Grizzlies vs Mariners: Righting the Ship

With Ryan Walters suspended for one game, and Gabriel Verpaelst not yet in town, the Grizzlies found themselves with only thirteen players once again. Joe Cannata got the start on Marvel night, as the Grizzlies took on Maine on Marvel Night, dressed as Captain America and Iron Man respectively.

First Period

  • Grizzlies are pressuring hard early, and the jerseys look really, really good.
  • The Ully special, stick handling with zero room.
  • I do not know how the Grizzlies kept the puck out of the net on that shift.
  • Five-on-three number one of the night…
  • Good kill boys, good kill!
  • Aaaaand back to the box we go.
  • Taylor, don’t you dare be hurt…
  • WILL SMITH FROM TAYLOR RICHART AND MITCH MAXWELL!!
  • Cannata is looking very sharp tonight.
  • Shots are 15-9 after one for Maine, but the Grizz still lead 1-0.

Second Period

  • Uhg tie game.
  • Cannata was playing so well, and suddenly two quick goals for Maine.
  • Good push-back though.
  • The things that Cole Ully can do with zero space are remarkable. And I know I remark on them every time, but it’s worth it.
  • Joey Raats did not miss by much on that one!
  • That was a very strong shift.
  • There’s still a LOT of hockey to play, but the Grizzlies really don’t look like a team playing horrifically short-handed.
  • HERBERT TIES IT UP AGAIN ON THE POWER PLAY. What a move through traffic to get the shot for his 29th!!

  • Teigan Zahn boards Josh Couturier and gets five and a game. Just what this short-handed team needed.
  • Richart draws two power plays in a row!
  • Fox to the box.
  • CANNATA STONES A GUY ON A ONE-ON-NONE SHORT-HANDED BREAKAWAY.
  • 2-2 after 40, shots 23-22 for Maine.

Third Period

  • Third period begins on a brief power play.
  • Good energy in the third.
  • Ack. Wraparound goal for Maine
  • ULLY TIES IT UP ON THE POWER PLAY.
  • Both teams are buzzing.
  • oH. MY. GOD. JOE. Two huge saves two-on-none, and then another for good measure!!
  • Turner Ottenbreit rings iron, and Michael Economos draws a power play!
  • Gage Ausmus with a bomb, but it’s wide.
  • LOTS of offensive zone time for the Grizzlies this period.
  • Oh man. ten seconds left, offensive zone draw for Utah. Can they do it?
  • Nope.

OT

  • JOSH DICKINSON WINS IT IN OT.
  • Oh and it was super pretty too.

Ully and Herbert once again were named first and second star with a goal and an assist, while Josh Dickinson’s OT heroics earned him third star of the game. Taylor Richart put up three primary assists, and was named the defenseman of the game, while Cannata saved 32/35. Utah was a perfect 0/6 on the penalty kill in the game, and closed out the series against the Mariners without allowing a single power play goal. Herbert led the team with six shots, while Ottenbreit, Ully, and Economos were close behind with five each.

“We played four guys short for the majority of the game.” Tim Branham said after the game. “There’s a lot of character in that room, a lot of heart and soul.”

“Can’t say enough about the job these guys have done in that locker room.” He added later, “Sticking together, I don’t know how many penalties we killed again tonight, it’s pretty remarkable what they’ve done. Joe was outstanding in net, did a great job, made some huge saves, gave us a chance to win. Our power play is excellent again, special teams have really led the way for us this season, despite who we’ve had in the lineup. Really proud of this group.”

As well as the Grizzlies have played short-handed, it’s not a situation that anyone relishes. Fortunately, it sounds like reinforcements are on their way.

“Finally next week now we’re gonna start to get some bodies back. We’ll add Verpaelst, we’ll get Marchment, we’ll get Downing. Then the following week we’ll be able to add Carroll, we’ll be able to add Ratelle.”

Cannata had a pretty good game on Friday, but was even better on Saturday, and received a fair bit of praise as a result.

“I think Joe’s played some good hockey,” said Branham, “He’s made some big saves for us. Today was no different. There was a stretch there in the third, he made three saves right in a row at the end there. He’s been there before, he knows how to get the job done. Being able to add a guy like Verpaelst, who’s been there before, knows how to get the job done, Zahn, you can’t say enough about experience and guys who have been through the grind. I think Joe has done a remarkable job, a great job this season.”

Josh Dickinson’s thoughts on Cannata’s contribution to the win were similar.

“When we’re down in a game and you’ve got a goalie who’s playing like that, it’s so inspiring. Every game it comes from the back end out, and when your goalie’s making cross-crease saves back-to-back-to-back, you just want to win it for him too. It’s so nice to have him back there, and Carrsy’s great too, so we always wanna win it for our goalies as well.”

As mentioned, the Grizzlies were quite short handed to begin with, and then lost Zahn half-way through the second period. However, the remaining four defensemen buckled down and made it work.

“Our young guys have played some big minutes.” Branham said. “You look at Anderson, you look at Ottenbreit coming in from major junior, it’s a big step, and they’ve played big minutes and done an unbelievable job. They played big minutes, but also a lot of hockey, and it’s great experience for them. Then you’ve got guys like Ausmus and Richart. One thing’s for sure, when the going gets tough with this group, they respond. I know we were on a little bit of a skid there, but it’s a lot of adversity, and hopefully now there’s light there at the end of the tunnel with Ully back and Marchment and Downing and Verpaelst. We gotta get on a roll now.”

When asked about his OT game winner, Dickinson was pretty matter of fact.

“Yeah, I just had the time going down the wall, and I think it was a forward covering me on defense, so I saw he kind of lunged for the puck a little bit, so I just brought the puck to my backhand, and hoped for the best and shot it!”

Branham was a bit more effusive in his praise when asked about Dickinson’s play, both tonight and this series in general. “This weekend was phenomenal for Dickinson. He’s playing with an edge, his skills, you can see his skills out there, the skill level that he has, scoring goals, great attitude, he played a lot of hockey, he played every other shift tonight, him and Herbert, so good for them, and hopefully he can just keep that going”

Both Dickinson and Branham emphasized the need to keep the momentum going as they get more bodies back in the lineup and head out on the road, where they hope to keep the wins coming against Rapid City.

Goals

  • First: Smith (Richart, Maxwell)
  • Second: Herbert (Richart, Ully (PP)
  • Third: Ully (Richart, Herbert) (PP)
  • OT: Dickinson (Ottenbreit)

UTA: 2/7 (25 PIM)
MNE: 0/6 (16 PIM)

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.


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Grizzlies vs Mariners: Finding Their Bearings

With Jake Marchment and Grayson Downing still out, the Grizzlies remained short-handed for game two against the Maine Mariners, while Joe Cannata once again got the start.

First Period

  • Couple of pretty good shifts to start us off tonight. Teigan  Zahn appears to be back on defense, and Will Smith has already had his first shift of the game after playing little/no time on Wednesday.
  • Zahn takes the first penalty of the game, but it’s killed off, and now we’re on the advantage. Unfortunately, Maine’s PK is looking as effective as the Grizzlies’.
  • Turner Ottenbreit and Taylor Richart (I think?) both just had amazing plays to keep the puck onside and in play.
  • Eric Freschi had absolutely NO space to make that play, and yet he still found a way to go backhand, forehand, clear. Nice.
  • Going pretty back and fort as the period progresses to the final five.
  • Now Josh Anderson is headed off to the box with 3:39 to go.
  • Zahn to the box for crosschecking with 28 seconds to go in Anderson’s penalty and 2:06 to go in the period.
  • Gage Ausmus with a great move to kill time carrying the puck up the ice, then racing back to get back and cut off a passing lane. It led to an Ottenbreit clear.
  • THAT’S THE CANNATA WE REMEMBER. The puck slips past Joe, but he leaps backwards and freezes it! There’s absolute chaos around the net now.
  • 0-0 after 20, shots 15-13 for Utah.

Second Period

  • The period begins with 1:02 of power play time.
  • Oh. Oh no. It almost seemed like Zahn was so worried about screening Cannata that he didn’t do anything on that one-on-one…
  • Well, Ully says trailing is dumb and scores on the very next shift!!
  • Fox is the beneficiary a heart-breaking deflection and it’s 2-1. Boo.
  • Walters goes FLYING into the offensive zone…and then flying into the goalie. You can imagine how well that went over. Which is to say badly.
  • Walters gets two and is pitched from the game. A HUGE penalty kill coming up here…
  • Josh Dickinson with a gorgeous takeaway, but his stick breaks on the shot.
  • Caleb Herbert and Michael McNicholas get matching slashing calls, so now we’re four-on-three for two minutes.
  • Well, they pretty much killed it off, but not all the way. 3-1 Maine.
  • Now Utah’s got a 49 second five-on-three.
  • Nolan De Jong rings iron as one of Maine’s players exits the box.
  • Richart with a couple of cannons, but De Jong’s remains the best look on the advantage.
  • Oh geez. Not Economos.
  • Soooo Zahn gets two at the buzzer.
  •  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Third Period

  • They’re playing better than last night, but this is starting to look awfully familiar…
  • Herbert and Ully go flying in shorthanded, but Herbert takes a penalty to get there.
  • POWER PLAY GOAL CALEB HERBERT. (Are you surprised that Ully got the assist?)
  • Oh geez. A one-on-none, that’s gonna end badly. WAIT IT DIDN’T!
  • Depending on whether or not you consider Herbert getting two penalties on the play going badly or not…
  • Dickinson beats out a puck into the offensive zone, and draws a penalty! The remainder of Herbert’s penalty is now a four-on-four situation.
  • Economos with a big shot at the end there.
  • Richart gets held up in the offensive zone with no call, and when he complains, he’s sent to the box.
  • OH SWEET REVENGE. Josh Dickinson with a flawless short-handed goal to tie it up.

  • Someone wearing four (Herbert? Economos? Ottenbereit?) had a crazy scoring chance that no one can believe didn’t go in.
  • So of course Anderson gets a penalty, and Richy blocks a shot that looks like it hurt.
  • He’s back to play on the power play though, so he’s at least mostly ok.
  • Dickinson scoring short-handed goals, blocking shots, and just generally doing it all.
  • Might just be my imagination, but it feels like Ausmus has played a lot more as the game has progressed.
  • TO OT WE GO.

OT

  • Good stick from Ottenbreit.
  • Another good stick from Ottenbreit.
  • Herbert and Ully have had a couple of glorious near misses.
  • Oh Josh. That hurts. Dickinson, that is, not Anderson. I realize I probably shouldn’t just say Josh and expect people to know which one I mean…
  • Big save from Cannata.

SO

  • Have I mentioned how much I hate shoot outs? (I mean, as skills competitions, they’re great. As the means to win a hockey game…)
  • Maine wins it with the only goal in the shoot out. Of course it was Fox.

Ully and Herbert earned first and second stars of the game with their goal and assist performances, and Dillan Fox, who scored two of Maine’s goals, plus the SO winner (and probably should have been named first star) was third. Ottenbreit, Ully, and Dickinson all had three shots. Joe Cannata saved 35/38, and despite being scored on (just once), was excellent in the shoot out.

“It’s huge.” Tim Branham said about having Ully and Herbert back together. “Those guys are world class players at this level, so as much as I can play them, I’m gonna play them. I think they’re doing a great job leading the way.”

Despite the loss, this was an encouraging game after the last couple. Yes they went down three goals in the second again, but this time they were able to battle back in spite of twelve penalties. And speaking of penalties, they went a perfect 12 for 12 on the penalty kill, killing off a seven minute penalty to Walters (and a five-on-three during that time when Zahn took a call), and of course, scoring short-handed on the penalty to Richart later in the game. All this, despite still being down the equivalent of two lines and the tenth skater of some of their best forwards. Even better than that, Ully and Herbert appear to be working their magic again, which could, if guys like Dickinson and Freschi play like they have been, be enough to tide the Grizzlies over until they get guys like Jake Marchment and Grayson Downing back in the lineup.

Summing up the game, Branham said, “Really proud of the boys’ effort, of battling back, a we had 12 penalty kills against, I’ve never seen that before in my life, what can you say. It is what it is. I thought we had a great job on the penalty kill, great job of fighting back, earning a point in the standings with an extremely short lineup once again, we’re just trying to tread water here until we get some guys back and really proud of the way we battled.”

It’s just a theory on my part, but I also think having Zahn back on defense full time helped stabilise the back end as well — or perhaps everyone just played harder and Zahn’s return to the blue line was coincidental to that. But either way, the defense had a better night than they did on Wednesday.

The final piece of good news is that despite the continued losses, Utah has two games in hand on Idaho, and one on Tulsa who are only three points and one point ahead in the standings respectively, while though Kansas City has two games in hand on the Grizzlies, they trail by nine points.

After losing in regulation and losing in the shoot out, the Grizzlies look to get back in the win column tonight against Maine with a little extra help from Captain America.

 

Goals

  • First: None
  • Second: Ully (Freschi, Herbert)
  • Third: Herbert (Ully, Freschi) (PP), Dickinson (SH)

UTA: 1/7 (36 PIM)
MNE: 0/12 (20 PIM)

Photo courtesy of Josh Pinnau.

 


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Utah Grizzlies @ Allen Americans: A Weird One

Allen may be the worst team in the division, but that’s not to say they aren’t a pretty dangerous team–as they showed last night in what was perhaps one of the oddest games of the season so far.

First Period

  • Well, that was quick. Joseph Mizzi to the box.
  • And Mizzi out of the box. Good kill.
  • Well. That wasn’t ideal. Jake Marchment is usually quite good defensively. That was not one of his finer moments.
  • …What was THAT?? What was pretty much anyone on defense even doing!!??
  • Allen’s shots are apparently 16-1. Not sure I believe this…on the other hand, it can’t be off by much.
  • Now Mike Economos to the box.
  • Again…where was the defense…
  • OK, so the shots are definitely bad. Very bad. But they’re not quite 19-2 bad.
  • Ok…so, the good news is that they haven’t given up a power play goal…the bad news is..uh, shots are 19-3 for Allen, who leads 3-0.

Second Period

  • What we need this period: shots (of both the liquid and on-net variety).
  • YOOOOO CALEB HERBERT 11 SECONDS IN.
  • AHHHHHH TURNER OTTENBREIT 30 SECONDS IN.
  • So uh. Yeah. That just happened!
  • Four minute power play for the boys!
  • TIE. GAME.
  • You might say the second period was a….Fresch(i) start…
  • Sorry, not sorry.
  • Both goalies making big saves as the period heads into the final five.
  • WHAT A DIVING POKE SAVE FROM JOSH ANDERSON.
  • Unfortunately, Ottenbreit takes a penalty behind the play.
  • Oh god. Marchment won the face-off so well that it deflected off Nolan De Jong’s stick and into the net!??? The goal is credited to Riley Bourbonnais, who lost the face-off to Marchment.
  • That might be the single weirdest goal I have ever had the misfortune of seeing.
  • OH. Oh no. 5-3 Allen. Good lord.
  • Seriously, what even is this game????

Third Period

  • Ok, all I ask is that the own goal NOT be the game winner, because right now, it is.
  • Freschi to the box, Marchment does not win that face-off.
  • Sigh.
  • So, the way this game is going, this means that Utah is now gonna score three in a row, right?
  • Thank you Eric for making sure that the own goal isn’t the game winner. Freschi gets his second of the game on the power play! He’s having some kind of night!
  • So, the way this game is going, this means that Utah is now gonna score three in a row, right?
  • Joe Cannata with a big save on the breakaway there.
  • Josh Dickinson makes it 6-5!!!
  • There are a LOT of guys with multi-point games tonight!
  • Well. If nothing else, this was an entertaining game. Frustrating, but definitely entertaining.
  • At least 6-5 is far more respectable than 6-3.
  • Bahahahahah you can’t do that. Unfortunately, the Grizzlies had seven skaters on the ice.
  • Uhg. Empty netter for Allen.
  • Grizzlies lose 7-5.

Goals

  • First: None
  • Second: Herbert (Freschi, Walters), Ottenbreit (Walters, Zahn), Freschi (Richart, Dickinson) (PP)
  • Third: Freschi (Marchment, Herbert) (PP), Dickinson (Marchment, Economos)

Cannata made 33/39 saves, while Freschi’s assist and two goals earned him third star behind Riley Bourbonnais (2G, 1A) and Adam Miller (1G, 2A).

This was, perhaps, the weirdest game this season!

Fortunately, the Grizzlies get two more cracks at the Americans tonight and Sunday.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.


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Utah Grizzlies vs Kansas City: Frustration Continued

Caleb Herbert and Nolan De Jong both returned to the lineup on Monday afternoon, De Jong taking over Josh Anderson’s spot, while the Grizzlies were finally able to dress 16 skaters. Kevin Carr got the start as Utah looked to take two of three on the weekend series.

First Period

  • Early power play for Utah, who’s been playing pretty well in the early going.
  • Ryan Walters just misses the open corner of the net.
  • The Grizzlies looking much more like the Grizzlies we’ve come to expect. Good hustle, some offensive flair, good defense, etc.
  • Somehow, Walters gets two for roughing, but there’s nothing for goalie interference????? Oh. He put the guy into Carr in the first place. Well then.
  • 1-0 Mavs on the advantage. I’ve heard this before somewhere…
  • That was a really pretty little move from De Jong to get the shot off without having to re-set.
  • Well. De Jong came to play. Clutches chest.
  • Economos boarded, Utah to the power play.
  • This power play is not great.
  • Aaaand KC makes it 2-0 on a scramble in front of the net.
  • Raats gets hit, and Ausmus isn’t amused.
  • Oh no, Moose. Why.
  • Carr with a huge save on the PK.
  • The Grizzlies are playing with pace, but not to great effect overall this period. Good kill though.

Second Period

  • KC power play over. Mumbles something indistinct about the Moose being loose.
  • Grizzlies with a couple of good shifts here, but Mason McDonald is still proving to be something of a problem.
  • Alright, really need to get something going on this power play…
  • Back in the lineup, back on the board. Boy having Caleb Herbert back is nice!
  • The Grizzlies always play better after they score a goal. Doesn’t matter if it’s in the first period or the third, they skate faster, and pass better, save better, etc.
  • Wowwwww Caleb Herbert is so much fun to watch. that was so nearly glorious.
  • Oh geez. Mavs get in two-on-none, and there’s not a whole lot Carr can do about that one.
  • And the Grizzlies were starting to play so much better too.
  • sigh
  • On the other hand, at least we’re not getting shut out.
  • Eick hauls down Zahn of all people, and we’re back to a big power play.
  • And no sooner is KC back at full strength then they go right back to the box for a practically identical move.
  • DE JONG WITH THE BLAST, AND WE’RE BACK WITHIN ONE!!!
  • That’s more like it.
  • 3-2 after 40, shots 23-23!

Third Period

  • Much better start here. No official shots, but a better attack, and a very good job tying up sticks in the neutral/defensive zones.
  • Have I mentioned recently how much I appreciate Kevin Carr? Cause now might be a really good time to reiterate that.
  • De Jong is having a really good first game back, and I’m not just saying that cause he was my pick to click.
  • Dickinson and Raats both get tripping calls on the same play somehow.
  • Carr makes the save, and the Mavs player is holding his head in absolute disbelief.
  • Well, that’s infuriating.
  • The fans are not entertained.
  • Zahn gets thrown out of the game for being unhappy with the reffing, which after being normal all game, has gotten cartoony again.
  • On the other hand, that probably should have been a slash on a Utah player…
  • Honestly, I was ok with losing 3-2, cause it was an honest loss in what was mostly a pretty even game. This? This is infuriating again.
  • Walters draws a tripping call.
  • Sides caps off the hat trick.
  • Walters to the box.
  • Well this was an incredibly frustrating end to the series. Which is unfortunate, cause playing KC could have been fun.
  • Utah falls 5-2.

Both De Jong and Herbert made a big impact in their return to the lineup, De Jong being named third star for his goal and assist. Dickinson once again had a two assist night, and the power play went 2/7.

The Grizzlies will be off to Allen this week, where they’ll play games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, hopefully putting this weekend well and truly behind them.

Goals

  • First: None
  • Second: Herbert (Dickinson, De Jong) (PP), De Jong (Dickinson) (PP)
  • Third: None

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.


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Utah Grizzlies vs Idaho Steelheads: Clean Sweep

After taking two in a row against Idaho, the Grizzlies were up against a stiff challenge in game three of the series on Saturday night. Utah’s lineup remained the same as they faced down former Grizz goalie Ryan Faragher.

First Period

  • Idaho to the power play first.
  • The Grizzlies followed up a flawless penalty kill with a wild scramble around Faragher.
  • WALLLYYYYYYYYYYY!! Walters puts the Grizzlies up 1-0 from Taylor Richart!! And it was a very nice one. He took the puck around a crowd of players and past his former teammate.

  • WELCOME. BACK. MITCH. 2-0 Grizzlies!
  • Idaho is definitely trying to pick a fight with whomever will fall for it.
  • Shots are 7-1 for Utah with 8:50 to go in the first period.
  • What a pair of phenomenal saves from Carr as that Idaho penalty came to an end.
  • It feels like every single game Mike Economos gets a step faster. Every single game.
  • A little bit of the old razzle dazzle from Julien Nantel there! (Unfortunately, Faragher flashed the leather with a little flair of his own.)
  • Carr sees Faragher’s flashy moves on the other end of the ice, and responds with one of his own!
  • ONE of these days, Nantel is gonna bury one of those incredible looks.
  • Idaho in on the breakaway, only to be stopped stone cold by Kevin Carr.
  • If Taylor getting pitchforked isn’t a penalty, how’s that play by Ausmus one??? As AD used to say… I don’t know about that…
  • Either way, that was exactly the start the Grizzlies needed. 13-7 are shots for Utah after the first.

Second Period

  • More of that awesome puck support we saw from the past couple of nights.
  • Carr doesn’t often protest after he lets a goal in. He was immediately adamant after that one that it shouldn’t be a goal. Refs are talking about it.
  • NO GOAL. Always trust Carrsy.
  • Don’t know about the rest of you, but definitely not used to Teigan Zahn NOT being the biggest guy on the ice.
  • Kevin Carr, ladies and gentlemen.
  • Walters takes exception to the Idaho pushing and shoving around Carr, and is sent to the box. The fans are not amused.
  • We’re just gonna spend the entire second period on the kill, aren’t we.
  • Idaho to the box, and Herbert and Dickinson join up for a gorgeous four-on-four chance.
  • …Except now apparently Dickinson to the box for…reasons.
  • Idaho scores after being given ever possible chance on the power play.
  • YOU MAY BEAT KEVIN CARR FOUR-ON-THREE, BUT YOU’RE NOT GONNA BEAT HIM ON THE WRAP-AROUND.
  • HOW did Carr save that???? It was already BEHIND him????
  • Kevin Carr is the first star of this game for this period alone, and I don’t care if we lose by six. He is playing lights out.
  • HERBERT SAYS THAT’S RUBBISH AND WE’RE UP 3-1!! What a move.
  • Idaho playing a lot tighter on this penalty kill.
  • UHG. Short-handed goal.
  • Here’s to hoping the Grizzlies are able to score another couple in the third to keep the Steelheads out of the win column…

Third Period

  • Grizzlies are struggling to pass cleanly early on, but are still doing a good job at boxing the Steelheads out…mostly.
  • Five-on-three for Utah. The Grizzlies NEED to get a goal on this one.
  • …This is a very underwhelming five-on-three. No hustle, and the passes are not ideal.
  • That power play could come back to haunt them in a big way.
  • Now would be a really good time for the killer instinct from the first period to make a return.
  • Kevin Carr coming up big again.
  • The way some parts of the second and third period have gone, an argument could be made that the Grizzlies don’t entirely deserve to win this game. On the other hand, Carr definitely does not deserve to lose it.
  • A lot more energy as the final period passes the half-way mark. They’re looking more like the first period team.
  • There’s still too much time…
  • Caleb Herbert, man. The things he can do.
  • Again. Herbert and the things he can do.
  • OH geez… Henke went hard into the boards, and has to be helped off the ice. That’s the last thing this already injury plagued team needs.
  • Idaho’s net is empty with 2:28 to go…
  • Still an empty net…less than a minute to go…Idaho calls their time out…
  • MITCH. MAXWELL. EMPTY. NET. GOAL.
  • CHILI FOR ALL, AND GET OUT THOSE BROOMS.
  • Grizzlies win 4-2.

Mitch Maxwell earned first star of the game with his first and second goals of the year, while Caleb Herbert’s GWG earned him second star. Idaho’s Keegan Kanzig received the third star with a goal and an assist. Carr definitely could have been one of the stars as well, with his outstanding performance–especially in the second period.

“I think it just comes down to team effort,” Maxwell said after the game. “Carrsy was great in the net when we had little lulls he held us in it, and we capitalized on our opportunities. We’re a pretty confident team right now, and we’re just excited to be here at the rink. It was a big three wins for us, and we’re ready to get going for next week.”

Of Carr’s play, especially in the second period, he added, “Carrsy made some huge saves when we had some lulls like I said. Without him we definitely don’t have these three wins. He was a huge part of our success this weekend.”

“We’re playing pretty good hockey right now,” Tim Branham said when speaking of the series in general. “Good goaltending today, that’s for sure. Got some help from our affiliate, those two, Nantel and Downing for the series, and Boikov for the first game, those are three elite players right that can play at the next level. Any time you can add that, it’s great. But you know what, our boys came together there in that last road trip, playing short, understanding what it takes to win, and I think we know now–I think we knew, but we’re proving to everybody–that when we play our style, when we have our lineup, nobody can beat us.”

Speaking of that lineup, Walters appears to be heating up, with points in the last five games (and three multiple point games in that stretch) and ten points in the nine games since he returned, while Herbert has points in ten of the twelve games he’s played since coming back from Colorado, and is now third in the league in points and goals (one behind Zach Pochiro of Allen, and Reid Gardiner of Kalamazoo). Economos has five points in the last five games, and Dickinson has eight points in his last ten since arriving from Colorado. Although he hasn’t scored yet, Downing has been incredible, while Carr is now 5-1-1 in his last seven starts.

“I thought he was just fantastic,” Branham said of Carr. “He’s been that way for quite some time now. I think early on in the year when you’ve got Joe Cannata, and you’re not playing many games, you’re not getting into it. Now he’s playing every game, and we just see what kind of goaltender he is. He was tremendous tonight, tremendous. Just calm, steady back there, controlling the rebounds, he made some big saves. Our D are playing phenomenal, with Zahn leading the way, they’re defending well, trying to keep shots to the outside as best they can. Our forwards do a good job of scoring, and helping track through the middle of the ice to defend. Honestly, that was a complete team effort. Really proud of the boys, and it definitely feels good. Some much needed rest to recover here, and we’ll get back at her next weekend.”

The upcoming games on Friday and Saturday are part of Grizzlies Fight Cancer week, and are the first two of a three game home stand against Kansas City that will conclude on Monday with a matinee game for President’s Day.

 

Goals

  • First Period: Walters (Richart), Maxwell (Zahn, Economos)
  • Second Period: Herbert (Anderson, Marchment)
  • Third Period: Maxwell (EN)

 

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography and staff.