Utah Grizzlies: A Work In Progress

After a strong road game, the Grizzlies iced the same winning lineup, with the exception Mason McDonald starting to give Jeff Smith the rest in the second of three games in as many days.

Yuri Terao got the first shot of the night, but Idaho sent the puck pin-balling around the crease. The goal light went off, but it looked like it might have gone off the iron and out. The uncertainty led to the first video review at the Maverik Center. Unfortunately, it was ruled a good goal, putting Idaho up 1-0 at 2:05.

Less than a minute later, however, Colton Saucerman took a tripping call to send Utah to the power play. The Grizzlies were unable to muster as much as a shot on the advantage. To be fair, both teams were stingy on shots, allowing five between them in the first eight minutes.

Idaho largely kept the puck in the Grizzlies’ zone, or if Utah got in to attack, managed to get a stick in the way of any opportunities. Fortunately for Utah, however, Idaho put the puck over the glass, sending the boys to the power play. It wasn’t going so well when Taylor Richart laid a thunderous hit on and Idaho player. Immediately thereafter, he took an elbow to the face, and Michael Economos took violent exception. He took down Saucerman, and while both got five for the fight, Saucerman got five for elbowing Richart, and a game misconduct.

Utah made them pay immediately, Griffen Molino scoring his fourth of the year from Travis Barron and Ryan Wagner.

Tim McGauley took a penalty to negate most of the rest of the five minute major, but both teams returned to full strength with no change in score.

At the end of 20, shots were 8-6 for the home team in an entertaining 1-1 game.

Utah spent the first four minutes in their own zone, and unsurprisingly, it led to a penalty. Kevin Davis went to the box for high-sticking. Surprisingly (or perhaps not, considering how they’ve played on the PK, the Grizzlies were more aggressive and coordinated on the disadvantage, and killed it off with only one shot allowed.

Although the Grizzlies did not pick up a shot through the first half of the period, they started to control play much ore than they had up until that point, McGauley, Davis, and Terao all creating nice opportunities.

After multiple close calls, the Grizzlies’ drive picked up a power play. Utah kept working hard, and a wicked shot from Richart led to a wild scramble in the goal-mouth. In the mean time, the puck went out to the stick of J.C. Brassard, who had lots of time to beat a beleaguered Tomas Sholl for his first with Utah. Barron and Richart got the assists.

The Grizzlies continued to press, leading to some great looks, including a wrap-around beauty by Ryan Wagner followed up by a shot that was especially memorable. Terao and Brassard also had a two-on-one that Sholl stopped dead.

On the other end of the ice. McDonald made some big saves of his own, perhaps none bigger than those with 30 and then 13 seconds to go in the period. After 40, the Grizzlies trailed in shots 18-14, but led 2-1 where it mattered.

Coming into the third, the Grizzlies faced the challenge of one of the best (if not THE best) come-back teams in the league. Idaho ran the Utah zone for the first couple of minutes, and it payed off. Zack Andrusiak scored with minimal fuss at 5:05.

It appeared to be just the swift kick Utah needed though, as they picked up the pace significantly following the goal. Overall though, the Steelheads managed to keep the play largely (though not exclusively) in the Utah zone.

Economos took a delayed tripping call with just under six to go, and McDonald made a huge series of saves. Once again, the Grizzlies’ kill got the job done.

As time ticked down, and the Steelheads with an offensive zone draw, McDonald made another terrific save, and sprinting the other way, McGauley, Terao, and Molino came close. However, regulation wasn’t enough to break the deadlock.

Unfortunately, Andrusiak got his second of the game, giving Idaho the 3-2 OT win.

At the end of the day, the Grizzlies played well, but made a couple of crucial mistakes that Idaho jumped on.

Andrusiak’s two goals, including the game winner earned him first star honors, while Barron (two assists), and Molino (one goal) took second and third. Wagner didn’t pick up a point, butΒ  continued to impress, as did Terao who continues to always be exactly where he needs to be, and now joins McGauley and Wagner in the point-per-game club.

Idaho best PK team in the league, Utah had two against them. Unfortunately, Idaho is also a brilliant comeback team, and Utah gave them the opportunity to do so.

“Obviously protecting our third period leads haven’t been good.” Tim Branham said after the game. “We didn’t do it yesterday, but we were able to score, and then today again, going into the third with the lead, the first five minutes wasn’t good enough. We generated scoring chances, didn’t generate shots.”

So what do they have to do to remedy that?

“We’ve got to keep things more simple. We talk all the time about managing the puck, and we just have too many turnovers. Too many turnovers in key areas. It’s unacceptable. We’re working on that, just getting it through guys’ heads to keep things simple. And once again, everything that they got, we gave them. We had the puck on our stick, we turned it over, two of the four goals last game were like that too. We gotta make sure we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot so we can give ourselves a chance. But at the end of the day, that’s a good team over there, it’s a good battle each and every night, it could go either way. Tonight they got a couple of chances in overtime, and it went their way.”

Not all is grim, however, as special teams continue to be a strength. The Grizzlies capitalized twice on the advantage against a strong PK team, but even the penalty kill created momentum — in at least once instance, even more momentum than five-on-five.

“Just like last year, our special teams have been really good all year. Idaho scored two goals on us last game, but a four-on-three, that’s a tough one, then there was another quick strike, not characteristic of our team. Back to work again, the penalty kill was great, our power play got us two, our special teams are always great. Our five-on-five play has got to improve. Like you said, the intensity, we start every period slow. They scored again on the first shot. They scored in the first five minutes last game, even though we were taking it to them. But still, we’ve got to make sure that when we’re playing we’re getting results, and keeping things simple. Hockey is a simple game. When you start to over-complicate it and try things new and out of your skill set, or whatever, bad things happen. You’ve got to play the percentages and good things come your way.”

Despite the loss, McDonald had perhaps his strongest game since preseason, making a couple of especially key saves especially at the end of the second and third periods. It was a marked improvement, but there’s still room for more.

“He played well. He gave us a chance to win” Branham said. “I’m all over our goalies to say it’s not good enough, be the reason we win. I’m still waiting for that, but he had a really strong game after that first shot went in. A great bounce-back game for him, and it’s gonna be good for his confidence. We have good goaltenders, and they need to get better each and every night so that they can grow as well. They need to be the reason we win, not just give us a chance.”

We had a chance to speak to third star Griffen Molino afterwards as well, and his thoughts were similar.

“Obviously they got that one quick one,” He said of the opening Idaho goal, “But I thought we answered back, and then it was pretty even for most of the game. But having that lead going into the third was big, and those are points that you just can’t find a way to lose.”

It was a common theme, but he definitely sees promise in the team.

“It’s a young group of guys, a lot of first year players, and managing the game, especially with a 72 game season, is obviously critical. We’ve seen it a handful of times already, so I think moving forward it’s just the little things, taking care of the puck, getting things out of your own end and into theirs, especially late in the game when you’re holding the lead, it’s pretty important.”

“We’ve got a close group. I think a lot of these guys are working hard to make a name for themselves, and in the early going it’s been tough for our team, but I think that we’re coming together game by game, and getting better and better. Trying to keep things simple, and as far as the power play goes, I think it’s just who you’re playing with, and getting the reps in in practice, and in the game feeling comfortable with guys and building a rapport. As far as that goes, tonight we got a couple of good cracks at them, traffic in front of the net, and so it worked out.”

When asked about his line with McGauley and Terao, which showed flashes of future promise, as well as some immediate results, he thinks it is, again, just a matter of time.

“With Cassels and [Dickinson] being called up, it’s kind of a new line formation, but one that seems to be working kind of early on. But like you guys know, the more you play with someone, or with a group of guys, it’s easier and you figure out tendencies and stuff like that as you said, it felt like we were one or two seconds away, or a pass here or there away from really clicking. I think it’s gonna come.”

The two teams will meet for their third game in as many days, and their second in less than 24 hours on Sunday afternoon.


  • First Period: Molino (Terao, Barron) (PP)
  • Second Period: Brassard (Barron, Richart) (PP)
  • Third Period: None
  • OT: None


Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff.

Utah Grizzlies @ Idaho Steelheads: Chaos is a Ladder

Coming out of a terrific first game of the playoffs, the Grizzlies look to hold off what is no doubt going to be a cranky and determined Idaho team. The roster remained the same, as did the starting lineup and the goaltender–after all, why mess with success?

First Period

  • Couple of quick saves for Kevin Carr in the first two minutes. And by a couple, we mean six.
  • Teigan Zahn looks to be playing forward so far, and there appears to be no Grayson Downing, though he’s listed in the lineup.
  • Grizzlies get their first shot short-handed. Because of course they do!
  • Idaho strikes first on the power play with just four seconds left.
  • Shots are 10-1 for Idaho, which isn’t ideal, but certainly has been something of a normal thing lately.
  • App says Josh Dickinson, but everyone is pretty sure it was Economos…
  • Herbert to the box.
  • Herbert’s penalty killed.
  • Oh lord, Austin Carroll is down, and really slow to get up. Think he’s fine though.
  • Travis Barron and Robbie Payne drop the gloves with five seconds to go.
  • After 20 we’re once again tied 1-1, shots 13-6 for Idaho.

Second Period

  • Ty Lewis draws a power play!
  • …Definitely not accustomed to seeing Jake Marchment absolutely dwarfed by an opponent…But that would be Keegan Kanzig for you!
  • Carr with a big save on a short-handed breakaway.
  • And that right there is why Caleb Herbert was on the All-ECHL First Team. 2-1 Utah on the power play!

  • Elgin Pearce gets another chance short-handed. That’s not at all concerning or anything.
  • There was SO much traffic, but somehow Carr saw the shot!
  • Pearce and Gage Ausmus to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct, even though the two of them were among the least involved of anyone in that crowd! πŸ˜‚
  • Pearce AGAIN short-handed. But Carr’s been there to meet him every time.
  • Haha Henrik Samuelsson was looking at the play, and missed the door being open for a second or two there!
  • The best chance on the Utah power play went to Idaho, the best chance on the Idaho power play went to Utah.
  • OH MY STARS. kEVIN. What. A. Save.
  • Oh god, let Carr be ok let Carr be ok…
  • panic
  • Ok. He seems to be alright…We can stop freaking out now…
  • Pearce gets a five minute charging major, Ottenbreit and Kanzig get two minutes each for unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • 2-1 Utah after 40, shots 26-23 for Idaho.

Third Period

  • 3:31 of power play time to begin.
  • Nothing doing on the man-advantage. Carr made some good saves right off the face-off.
  • Oh great. Zahn is skating off holding his face. Not good.
  • That was a very pretty toe-drag from Carroll. Unfortunately, Brady Norrish got a piece of it.
  • Zahn’s back. Not sure if he even missed a shift!
  • Really physical game. Guys are taking a beating entirely separate from all the shots they’re diving in front of.
  • Carr with another BIG save.
  • This is definitely far more the kind of game expected from these two teams. Close, and ferocious.
  • Uhg. Samuelsson ties it up with 9:30 ish to go.
  • Tomas Sholl with a big save on Barron.
  • Josh Anderson and Carroll with a flurry of chances around the net.
  • Speaking of Anderson, he appears to be playing forward now while Zahn’s back on defense.
  • After a wild second period, the third was far quieter.
  • Wouldn’t be playoff hockey if there wasn’t OT, I guess!
  • Shots 40-34 for Idaho, tied 2-2.


  • Nice takeaway from Anderson in the offensive zone there.
  • Good zone time in general in the first minute.
  • Make that the first three minutes. Which probably means that Idaho will win. Because the hockey gods are fickle.
  • Three minutes later and shots are now 3-3.
  • That was quite the wild bounce off the glass!
  • Kessy wins it 7:56 into OT. (Seriously, why is it always Kessy??)
  • The Grizz return home with the series tied 1-1.

Whether it was Dickinson or Economos who scored the first goal, both had strong games, Dickinson adding at yet more points to his collection as well as six shots. Lewis was also continually in the thick of things also putting up six shots. Carr also had a strong game, making 42/45 saves. As fun as the 7-1 thrashing was,Β  this is far more the kind of game this rivalry series promised, what with the tight score, the general dislike, and everything that comes with a meeting between these two bitter foes.

Game 3 takes place on Wednesday night when playoff hockey arrives at the Maverik Center.



  • First Period: Dickinson (Richart)
  • Second Period: Herbert (Davis, Dickinson)
  • Third Period: None

UTA: 1/6 (19 PIM)
IDH: 1/6 (24 PIM)



Photo courtesy of Rob Church.

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Utah Grizzlies @ Tulsa Oilers: Shots Allowed

Going into their second of three games in as many days, the Grizzlies got some reinforcements in Tulsa in the form of Kevin Davis. Saturday’s game also kicked off the first of two very important games in terms of playoff standings, and a potential first round match-up as Tulsa entered the weekend four points ahead of the Grizzlies. Joe Cannata once again got the start, while Ryan Galt sat for Davis, Utah going with seven defensemen and nine forwards.

First Period

  • Tulsa’s start has been a little better than Utah’s in the first four minutes, but not by much.
  • Wingers seem to be staying consistent, though the centers appear to be rotating at the moment.
  • Please go play in the offensive zone for a while.
  • The Oilers are really skating so far.
  • Very nice shift from Utah about half-way through the first.
  • Really, pretty uneventful all around. Neither team has held onto possession for any extended time.
  • Cannata looks quite collected, so there is that.
  • This game is quite a bit different from Friday’s. No penalties, a lot of speed, not a lot of flow though, for all that.
  • Tulsa picking up on the shots again, but Cannata’s met every one so far.
  • Really nice little move from Caleb Herbert there. It wasn’t anything particularly impressive, but really, there isn’t much going on.
  • Herbert with Ty Lewis and Austin Carroll is quite a fun line.
  • Would really like some more shots though.
  • I think that scuffle started with Mike McKee shoving Herbert into the net, which no one in white appreciated. McKee and Turner Ottenbreit both cool their heels with matching minors.
  • Ah bah. Tulsa strikes first with 38 seconds to go.
  • 1-0 Oilers, shots 13-6 in their favor.

Second Period

  • Please get some more shots this period.
  • Immediately giving up two shots was not what I meant.

  • On the other hand, Tulsa immediately goes back to offensive zone possession, which isn’t great.
  • Wouldn’t exactly say that Cannata has had to stand on his head, but he’s had to be quite sharp, that’s for sure.
  • Tommy Mele and Michael Economos very much wanted to drop the gloves, but the refs wouldn’t let them go. Matching unsportsmanlike conducts for the pair.
  • Shots are 20-10 for Tulsa just over five into the second. Too many shots against, not enough for…
  • Mele and Economos get their fight after all, just a couple of minutes later than they originally intended!!!
  • Oof. Ty Lewis got leveled.
  • Things have heated up, and McKee is causing all sorts of issues.
  • Too. Many. Shots. Allowed.
  • Good thing Cannata is seeing the puck.
  • Tanner Nagel is not at all afraid to lay the boom!
  • I think Zahn is playing forward with Economos in the box.
  • Cannata is the reason this game is still tied.
  • Six minutes left in the period, and Tulsa has 30 shots to Utah’s 11. That is not great.
  • McKee is gonna hurt someone before this is over.
  • That was a beautifully orchestrated rush from the guys, and it draws a power play!
  • If Utah does not score on this PP, it’s not through lack of effort. Four shots on it already.
  • Gage Ausmus with a really good one-on-one defensive play there, and Cannata makes the save.
  • Ok, so the bad news is Tulsa is out-shooting Utah 31-17. The good news is that they’re tied 1-1, which is what really matters.

Third Period

  • Grizz open the third with four great shots in the first minute or so.
  • Not like Devin Williams has looked anything other than cool as an irritating cucumber.
  • Unfortunately, they’re following that up with a stint in their own zone. No shots so far though.
  • Spoke too soon. Nice little glove save from Joe though.
  • Far too much zone time for Tulsa…
  • McKee and Ratelle get shown the door for Continuing Altercation. McKee has been agitating all night.
  • Too. Many. Shots.
  • At least the Grizzlies have climbed to a respectable amount as well.
  • Joe Cannata is in excellent form, which is why we’re still tied.
  • Cannata is 41/42 at the end of regulation, 1-1 headed into OT.


  • Well, getting a point is good. Getting two would be better.
  • Davis, Lewis, Herbert? That’s fun. Carroll, Walters, and Richart? That is also fun.
  • Oh lord, Gabriel Verpaelst blows an edge AND CANNATA SAVES THE DAY NOT ONCE BUT TWICE.
  • Oh goody. The shootout.
  • Not.
  • (Have I mentioned I hate the shootout??)


  • Herbert scores, but Tulsa takes it 2-1 in the coin-toss.


Joe Cannata was in true Joe Cannata form, stopping 46/47, nearly all of which he made look easy. His performance earned him a well deserved second star of the game. Ryan Walters’s seven shots led the team, while Ty Lewis followed close behind with six. The grueling final road trip of the regular season concludes on Sunday afternoon.



  • First Period: None
  • Second Period: Ratelle
  • Third Period: None

UTA: 0/3 (23 PIM)
TUL: 0/2 (25 PIM)



Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography

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Utah Grizzlies @ Allen Americans: X Marks the Spot

In the first game of the lengthy and final road trip of the regular season, the Grizzlies faced off against the Allen Americans. Kevin Carr got the start, while Ryan Galt made his Utah debut. J.T. Henke and Will Smith sat this one out, while Jake Marchment, Grayson Downing, Joey Raats, and Josh Winquist all remained out of the lineup as well.

First Period

  • Both teams trade penalties in the first six minutes or so.
  • A lot of twos on that particular penalty kill, 21-12, 20-27.
  • Half a period to go, shots 6-3 for Allen.
  • Carr’s made some nice saves.
  • Tentative is the word I would use to describe this game so far.
  • Also, uneventful. Though that was a nice shift from Austin Carroll, Ryan Walters, and Cole Ully.
  • Huh. I thought Tanner Nagel beat out that icing.
  • It’s been a pretty quite game, but boy it sure is nice to be watching them play someone other than the Rush…
  • Allen with a lot of possession here with under four to go. Not that they’re doing much with said possession, but they’ve had it.
  • Fourth best power play, second best PK in the league? Nice.
  • Goal light went off behind Carr, but the puck appears to have hit the post and gone out. The ref was pretty adamant in waiving it off immediately.
  • That was a really, really nice back-check from Josh Anderson with two to go.
  • Carroll splits the D, gets a shot, and draws a power play.
  • Turner Ottenbreit with the BLAST just seven seconds into the advantage!
  • After 20 Utah leads 1-0, shots 10-7 for Allen.

Second Period

  • Allen getting all the shots in the first three minutes. Not ideal.
  • Carr’s been seeing them comfortably though.
  • Jack Walker to Michael Economos from behind the net and it’s 2-0 for Utah!
  • And on the very next shift, Allen makes it 2-1.
  • Economos and Ottenbreit both looking to get goal number two on this advantage.
  • A bit of a crowd gathers as Allen returns to full strength. Would seem like the feeling out process is over.
  • Nifty mitts from Eco there.
  • Ully draws a power play, Ottenbreit and Taylor Richart with a couple of cannons. Good movement from the Grizzlies in general, really.
  • The pace in the second period has been far quicker, both teams having to scramble in spots.
  • Zach Pochiro and Nagel collide, and Pochiro is pretty mad that nothing was called.
  • They’ve been calling offsides really tightly tonight. Not sure Allen was actually offside there though.
  • RATELLE SCORES HIS FIRST!! The puck somehow trickled past C.J. Motte. Not sure exactly how, but WHO CARES!
  • Walters racking up the points again.
  • Carrsy tells Pochiro YOU SHALL NOT PASS.
  • Allen pressuring with about two to go.
  • Some big shot blocking, and after 40, Utah leads 3-1, shots 24-19 for Allen.

Third Period

  • SECOND GOAL FOR RATELLE!!! Nagel gets his first pro point on that!
  • Adam Miller gets a penalty shot, and Kevin shuts him down.
  • It’s been an eventful two minutes!
  • Really nice shift from Richart, followed by a really nice stretch from Carr.
  • Utah, please go play on the other side of the ice for a while…
  • First pro game, first pro goal for Galt!! Walker has HIS second point of the game, and Gage Ausmus picks up the secondary. Looks like Verpaelst may have grabbed the puck for Galt as well!
  • Atkinson goes after Herbert, Ratelle responds, and there are lots of penalties coming.
  • Ok, after all that, Teigan Zahn and Curt Gogol get thrown out, Pochiro, Economos, and Ratelle all get two, so it is a power play for Allen.
  • That was the saddest celebration on that Allen power play goal.
  • This is probably the longest final two minutes I’ve ever witnessed.
  • One final penalty for Allen.
  • 5-2 Utah.

Ratelle’s two goals earned him first star, while Carr took second star with 37/39 saves, and Ottenbreit snagged third star with a goal and an assist. Walker and Walters both picked up two assists each.

This was exactly the kind of win the Grizzlies needed to kick off the road trip, now they just need to keep their foot on the gas and keep going.


  • First Period: Ottenbreit (Richart, Walters) (PP)
  • Second Period: Economos (Walker, Maxwell), Ratelle (Walters, Carroll)
  • Third Period: Ratelle (Nagel, Ottenbreit), Galt (Walker)

UTA: 1/6 (23 PIM)
ALN: 1/3 (34 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.
  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.



  • 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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