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 @ Tulsa Oilers: March-ing Onward

In game two of the Tulsa series, and the battle for second place in the Mountain Division, the roster remained the same, as did the lines.

First Period

  • Eric Freschi getting manhandled in the corner, not sure it’s penalty worthy, but not sure it’s not penalty worthy…
  • Ick. Not sure about that defensive coverage there. 1-0 Tulsa.
  • Good response from Utah though. Strong shift in the offensive zone.
  • Taylor Richart with a nice move to strip the puck from an Oilers player and start a rush up ice.
  • Josh Dickinson draws a power play!
  • MCGAULEY GOAL!! Fitzpatrick bit on Caleb Herbert, and Tim McGauley made good on the cross-crease pass.
  • Teigan Zahn taking his sweeeeeeet time behind the Utah net, haha.
  • Another Utah power play, but it’s negated.
  • Jake Marchment and Ryan Walters counter-punching short-handed is always great to see.
  • Taylor Richart is free with no official shots allowed on the PK!
  • Mike Economos with the hustle.
  • They’ve flipped the script in shots tonight, sort of. After 20 shots are 20-7 for the Grizzlies, score 1-1.

Second Period

  • LOTS OF PENALTIES.
  • Or just one. That’s anticlimactic. On the other hand, we’ll take the power play.
  • Austin Carroll doing what he does best, creating chaos. A little too much chaos there though, and he’s off to the box.
  • Jack Walker to the room. That’s not a good sign. Hopefully he’s back for the third…
  • Carroll drops the gloves with Scott Moldenhauer!
  • Dickinson draws a double minor.
  • Herbert takes a roughing call after a kerfuffle around the Tulsa net.
  • Marchy doing what he does best, scoring on Tulsa. It was a very nice backhand.
  • Utah’s been pretty aggressive overall so far.

Third Period

  • Another power play drawn by Dickinson.
  • Richart falls over, and still makes the play.
  • You get a high-stick, you get a high-stick! EVERYBODY GETS A HIGH-STICK!
  • ECONOMOS WITH A BREAKAWAY. No goal, but he does draw another power play.
  • Oh geez. Short-handed goal for Tulsa ties it up.
  • And the Oilers are pressing.
  • I swear, every game Economos seems to have gotten a step or two faster.
  • ERIC GIVES US A FRESCHI LEAD.

  • (Sorry, so not sorry)
  • Oh god. Cannata…be ok…
  • At the very least, Cannata is hockey ok, so that’s good news.
  • Walters with the latest of a series of good shots he’s had this game.
  • RICHART SCORES.
  • Wait. No he doesn’t. And Zahn is down, and Zahn takes a penalty. WHAT EVEN IS HAPPENING.
  • And now Richart for delay of game.
  • Internal screaming.
  • Empty net for Tulsa…
  • More internal screaming.
  • Marchment with the face-off win, Ausmus with the clear…
  • EMPTY NETTER FOR JAKE.
  • GRIZZLIES WIN 4-2!!!

Freschi (the game winning goal and six shots) and Herbert (two assists, six shots) were named first and second stars of the game, though Marchment certainly could have been a star as well, what with his two goals (granted, one into an empty net), and several crucial late-game face-offs. Cannata also played well, making 25/27 saves. Utah now stands tied with the Oilers for second in the division, though they hold four games in hand on their rival. They trail Idaho by only one point, and have a game in hand on them as well.

Now the Grizzlies head to Wichita for the final two games of the road trip.

Photo courtesy of Josh Pinnau.

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 get 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!! 
  • 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.