Utah Grizzlies @ Idaho Steelheads: Magnificent 7

The second season is here, the reset button has been hit, and the roster has seen some changes. Travis Barron returned from the AHL, Mitch Maxwell was placed on injured reserve, and Turner Ottenbreit and Grayson Downing are back in the lineup. The Grizzlies are electing to ice seven defensemen, and a truly lethal group of nine forwards. With Joe Cannata on the Avalanche roster, Alex Leclerc is backing up Kevin Carr for Game 1 of the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs.

The stage is set.

First Period

  • Travis Barron, Jake Marchment, and Austin Carroll on one line? Goodness. That is pretty ridiculous. It’s even more ridiculous when you consider that it’s followed up by Caleb Herbert, Grayson Downing, and Jack Walker, and completed with Josh Dickinson, Ty Lewis, and Mike Economos. And that’s while missing Cole Ully AND Joey Ratelle. The Grizzlies are STACKED up front!!
  • The amount of defensive zone time to open the period is definitely not good.
  • Idaho ices the puck twice, and momentum shifts a bit.
  • MARCHY OPENS THE SCORING. Jake’s goal came on a tip in of Kevin Davis’ shot, Carroll gets the other assist.
  • Ew. Idaho ties it up.
  • Steven McParland decides to sock Turner Ottenbreit for no reason after the whistle, and that leads to some rough stuff in front of the Utah net.
  • Ahh playoff hockey. Zero penalties called unless someone dies.
  • Things pretty even as the period passes the 15 minute mark.
  • Dickinson with a really nice move to cut to the slot and put the Grizzlies up 2-1 through traffic!
  • Downing and Herbert dig the puck out from the wall behind the Idaho net, and Walker buries the Grizzlies’ third goal of the period!
  • 11-11 are the shots after 20, but Utah leads 3-1!

Second Period

  • The 28s with a puck battle to start the period, because having Marchment and Will Merchant on the ice at the same time isn’t at all confusing.
  • Oooh Walker did not miss the net by much.
  • Downing gets taken down, and that’s the first power play of the game! Quite a crowd gathers on that play.
  • HERBERT SCORES ON THE POWER PLAY. Tomas Sholl wasn’t able to cover up the puck, and it bounced around the front of the net right to Herbert’s stick!
  • Multiple point nights for Lewis and Dickinson already.
  • Oof Idaho very nearly scored there! Really heads up play there from Downing and a save from Carr.
  • Power play Idaho…
  • …and killed with no problem.
  • Dickinson gets hit, and Josh Anderson and Nolan Gluchowski drop the gloves over it.
  • Oh wow, that was a nice one for Dickinson’s second of the game. He kind of just slung it past Sholl, who is having an uncharacteristically rough night.
  • Good defensive coverage there from the guys.
  • Haven’t really needed to mention him much, but Carr’s had a good night.
  • Lewis just needs a goal to go with the oodles of assists he’s got tonight!
  • Another scuffle at the end of the second!
  • Grizzlies lead 5-1 after 40, shots 23-20 for Idaho.

Third Period

  • Ok boys, get Josh Dickinson that hat trick.
  • Lewis trying to take the puck away from Keegan Kanzig was hilarious, as Kanzig is HUGE, and Lewis is, well, not.
  • Idaho with a fair bit of offensive zone time to start the third, but only one shot to show for it so far.
  • Merchant and Marchment continue to have shifts against each other.
  • Please go play in the offensive zone. You’re making me nervous.
  • Nice move from Carr there to make the save, then bat the puck away behind the net. He’s really good at that.
  • CARROLL GETS IN ON THE FUN!
  • AND BARRON FOLLOWS RIGHT AFTER!!

 

  • Some pushing and shoving after the net gets dislodged behind Carr, and while that’s going on, Ryan Faragher is in for Sholl on the other end.
  • Gabriel Verpaelst refuses to go, pulling the move that has been pulled on Utah a couple of times this season. It leads to a lengthy scrum though.
  • Anderson gets two for roughing, Barron gets two for roughing and a misconduct, Kanzig gets a double minor for roughing and a misconduct, Kale Kessy gets five for fighting and a game misconduct for being the aggressor, and Elgin Pearce gets two for roughing and a misconduct. The final result is that Utah gets a five-on-three for two minutes, and then three minutes of five-on-four!
  • Lewis with a nice chance to get his first, and then Downing.
  • Grizzlies win 7-1!!!!

Dickinson (2G, 1A including the GWG and the team leading five shots), Lewis (3 A, four shots), and Richart (2A) were named the three stars of the game, though Carroll (1G, 1A, four shots) and Herbert (1G, 1A) could also easily have been named stars. Every single forward picked up at least one point, and though he was a bit overshadowed by the offensive outpouring, Carr was a strong 35/36.

The Grizzlies will look to continue their strong start in Game 2, also in Idaho on Saturday.

Goals

  • First Period: Marchment (Davis, Carroll), Dickinson (Lewis, Richart), Walker (Herbert)
  • Second Period: Herbert (Dickinson, Lewis), Dickinson (Lewis, Economos)
  • Third Period: Carroll (Downing), Barron (Richart)

UTA: 1/3 (21 PIM)
IDH: 0/1 (48 PIM)

 

 

Photo courtesy of Rob Church.


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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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Utah Grizzlies @ Allen Americans: Weekend Split

With their playoff spot assured, the Grizzlies looked to keep the wins coming against the Americans. The roster remained the same, though some of the wingers switched spots, and Kevin Carr once again got the start.

First Period

  • Good pace from the Grizzlies to start the game.
  • So of course Allen strikes first through a heavily screened Carr.
  • Ryan Walters with a point blank shot on C.J. Motte, rather like the play Jack Walker made to Michael Economos last game. No dice though.
  • Great pace from both teams throughout the first so far.
  • They’ve picked up right where they left off last night, two crowds by the time the game has hit the eight minute mark.
  • Turner Ottenbreit draws the first power play of the night.
  • Aaaaaand it’s negated.
  • Uhg. Breakaway goal for Braylon Shmyr four-on-four.
  • Carroll rings iron.
  • Jacob Doty and Teigan Zahn drop the gloves!
  • Walters has had a couple of really good looks, but Motte appears to have his number at the moment.
  • Utah coughs up the puck in their own zone, and Shmyr scores again.
  • Carroll causes chaos!
  • Ully gets shoved into the goalie, and yet gets a penalty for it. Go figure.
  • ….And Ausmus gets a ten minute misconduct.
  • That was not the first period anyone wanted…At least, not goal wise.

Second Period

  • Ok. Put that period behind us, there’s plenty of time…right???
  • Herbert gets a look in alone, but is stopped by Motte. Ully gets a good one as well.
  • Oooh Carr was NOT happy after that. Took a whack at Miller, and then that drew a crowd. Carr and Miller both get penalties.
  • Walters has had some really good games lately, and he’s already up to four shots.
  • HE SCORES.
  • Aaaaaaaand Allen comes right back with a goal.
  • And Carr takes a whack at Miller. Both get penalties.
  • Dalton Thrower to the box.
  • Another scrum breaks out after a whistle at Allen’s net. Austin Carroll and Gary Steffes head to the box for roughing. Moose is loose.
  • Zahn had a couple of strong moves there. And then he takes a penalty.
  • Allen cuts away from the game at the worst possible moments.
  • Anyone else think those horns in Allen’s noise-o-meter piece look like Solo cups??
  • Walker always making things interesting with his speed.
  • Verpaelst takes a penalty with 40 seconds left, and Allen scores.
  • Ew.

Third Period

  • Nagel to the box, not how we wanted this period to start…
  • Lots of penalties…
  • All of the penalties…
  • Come on…anyone in white…just get a goal…
  • This power play would be a great time to get a goal with ten to go…
  • Well, they certainly made an effort there!
  • Ully gets hit and that draws a crowd and a power play. Five-on-three here, and this is BIG.
  • HERBERT!!!! Caleb gets his 31st following some sweet, sweet passing from Ully and Walker.
  • CARROLL ON THE SECOND HALF OF THE POWER PLAY!!
  • Way to deliver on that five-on-three, then five-on-four!!
  • Empty net for Utah.
  • Empty net goal for Salituro.
  • Ew.
  • Well, the good news is the power play was quite effective, and the goals came from Walters, Carroll, and Herbert.
  • The bad news is…well,Β points to the score.
  • Grizzlies fall 6-3.

Herbert became the first Utah player since Ryan Kinasewich to surpass 30 goals (he’s got a long way to go to catch him though), while the Utah power play remained hot.

The road trip continues in Wichita on on Wednesday.

Goals

  • First Period: None
  • Second Period: Walters (Ottenbreit, Richart) (PP)
  • Third Period: Herbert (Walker, Ully) (PP), Carroll (Herbert, Walker) (PP)

UTA: 3/7 (35 PIM)
ALN: 1/7 (25 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. Β―\_(ツ)_/Β―
  • …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. πŸ™„)
  • 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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Grizzlies @Kansas City: Taming the Mavericks

After getting a bit of a break after playing four games in six days, the Grizzlies headed out on the road to face C.J. Eick and the Kansas City Mavericks. Josh Dickinson and Kevin Davis returned to the lineup, as did Ryan Walters, while Kevin Carr got the start after Joe Cannata was recalled to the Eagles. These additions meant that Mike Economos and Joey Raats both sat, and Carr was backed up by Christian Frey.

First Period

  • Dickinson jumps right in and makes his presence felt!!! 1-0 Utah, barely two minutes in!
  • It’s been a good start overall so far. Shots are 6-2 with less than six gone.
  • Carr looking calm, cool, and collected as per.
  • Good puck possession too.
  • WALKER WITH THE WHEELS! Oh, and nice pass from Dickinson too!
  • Herbert is looking good, and it’s sure nice to have Davis back!
  • Pretty sure it’s clear how everyone should feel about having Dickinson back.
  • It’s been a very quick, clean first period so far. Not a lot of whistles.
  • Big save by Carr there on the three-on-one.
  • First power play of the night goes to us!
  • That was a very good first period. Shots 12-9 for the Grizzlies.

Second Period

  • The speed of C.J. Eick puts the Mavericks offside.
  • HERBERT! Caleb scores his third goal in two games, and we’re up 3-0 3:31 into the second!
  • A little bit of zone time for the Mavs, but it’s not leading to much for them.
  • Freschi almost had one there against his former team.
  • There are sticks and gloves all over the Grizzlies’ zone, and Carr makes some big saves.
  • Mavericks are definitely pushing back. They have four shots to Utah’s two since Herbert’s goal.
  • Oooh McGauley did not miss by much there.
  • De Jong goes down hard, but despite the crowd that gathers, no penalties.
  • And then Marchment draws a power play! Four shots for the Grizzlies, but no goals on the advantage yet tonight.
  • Another Utah power play! Why do I have the horrible feeling that all these power plays going our way are going to come back to haunt us at some point in the very near future…
  • FRESCHI ON THE POWER PLAY! Gotta love that he scored his first goal with Utah against his former team.
  • Carr with a very big save at the end of the period.
  • It’s been a really good 40 minutes. Here’s to an even better final 20.

Third Period

  • Tyson acknowledging those of us who getΒ really cagy if you mention the thing that goalies can get before the game is over…which might be just as bad as saying the word…
  • CARROLL!!! Ooh it was a pretty one too. Marchment gets his second assist.
  • No babies in the refrigerator this time. 🀣
  • If they play all the rest of this game in the other end, they can’t ruin Carr’s…accomplishment-that-must-not-be-named, right?
  • There is a LOT of time left in this game…
  • Tempers fraying just a little bit. Not much though. It’s been a surprisingly penalty free game.
  • And the Mavs are spending more time in our zone… (Not that they’re doing much with it at the moment, but still.)
  • Of COURSE it’s Eick who ruins Carr’s shutout. Of course it is.
  • I’m definitely blaming this on Tyson, and not the defensemen who were nowhere to be seen.
  • This is what I call the Harry Potter scenario. Eick scores, but the Grizzlies win.
  • Walters takes the first penalty of the night for Utah with 4:21 to go.
  • Grizzlies definitely in turtle mode. Shots are 10-3 for KC on the period.
  • Doesn’t matter though!!
  • GRIZZLIES WIN 5-1!!Β 
  • Definitely a stylish beginning to the road trip.

Kevin Carr went 25/26 and was named first star of the game, while Josh Dickinson (1G, 1A) and Jack Walker (1G, 1A) were also outstanding, and Austin Carroll picked up his fourth point in two games, also collecting a goal and an assist. Marchment picked up two assists, and Caleb Herbert now has six points in the last four games, and scored his 22nd goal in 30 games.

The Grizzlies will look to continue this success in tonight’s rematch against the Mavericks.

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard, Jess Fleming and staff.