 or so of power play time!
  • Allen’s PK looking better than Utah’s PP, but Ottenbreit has the only shot.
  • Allen has the zone, but the Utah shot-blockers are keeping them from reaching Cannata.
  • This power play would be a really, really good time to double up the lead…
  • Well, it didn’t, but they do now outshoot Allen 12-4.
  • AAAAAAAnd Allen scores. Like I said, getting a power play goal would have been kind of big…
  • Holy CANNATA. HOW did Joe save that???? Pochiro thought he scored, the fans thought he scored I thought he scored!!!
  • Ok, this would be another really good time to score that power play goal…
  • The most unfortunate thing about this whole situation is that Utah’s playing pretty well, getting all the power play opportunities, and outshooting Allen 13-5, and yet we’re tied 1-1. Because of course Allen scored on their only shot this period.
  • OTTENBREIT GETS HIS 11TH!! I think Turner heard me. Richart and Lewis get the assists on the go-ahead goal.

  • Penalty on Zahn.
  • DOESN’T MATTER. The speed of Jack Walker sets up Mitch Maxwell for a shorty!!!

  • Just like that, and Utah’s looking great.
  • Oh boy, Ryan Galt got hit and got up really slowly. The boys aren’t happy about it. Pochiro and Gogol both get ten minute misconducts, and Shmyr gets two for kneeing.
  • At the end of 40, Utah leads 3-1, shots 16-7 in their favor.

Third Period

  • Allen returns to full strength.
  • JK no they don’t. Or rather, they do but they then head straight back to the box on a cross-check on Walker.
  • Another big save by Cannata.
  • Welp, this is gonna be a very important kill.
  • Uhg. 3-2 on the advantage.
  • The Grizzlies creating chaos though!
  • …I do not know why Ty Lewis was awarded a penalty shot, BUT WHO CARES!!! HE SCORES HIS FIRST FOR UTAH!
  • Allen is very not happy about the situation.
  • And they get it back on the power play through traffic.
  • Another big kill coming up…the others haven’t gone so well, so this is concerning.
  • Excellent kill.
  • The amount of time left on the clock with a one goal lead is nerve inducing.
  • Empty net for Allen with a minute to go…
  • Allen calls their time out. It’s moments like this when I especially miss Jake Marchment…
  • It’s a really good thing I don’t bite my nails, because moments like these would cause me to completely ruin them…
  • Fun fact, Gogol spent nearly a whole period in the penalty box this game.
  • EMPTY NET GOAL FOR LEWIS!!!
  • Grizz win 5-3 thanks to power play, penalty kill, penalty shot, even strength, and empty net goals!!

 

Goals

  • First Period: Zahn (Maxwell, Ausmus)
  • Second Period: Ottenbreit (Richart, Lewis) (PP), Maxwell (Walker, Anderson) (SH)
  • Third Period: Lewis (PS), Lewis (Walters) (EN)

 

 

 

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Utah Grizzlies @ Wichita Thunder: Under the Weather

With Gabriel Verpaelst and Nolan de Jong facing off against their former teams for the first time, the Grizzlies also dressed a couple of new additions. Forward Ty Lewis made his first appearance after being sent down from Colorado, and defenseman Duggie Lagrone made his pro debut as well. Joe Cannata got the start, while Cole Ully and Josh Anderson all sat out to make room for the new guys.

First Period

  • TURNER OTTENBREIT SCORES EIGHTEEN SECONDS IN!

  • Cannata makes a number of really good saves as Wichita’s got all the shots since the goal.
  • DOESN’T MATTER THOUGH, AS CARROLL MAKES IT 2-0. Lewis and Ryan Walters picked up the assists. That line is doing pretttty good!
  • Walters with a really nice play short-handed.
  • Rebound goal on the power play for Wichita.
  • Aaaaaand Cannata gives up another on a rebound, so we’re tied.
  • That’s not ideal. The Grizz came out so hot, and then this.
  • End of the first, we’re tied up 2-2, shots 16-10 for Wichita.

Second Period

  • Thunder come out with a lot of pep to their step…
  • Well, that was bad. Richart was the only one back, and Wichita had numbers.
  • Far too many shots being allowed, and turnovers. Too much space being allowed too.
  • Shots are 21-10 just five into the second. That’s not good.
  • Jack Walker had a nice chance there, but also took a penalty. However, the kill was excellent this time, allowing zero shots.
  • Walker showing off those wheels.
  • Well, this shift was much better from Caleb Herbert and company.
  • Utah allowing a lot of zone time, but haven’t allowed a shot since before the penalty kill.
  • Nice shot from Richart led to a fight for the puck in front of the net, but Stuart Skinner snags it.
  • The back half of this period definitely was better than the front half.
  • Spoke too soon. De Jong makes it 4-2 with two to go. because of course.
  • Utah looking really inconsistent. They have moments where they collect themselves, and then things go wrong again.
  • Grizz end the second trailing 4-2, and out-shot 26-16.

Third Period

  • Just need to get one…then the other one is, well not easy, but much easier. I’d settle for some consistent puck possession, however.
  • A lot of rebounds tonight, but Cannata had a couple of big saves there.
  • When I said consistent puck possession, I didn’t mean by Wichita…
  • Another series of big saves from Cannata.
  • Carroll sprints in and draws a power play. This is a big one.
  • Orrr not. Not a very inspiring advantage so far.
  • Cannata with another big save two-on-one on the advantage. He’s giving the Grizzlies the chance to get back into it, but they’re gonna have to spend some more time in the offensive zone to help him out.
  • That’s not helping. Good kill though!
  • Ooof. That was almost disastrous. Good move from Gage Ausmus, and good support from Gabriel Verpaelst.
  • Utah definitely running out of time here, especially since they can’t seem to hold on to the puck for any length of time.
  • On the other hand, we’ve seen them score multiple goals in a very short amount of time.
  • Aaaaand an empty netter for Wichita.

 

The Grizzlies now head back to Allen for a game on Friday before two games in Tulsa.

 

Goals

  • First Period: Ottenbreit (Lewis, Richart), Carroll (Walters, Lewis)
  • Second Period: None
  • Third Period: None

UTA: 0/2 (14 PIM)
WIC: 1/4 (10 PIM)

 

 

Photo courtesy of Josh Pinnau.


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