Utah Grizzlies @ Rapid City Rush: A Slight Improvement

On Saturday night the Grizzlies looked to Kevin Carr to out-goalie Adam Carlson, and Grayson Downing, after returning to the lineup on Friday, once again was a scratch.

First Period

  • Good possession for the Grizzlies in the first four minutes or so.
  • Good possession continues. No whistles either. Utah has the only shot seven minutes or so in.
  • Utah’s definitely dominating possession right now (and shots, which are 5-0 half-way through the first).
  • Liam Bilton gets the first Rush shot of the game, but Carr calmly bats it aside.
  • No rust on Carrsy, that’s for sure. (Not that he’s really been tested so far either though.)
  • The Devils comparison Tyson made the other night is quite apt. Serious shut-down hockey with great goaltending. Effective, but boring.
  • Ryan Walters with some wheels on that PK!
  • COLE ULLY MAKES SURE WE WON’T BE SHUT OUT TONIGHT, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS.
  • OH boo. Carlson isn’t perfect tonight, and neither is our penalty kill. Tie game.
  • Good possession on this power play.
  • 1-1 after 20, shots 8-5 for the boys.

Second Period

  • Well, that was a very, very scrambly first shift!! gulp
  • Well, after that scrambly beginning, the Grizzlies have had some good shots.
  • I don’t think Carlson knew where that puck went.
  • Either he’s having an off night, or the Grizzlies have succeeded in making him look human finally.
  • Verpaelst with a thunderous hit on the power play there.
  • Carlson really is looking mortal this evening. He’s still really good, but he’s not absolutely flawless and unflappable like he was the previous two games.
  • Oh my goodness, Kevin.
  • Jake Marchment is so strong on his skates.
  • Turner Ottenbreit absolutely FLYING over there.
  • HUGE save by Carr. He’s been so good tonight.

  • 17-15 are the shots for Utah in this tied game.

Third Period

  • Two minutes to Rapid City for making us sit through Baby Shark during intermission.
  • Good hustle there by Ully to bale out Richart after his stick broke!
  • Carr gets tripped up behind his own net, and Ottenbreit and Verpaelst are deeply unamused.
  • The puck is seriously bouncing in the Utah zone, and it’s nerve-wracking.
  • Raats takes a huge hit to the head, and the Grizzlies are off to a five minute power play. Klotz gets shown the gate.
  • Turner, you’re supposed to put the puck in the net, not yourself!
  • TAAAAAAAYLORRRRRR 2-1 ON THE POWER PLAY!!
  • Oh, never mind, Marchment deflected it, but STILL.
  • Goodness. Not sure how Kevin or the defenseman got over in time to take away the WIDE open net there.
  • Utah’s got fewer shots tonight, but they’ve definitely put them to better use.
  • Oh no. Economos to the box for tripping. It wasn’t a great call either.
  • Absolute mayhem around the net, and the puck gets put past Carr with 13 seconds left. No one is happy. (Well, the Rush are, but that’s besides the point.)

OT

  • Carlson has gone back to god mode. Ully and Verpaelst with a pair of nice shots there.
  • I don’t know how Verpaelst managed to hold onto the puck and keep it in the zone.
  • Youch. Rush player blocked that Ottenbreit shot with his face!

SO

  • Have I mentioned recently how much I HATE the shoot out??
  • Rush win 3-2 in the skills competition.

 

Goals

  • First Period: Ully (Herbert, Ottenbreit)
  • Second Period: None
  • Third Period: Marchment (Richart, Herbert) (PP)

UTA: 1/8 (10 PIM)
RC: 2/5 (22 PIM)

 

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.


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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.

Utah Grizzlies @ Tulsa Oilers: Holding the Fort

With the returns of Kevin Davis and Joe Cannata, the blue line got a bit crowded, and possibly as a result, Nolan De Jong sat this one out.

First Period

  • Good start for Utah, equally good start for Evan Fitzpatrick, unfortunately.
  • Fortunately, Cannata is looking good too.
  • Breakaway for Herbert, Fitzpatrick makes the save. Again.
  • That was a very nice move by Carroll to keep the puck in the offensive zone.
  • Tim Mcgauley clearly has some beef against Tulsa! His second fight of the season comes against Alex Kromm! He had not yet begun to fight, but the refs break it up.
  • The play is quite physical already.
  • Tulsa has put their foot down, and has doubled up on shots in the back half of this period.
  • MARCHY ON THE POWER PLAY.
  • Good first period for Utah, despite getting outshot 12-5. Cannata definitely has had to be sharp.

Second Period

  • Good kill to open the period. McGauley, especially, was strong.
  • …Well…that’s not a great goal.
  • 15-5 are the shots for Tulsa, that’s not ideal either.
  • Between Walker’s wheels, and some saves by Cannata, we’ve got another good kill.
  • Shots are now 20-8 for Tulsa…They’ve been able to set up in Utah’s zone for long stretches throughout the game.
  • Cannata is still looking strong, which is probably why this game is still tied.
  • Taylor, the puck is supposed to go into the net, not you!
  • Another good penalty kill to end a period.

Third Period

  • Cannata turns aside a short-handed odd-man rush.
  • That’s the second power play Ottenbreit has drawn this game.
  • Josh Anderson scores his first pro goal to put the Grizzlies up 2-1!!
  • Marchment is a fight away from a Gordie Howe hat trick, and McGauley just needs a goal for one.
  • Everyone from both sides is falling over in the Utah end. Turns out ice is super slippery! XD
  • Oilers’ net is empty…
  • Oh Richart did NOT miss the empty net by much.
  • GRIZZLIES WIN 2-1!!!

Jake Marchment and Joe Cannata were named first and second star of the game. Utah looks to complete the visit with a sweep before heading to Wichita.

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff.

 

Utah Grizzlies vs Tulsa Oilers: Dialed In

With Friday night’s game a step forward from Wednesday’s, the Grizzlies looked to build on that and get in the win column in front of a big Guns ‘N Hoses crowd. Joe Cannata looked to have a bounce back night in net, while Josh Anderson returned to the lineup, and Tim McGauley served his one game suspension.

First Period

  • Things looking pretty scramble-y early on.
  • This is a very nice looking power play. Clean passes, great movement, shots, everything you could want except a goal.
  • Ausmus takes a slashing call, but the Grizzlies kill it off nicely thanks to Cannata, some timely off-side calls, and overall good defense.
  • ZAHN WITH THE BOOM.
  • Richart and Cannata just gave everyone a heart-attack as they threw themselves through the blue paint to snatch the puck from the goal line.
  • Cannata is ON tonight.
  • The shots are not ideal, 13-5 for Tulsa, but otherwise, it’s been pretty good so far.
  • Turns out when you try to fight someone and they don’t oblige, you get a double minor for roughing.
  • That was a HUGE kill.
  • And the Grizzlies end the period on the power play!
  • Shots are 15-11 for Tulsa, but we’re still tied 0-0.

Second Period

  • Not allowing shots, but spending way too much time in the defensive zone…
  • MARCHMENT ON THE BREAKAWAY.
  • He was in so alone that he got to slow down and absolutely pick his spot for his tenth of the year. He’s been scoring some super pretty goals lately.
  • FRESCHI WITH THE PASS, WALKER WITH THE WHEELS AND THE FINISH!!
  • Marchment almost had a second goal there on the power play.
  • Richy gets run over (why is it always Richy?) and Austin Carroll takes exception. There’s a bit of a kerfuffle, and Utah gets a power play on the boarding call!
  • Freschi seems to have settled in nicely, and is making his presence felt this period!
  • Anderson also looking confident at the point.
  • Herbert with a penalty with one minute to go, and Cannata makes the save.
  • 2-0 GOOD GUYS AFTER 40!! Shots 24-20 for Tulsa.

Third Period

  • Austin Carroll. Causing confusion wherever he goes. In this particular instance, in the Tulsa end while killing a penalty.
  • The Grizzlies doing a very good job tying up ever Tulsa stick there.
  • Anderson there with a good move to keep the Oilers to the outside.
  • WALKER dropping the gloves??? Either way, here we are, and the 10,000+ crowd is LOVING it.
  • It would be very good if we could get a shot this period.
  • Stupid stanchion.
  • Both 21s get cranky in front of the Tulsa net and are sent off for unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • Richart had two very nice looks at the net on this four-on-four.
  • MIKE ECONOMOS PUTS UTAH UP 3-0! Ausmus and De Jong get the assists!
  • SO of course Herbert gets a double minor, and the Oilers score on it.
  • There’s an honest to goodness chili chant going on here!
  • Tulsa’s net is empty!
  • EMPTY NET GOAL. MARCHMENT AGAIN.
  • EVERYONE GETS CHILI.
  • GRIZZLIES WINNNNNNNN 4-1!!!

The three stars of the game went to Cannata (32/33 saves), Marchment (two goals), and Economos (one goal).

If Coach Branham was pleased with Friday’s effort, he was even more pleased with Saturday’s consistency. “If you look at these last two games, we didn’t play very well the previous three, so just cause we played well yesterday doesn’t mean that you deserve to get a win,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve got to battle through it and get some consistency before the hockey gods reward you. Tonight Joe Cannata was outstanding, our penalty kill did a good job, which a lot of it is Joe Cannata, we capitalized on our chances. I thought we played very similar to yesterday, and when you play consistent you deserve a better fate. Tonight was good, tonight was a great response. Obviously, the crowd was unreal, I know there was extra motivation there for the boys, it’s always good to get the win.”

Cannata’s play was a big part of the winning effort, and was night and day from his disastrous first period last game. “That’s what’s gonna happen,” Said Branham. “Look at playoffs last year. You’re going to go through adversity in your career and throughout the season. The professionals, like Joe, they respond. He’s been there before, he’s won a championship, so he knows what it takes. We’re not worried about him in the least, he wants to do well every night and wants to win for this team. He takes a lot of pride in it, and tonight he was outstanding.”

Economos picked up his third goal with the Grizzlies, and has seemed to flourish in the larger role he’s found himself in with the number of forwards out of the line up–certainly proving himself to be a better addition than many perhaps expected. “I would agree with that.” Branham said of the assessment. “From day one he’s been a fabulous addition. He belongs in this league, he belongs in every opportunity we give him that he gets, and that was a big goal, that was a big goal for him. He’s got a great attitude, protects his teammates, a great kid. He deserves this.”

In the past couple games, multiple surprising members of the Grizzlies have stepped up and dropped the gloves. Friday it was Tim McGauley, and Saturday it was Jack Walker “That’s a team effort. No one wants to fight Zahn right? So Walker and McGauley are next in line!” Brahnham joked. “That’s what it takes,” He added more seriously. “Our tough guys protect those guys, and those guys repay the favour by dropping the gloves so it’s not always our tough guys. Good on Walks. He’s a good kid.”

After the game, the jersey auction raised over $16,000 for charity, so all in all, it was a great way to end the week.

However, there’s no rest for the victorious, and Utah will take on Idaho on Monday at 1 PM.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Jess Fleming and staff.