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.
  • DOESN’T MATTER, TIE GAME RATELLE.

  • 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!
  • BREAKAWAY SAVE BY CANNATA.
  • 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.

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??)

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.

 

Goals

  • 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 vs Rapid City: Fight, Score, Celly

Day 155 of the regular season and we’re still playing the Rapid City Rush. However, despite the billionth meeting of these two teams, there were some changes in the roster. Joey Ratelle (signed at the beginning of the year) finally made his Utah debut, Jake Marchment was once again out with an injury, and Joey Raats was a healthy scratch. Joe Cannata got the start for Utah, and on the other end of the ice, their arch-nemesis Adam Carlson.

First Period

  • Longest first shift in the history of ever.
  • Will Smith looking to stay hot on his first shift of the game.
  • Tyler Poulsen puts the puck through Gage Ausmus and Joe Cannata to put the Rush up 1-0.
  • Not even five minutes in, and already there’s some cantankerousness.
  • Cole Ully doing Cole Ully things.
  • Oh no…that’s exactly how Ratelle got hurt the first time this year…He’s certainly endeared himself to the fans though!
  • Point blank chance for Eric Freschi
  • Both teams playing with a fair bit of nastiness so far, certainly more than we saw in their past games against each other.
  • Freschi’s made some pretty nifty moves tonight, and the night is young.
  • Speaking of nifty, that was a great piece of stick work from Ausmus to take possession of the puck.
  • That was some really nice passing from Freschi and Jack Walker there.
  • That being said, please go spend some extended time in the offensive zone…
  • Pretty sure everyone on both sides moved before that puck got dropped, haha!
  • Well. That’s not good. 2-0 with five to go.
  • Turner Ottenbreit lays a huge hit and gets two for elbowing, leading to the first power play of the night.
  • You know that thing I said about cantankerousness? We’re definitely past “some”.
  • I’m not sure I have ever seen a full line brawl live before. The penalty box is gonna get PREEEETTTY full. Teigan Zahn and Gabriel Verpaelst get five each for fighting, Taylor Crunk gets two for slashing, two for instigating, and five for fighting, and Liam Bilton gets five for fighting.
  • Well. That was…eventful.
  • 2-0 RC, shots 19-7 in their favor.

Second Period

  • Utah opens with two full minutes of power play time, and a minute of five-on-three.
  • That opening power play goes the way of many opening of period power plays. That is to say, nowhere.
  • If nothing else, they got Carlson moving shortly afterwards I guess.
  • Zahn just led a really nice up-ice rush that culminated in a mad scramble around Carlson.
  • Mitch Maxwell with a speedy wrap-around attempt. Shots are now a far better 19-14.
  • More importantly, possession is much improved, and they’re skating hard.
  • Ottenbreit and Caleb Herbert get a really nice chance short handed.
  • MAXWELL WITH THE SHORTY.

  • Utah’s taken over the shot clock, 20-19 with 10:36 to go.
  • If RC had actually managed to pull off that stick toss, it would have been impressive. Illegal, but impressive.
  • VERBEAUTY. TIE GAME.
  • Walker does NOT look like a guy who’s been out for a month and a half with a leg injury.
  • Freschi and Walker get a glorious short-handed chance.
  • Another whistle, another scuffle. Michael Economos and and Garrett Klotz to the box.
  • ECONOMOS WITH THE SNIPE.

  • 3-2 UTAH as Economos positively flew out of the box! Great feed from Zahn too.
  • Carlson starting to look human over there.
  • Everyone falls over each other from both teams. Ice is slippery, don’tcha know!
  • Shots are 20-7 for Utah in the period.
  • The Grizzlies OWNED the second.

Third Period

  • Every time someone blocks a Verpaelst shot, I wince a little.
  • The way Ully just makes space for himself is so effortless.
  • Good start to the period for the boys.
  • I DON’T BELIEVE IT. IT WENT IN. O CAPTAIN OUR CAPTAIN.
  • Free chili for all.
  • Ok, please get back to playing mostly in the offensive zone.
  • Please stop icing the puck…
  • And again…
  • At this rate, we’re gonna have to crack out the Herb Brooks “again” gif. (Only this is not the sort of thing he’d have wanted over and over and over and over…)
  • You know that thing I said about Verpaelst’s shots at the beginning of the period? That.
  • I haven’t really mentioned him so far this game, but Cannata’s been good.
  • Freschi’s been very good this game.
  • BIG save from Cannata!
  • Rush net is empty with 2:30 to go.
  • ECONOMOS INTO THE EMPTY NET!!!
  • GRIZZLIES WIN 5-2!!! And they out-shot RC 34-33 in the end, Cannata going 31/33.

Economos’ two goals and assist earned him first star of the game, while Maxwell (1G, 1A) and Zahn (1G, 1A) took second and third stars. Walters’ assist was his 300th professional point.

“We earned this one.” Tim Branham said after the game. “I didn’t think we were that bad in the first to be honest. We passed up on a lot of scoring opportunities to only get five shots. I thought we had more chances than that. They worked hard, they worked for their bounces that period. Then between the first and second we talked about how enough was enough, we need to out play them and out work them like we did that last third period. The boys came out and took control. Five-on-three, our five-on-three hasn’t been good all year to be honest, I think we’ve maybe scored one, but we got one on the power play, and our penalty kill was huge, and we got one short-handed. So specialty teams was huge, specialty teams has been huge this whole series, and tonight it worked in our favor.”

As has been the case in the last few games, the Grizzlies’ secondary scoring has come through. “It’s huge,” said Branham. “Really, I just rolled the lines there for a while with our ten forwards so I don’t really what was our first, second, and third line, but to get that secondary scoring you’re talking about, it’s huge. Come playoff time, teams are going to be keying in on our top guys, and our second and third line are the ones that gotta to carry the load. Third lines win championships.”

“It’s huge” Economos said of Maxwell’s goal. “When you get a short-handed goal and things aren’t going your way it was something that really sparked us. We just talked about working hard and that’s what we did tonight. It was nothing fancy really about that game out of us tonight, it was just working hard, crashing the net, getting in front of Carlson’s eyes cause he’s been red hot against us, so it was really big for us.”

He was, predictably modest about his own game winner.

“It was just right place at right time. Zahner just happened to look up at the perfect time when I was getting out of the box. The boys were joking with me that I wasn’t trying to go five-hole, and honestly I wasn’t,” he said with a laugh, “But you know sometimes when you miss it works out. Finally a bounce went our way, and it was great to see that go in.”

Military night is always popular in Utah, and Saturday was no exception with 9,237 in attendance, and they made a difference. “It was amazing. Any time there’s a hit, any time there’s a fight, any time there’s a goal, it was just electric in there. Sometimes you don’t hear the crowd because you’re so into the game, but tonight they were a factor, and they definitely gave us some life out there.”

The difference between the Grizzlies’ first period and second and third couldn’t have been more stark. “I think we just said that we got that out of the way. It’s been chippy against them every time we’ve played them, so we kind of got that out of the way and were just able to focus on our game. They might have still been in that mentality of just trying to get in fights and pushing and shoving, and we just wanted to get in front of the goalie’s eyes, put it on net every single time we could, it was great for us.”

The Grizzlies face the Rush for the fourteenth and (thankfully) final time on Monday.

 

 

Goals

  • First Period: None
  • Second Period: Maxwell (Ottenbreit) (SH), Verpaelst (Herbert, Henke) (PP), Economos (Richart, Zahn)
  • Third Period: Zahn (Economos, Smith), Economos (Maxwell, Walters) (EN)

UTA: 1/5 (29 PIM)
RC: 0/5 (39 PIM)

 

Photo courtesy of Josh Pinnau.

 


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Utah Grizzlies @ Allen Americans: The Oscar for best goal goes to…

With Jake Marchment joining the ranks of the wounded (in all seriousness, you could create the majority of a really great forward core out of the injured forwards), the Grizzlies once again found themselves pretty short of forwards in general, and centermen in particular in the final game of the road trip. Joey Raats once again dressed as a forward, and was joined for parts of the later stages of the game by Teigan Zahn, while Joe Cannata got the start.

 

First Period

  • This has been a surprisingly uneventful first period.
  • YIIIIIKEEEEEES. That was so close to disaster.
  • That poke check was disgustingly good from C.J. Motte.
  • Josh Thrower and Michael Economos drop the gloves!!
  • Speaking of disgustingly good…that’s what that Allen goal was. Screened too.
  • ….Where was any of the defense…
  • Not gonna lie, but “allegedly onside” is one of my favorite phrases.
  • Boooooooo.
  • That was no fun. At least shots have evened up considerably.

Second Period

  • I would really, really just like to get through this game without losing anyone else to injury…
  • Well Mr. Smith, if you were waiting for the opportune moment to score your first pro goal, that was it. Beautiful pass from Turner Ottenbreit too.

  • Well, that was definitely the right idea.
  • Caleb Herbert and Josh Atkinson get matching minors for skulduggery.
  • OH MY HOCKEY GODS. SAVE THAT FOR THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK. The Oscar for best goal goes to Ryan Walters. What a move. Spin-o-rama to elude the defenseman fools Motte too, and it’s 3-2!!!!
  • MAXWELL DROPS THE GLOVES.
  • Zahn with a terrific chance on the doorstep, and then Herbert with a great shot.
  • Cannata answering the call on the other end too.
  • Please do not break Michael.
  • WALTERS IS ON FIRE.

Third Period

  • Shots are now 40-28 for the Grizzlies.
  • Please go play in the other end…
  • Thanks Joey.
  • Well. Everyone was pretty much where they should be, but Cannata was completely screened. Boo again.
  • Josh Dickinson is getting worked over with no calls.
  • Motte is pretty pissed at his own guy as Atkinson shoves Dickinson into Motte.
  • ….oh geez, not Turner…Please be ok….
  • How was that slash on Ottenbreit not called, and yet that one Ausmus is.
  • Well, there’s blood, so can’t really argue with that high-sticking call…
  • Oh thank goodness. Ottenbreit is, at the very least, ok to stay in this game. Hopefully he’s actually ok, and not just hockey ok…
  • Zahn is DEFINITELY playing forward.
  • HOWWWWWW DID MOTTE MAKE THAT SAVE??????????????
  • ECONOMOS TIES IT UP.
  • To OT we go. Which will be Herbert-less, as he gets pitched for unsportsmanlike conduct.

OT

  • Thank you Joe.
  • Dickinson probably should have drawn a penalty there.
  • Cannata is down (panic), and we’re off to the power play.
  • (Cannata appears to be alright, everyone can stop panicking. What do you mean I was the only one?)
  • At the end of OT, Emerson Clark got 20 minutes of penalties (slashing and fighting/continuing altercation) and Curt Gogol got ten for fighting/continuing altercation as well. So things got a bit heated there!

Shootout

Allen: Pochiro (goal)
Utah: Herbert (no goal)

Allen: Salituro (no goal)
Utah: Dickinson (goal)

Allen: Miller (goal)
Utah: Walters (no goal)

Allen wins 5-4 in the shoot out, shots 55-41 for Utah.

Walters’ two goals and ten (yes you read that right, ten) shots earned him third star of the game, while Cannata saved 37/41. Ottenbreit had yet another great game, picking up two assists, as did De Jong. As noted at the time, Will Smith got his first pro goal, and Economos was one assist away from a Gordie Howe hat trick.

Goals

  • First Period: None
  • Second Period: Smith (Ottenbreit), Walters (Raats, Ottenbreit), Walters (Herbert, De Jong) (PP)
  • Third Period: Economos (De Jong)

Utah: 1/3 (28 minutes)
Allen: 0/3 (60 minutes)

 

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography and staff.

 

 


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Utah Grizzlies vs Idaho Steelheads: Let it Snow

On a snowy Wednesday night after a lengthy road trip, the Grizzlies got a number of reinforcements from Colorado to bolster a very injury depleted roster. Forward Grayson Downing and defenseman Sergei Boikov made their Utah debuts, while Julien Nantel returned as well. Kevin Carr made the start against the Idaho Steelheads.

First Period

  • Downing looks like he’s gonna be fun to have around.
  • Nantel wastes no time at all getting back on the board! 1-0 Utah 2:09 in from Turner Ottenbreit and Josh Dickinson!
  • Getting two penalties together is not ideal. Good kill though.
  • The beginning of that power play started well. It did not end that way though.
  • Well, we get a redo!
  • Jake Marchment did not miss that tip in by much.
  • Teigan Zahn to the box with about six to go. Utah did a good job giving the Steelheads trouble getting out of the zone.
  • Idaho ties it up and Zahn and Keegan Kanzig drop the gloves.
  • Josh Anderson has had a couple of nice defensive moves this period.
  • Shots are 12-6 for Utah, but we’re tied 1-1.

Second Period

  • Power play Utah 17 seconds in.
  • Liking Boikov’s play. Very calm and polished.
  • Not a great power play so far. Not a lot of urgency, and Idaho has two shots to Utah’s one thus far.
  • Very nice move by Richart to take away the puck just above the blue paint.
  • Another pair of nice plays by Anderson. He’s looking very good.
  • Not wild about how much defensive zone time there has been in the first five minutes.
  • Yeesh, that was close.
  • The second half of this period has been much better for Utah.
  • THAT’S TWO FOR NANTEL!! Walters with the pass from the boards to give the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead on the power play! Dickinson gets the second assist!

  • Both 11s run afoul of each other. Looked like Richart might have gotten clipped in the face by Dahl’s skate.
  • Kanzig looks like he’s trying to take on Ottenbreit and Anderson at the same time there.
  • Good penalty kill there. Not even a shot allowed!

Third Period

  • HOW DID THAT GO IN?? Away, WHO CARES. GOAL ECONOMOS.
  • Walters did not miss that net by very much short-handed.
  • Back to the power play Utah goes.
  • Nantel’s hat trick bid didn’t miss by much.
  • Anderson and Moroz tangle.
  • Anderson with a big hit, Nantel with a nice rush up the ice, and the crowd appreciates both.
  • The Grizzlies have had a couple of really long delayed power plays this game.
  • WALTERS CAPITALIZES ON SOME BEAUTIFUL PASSING FROM HENKE AND NANTEL.
  • Grizzlies win 4-1!!

Anderson had a very good game defensively, and was named defenseman of the game, while Nantel (2G, 1A), Dickinson (2A), and Economos (1G) were the game’s three stars, though Ryan Walters (1G, 1A) could easily have be named one of the stars as well.

Additionally as mentioned, Downing and Boikov are both going to be great additions to the Grizzlies for however long they’re here. Downing is a very good two-way forward, and as mentioned, Boikov is polished and quite defensively sound. Carr went 19/20 for his 15th win of the year, and the Grizzlies are now tied with Idaho for first in the Mountain.

These two teams will face off two more times this weekend on Friday and Saturday in the continued battle for divisional supremacy.

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.

Utah Grizzlies @ Wichita Thunder: Silencing the Thunder

With Kevin Davis, Tim McGauley, and Joe Cannata all up in Colorado, and Jack Walker and Austin Carroll out with injuries, the Grizzlies were very, very short-handed in Wichita, even with the addition of returnee Mitch Maxwell. Kevin Carr got the start, and Joey Raats drew back in at forward against Gabriel Verpaelst, Ralph Cuddemi, and the Thunder.

First Period

  • Mitch Maxwell starting strong.
  • “Marchment allegedly on side.”  That’s definitely putting it generously.
  • It would definitely be advisable to stop passing the puck to Thunder players, boys…
  • Josh Dickinson is a power play drawing machine.
  • WALTERS WITH THE POWER PLAY GOAL. Jake Marchment continues to pile up the points.
  • Shots are 6-1 for Utah with half a period gone. That may be pretty good.
  • Carr spins through the crease, but somehow still has the puck.
  • Walters definitely wants another goal. He’s had a couple looks up close since he opened the scoring.
  • Oh great. Dickinson taking a puck to the face is the absolute last thing we need.
  • I guess if we can’t have Carroll on the ice, looking sharp on the bench is the next best thing? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • GEEEEZZZZ that goal-mouth scramble almost ended very badly.
  • However, all’s well that ends well.

Second Period

  • Ausmus with a great move there to take the puck away on a one-on-one there.
  • Oooh that backhander didn’t miss by much.
  • The Thunder are pressing now.
  • Zahn to the box.
  • Dickinson to the box…minute plus of five-on-three….
  • What a kill. Especially the end there, what with the Carr save, the pipe on a wide open net, and a huge clear from Richart to swipe the puck out of the blue paint.
  • Wichita should get a penalty just for making us listen to the entire Baby Shark song.
  • Walters with more nice shots there.
  • Kevin Carr has been stellar. Unfortunately, so has Ty Rimmer.

Third Period

  • Gotta love all the praise for Ausmus! He’s just been playing really well lately.
  • Verpaelst giving us a power play. Definitely a Grizzlies sleeper agent! 😛
  • ECONOMOS WITH THE POWER PLAY GOAL.
  • Tyson, that is not how you don’t talk about the goalie thing-that-must-not-be-named-until-it’s-completed!!!!!
  • Raats with the first even-strength goal of the game!!
  • Less than a minute later, Herbert puts the puck on Rimmer, and Walters taps it into the wide open net!!!!!! There’s that second goal!
  • Wowwwwwwwwww that was quite the melt down for Wichita.
  • The Grizzlies definitely don’t look like a team with only fourteen skaters dressed.
  • TYSON. STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.
  • Mitch Maxwell making his return felt by dropping the gloves!
  • Oh geez. Wichita is taking out their own guys by accident. That’s never good.
  • KEVIN CARR SHUTS THEM OUT.
  • Grizzlies win 4-0, shots 34-31 in their favor!

Kevin Carr was the well deserved first star of the game with his third shutout of the year, and Walters got second star with two goals and a team leading nine shots. Mike Economos was named third star, while Jake Marchment had his fifth straight multi-point game, and Eric Freschi also had two assists.

If the Grizzlies continue to be this short-handed, today’s game will be the biggest test of the road trip as they look to remain undefeated against the Thunder this season. It will also be interesting to see if Tim Branham goes with Carr, or if Christian Frey will get his first start.

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff.