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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.