Utah Grizzlies vs Idaho Steelheads: Best for Last

Well, it’s here. Game 72 of the regular season, and what a season it’s been. Injuries, win streaks, losing streaks, the most prolific goalscorer in nine years, fighters, point-per-game waiver pickups, speed demons, more injuries (have we mentioned the injuries?) all leading to a spot in the playoffs against these same Idaho Steelheads.

The lineup remained the same with Taylor Richart and Captain Teigan Zahn both playing in game 72/72, while Kevin Carr once again manned the net, facing down Ryan Faragher and the Steelheads.

First Period

  • First three shots go to Idaho.
  • Power play Utah! Good start!
  • ….Short handed goal Idaho two-on-one, beats Carr clean. Less good start.
  • They keep getting into the zone, and then either turning over the puck, bobbling passes, or otherwise not getting anything going.
  • 8-1 shots for Idaho after eight minutes. That’s not ideal, to say the least!
  • Good speed and hustle though.
  • Carr with some nice saves as well.
  • Gabriel Verpaelst and Mitch Moroz drop the gloves! Verpaelst got in way more punches, but Moroz gets the take-down. Both cool their heels for five.
  • Much better second half of the period.
  • Turnovers not so much though.
  • We were at a hockey game, then a rugby scrum broke out! That was a really lengthy puck battle along the boards.
  • Ondrej Vala and Austin Carroll tangle at center ice. They both get slashing minors, though it looked more like roughing than slashing. They’re both shown the door as there’s only 1:19 to go.
  • Utah draws a power play!
  • After 20 Utah trails 1-0, out-shot 15-4. However, they’ve got a power play coming up to start the second.

Second Period

  • Faragher with an unfortunately familiar glove save on that shot.
  • POWER PLAY GOAL.
  • Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but Ty Lewis makes it 1-1 from Kevin Davis and Caleb Herbert as the puck trickles through Faragher 43 seconds into the period!
  • That’s the…uh…fourth slashing call this game.
  • Idaho scores. Of course it’s Kale Kessy.
  • Power play for Utah, HUGE save from Carr on a short-handed breakaway!
  • WALKER WITH THE POWER PLAY GOAL! Really sweet pass from Michael Economos too.

  • Josh Dickinson with a nice shot to beat Faragher five-on-five!.
  • The Grizzlies have taken the bit between their teeth this period.
  • Spoke too soon. Idaho ties it riiiiight back up. Puck took a bounce off the Utah defenders in front of Carr and went in.
  • Ooof. Definitely spoke too soon. Idaho takes the lead seven seconds into the power play.
  • Caleb Herbert is sent sprawling, and we’ve got another power play opportunity for Utah…
  • Furious defensive play from Kevin Davis there. Kept a the Idaho player from getting a shot.
  • ROCKET RICHART.
  • And another slashing penalty this game! That’s number five!
  • Utah takes over the shot lead with five to go.
  • Four shots for Utah in the first, 21 for them in the second!
  • 25-24 for Utah are the shots after 40, and we’re tied 4-4!!

Third Period

  • TAYLOR WASTES NO TIME! That’s goal number eight for Mr. Richart, scored just 18 seconds in!
  • VERBEAUTY! What a snipe on a tight angle shot from the bottom of the face-off circle! And just like that, it’s 6-4!
  • Slashing penalty number six.
  • Idaho now with some determined offensive zone time.
  • Pretty back and forth now.
  • Walker lays the boom!
  • Idaho takes a penalty, and then Utah takes a penalty with 4:19 to go.
  • GORGEOUS short-handed look from Economos. With those wheels, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was Walker, if he wasn’t sitting in the box!
  • Walker takes the puck up ice out of the box, and after a lengthy battle around the net, Mitch Maxwell makes it 7-4!
  • And that’s all she wrote!!

Richart scored goals number seven and eight, earning first star of the game for the game winner, while Lewis took second star with his continued scoring bonanza (1G, 3A on Sunday, 5G, 8A in seven games), and Walker was named third star with a goal and two assists. Carroll picked up three assists, Herbert picked up two, Economos led the team in shots with six, and Carr stopped 33/37 for his 20th win of the season.

It was definitely a team win from goal-tending on out, and it was pretty much everything you could hope for from a final game. “Obviously we want to get wins,” Tim Branham said afterwards, “But more importantly we want to be playing the right way going into playoffs, so for all the reasons that we talked about yesterday, adding new players and whatnot, really proud of the way this group battled these last two games, just gaining confidence and understanding the way you have to play in order to have success in the playoffs.”

There may have been a few little hiccups in the first half of the game, but some of them were just down to the Steelheads being a very good team. “You’ve got to give Idaho credit, they lost a heartbreaker last night and they wanted to probably come out and have something to prove so they had a little jump in their step. We had to weather the storm, and then it was our turn to play our game. Special teams battle tonight, our power play did a great job, and at the end of the day we found a way to win.”

Importantly, the Grizzlies got goals from players all through the lineup, both on offense and defense. “It’s huge,” said Branham, “You can’t just have contributions from one line or one player, it’s gotta be throughout your lineup if you want to have success, so back end, as well scoring goals, it’s a big help.”

“It’s always good to play 72 games,” said Richart, “It means obviously you’re not in and out of the lineup, you’re not having major injuries, a few bumps and bruises, but I think the whole year I just wanted to focus on playing good, solid two-way hockey, good defensively, good offensively. We had a lot of power up front, so I kind of focused a little bit more on the defensive side, and the offense would come, just getting pucks in like tonight, and they happened to go in.”

“We did have a hot start,” Richart continued, “Which obviously really helped us when that slump kind of kicked in, but it was nice, obviously injuries are part of the game, so we kind of had to battle a little bit there, just kind of shows what we have in that locker room right now, just battling night in and night out. Getting ready for playoffs we knew we had to settle everything down these past couple of weekends, kind of getting in the playoff mode, it’s been playoff hockey the past three weeks, and teams are playing playoff hockey as well, so we just had to keep it together.”

Richart and Zahn both finished the season without missing a single game, despite playing big minutes, and throwing themselves in front of everything, whether it be pucks, or punches–something that Branham praised highly. “[Richart] and Teigan Zahn, both playing every game, they both just eat pucks. We talked about those guys a little bit yesterday, what they mean to this team, as a coach you know what they’re gonna bring every single game, and that’s easy to coach. The leadership that those guys bring is tremendous, it’s invaluable, can’t put a price tag on it, and we’ve got sixteen more wins.”

“Every game you gotta bring it. It’s win or go home now.” Richart concluded. “It’s a new season now, so every day you’ve gotta be ready to go, can’t take any games for granted.”

The Grizzlies will begin the first round of the playoffs against the Steelheads in Idaho on Friday night.

 

Goals

  • First Period: None
  • Second Period: Lewis (Davis, Herbert) (PP), Walker (Economos, Lewis) (PP), Dickinson (Carroll, Anderson), Richart (Walker, Carroll) (PP)
  • Third Period: Richart (Carroll, Herbert), Verpaelst (Lewis, Ausmus), Maxwell (Walker, Lewis)

UTA: 3/6 (17 PIM)
IHD: 2/5 (19 PIM)

 

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.


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Utah Grizzlies @ Allen Americans: Bad Blood

In their final meeting of the season against the Allen Americans, the Grizzlies hoped to get the win to take the season series. Cole Ully remained out of the lineup, and with Duggie Lagrone released, Josh Anderson returned to action while Joe Cannata got the start.

First Period

  • Well, the bad blood boiled over right off the face-off! Joey Ratelle drops the gloves with Jacob Doty!
  • AAAAND now Verpaelst drops the gloves with Curt Gogol!
  • And two more penalties for Allen and Utah! There have been more penalties than shots so far.You get a penalty
  • The latest player to head to the box is Braylon Shmyr. Still scoreless with 9:30 to go.
  • Good possession on the PP, but no threat at all.
  • O CAPTAIN, OUR CAPTAIN! 1-0 Utah!!
  • There are now as many shots as penalties this period. (Utah holds the slim edge, outshooting Allen 4-3 with 3:30 to go.)
  • Another scuffle after a whistle, and another penalty for Allen!
  • 1-0 for Utah after 20, shots 6-4 in their favor!

Second Period

  • The period opens with 1:57 or so of power play time!
  • Allen’s PK looking better than Utah’s PP, but Ottenbreit has the only shot.
  • Allen has the zone, but the Utah shot-blockers are keeping them from reaching Cannata.
  • This power play would be a really, really good time to double up the lead…
  • Well, it didn’t, but they do now outshoot Allen 12-4.
  • AAAAAAAnd Allen scores. Like I said, getting a power play goal would have been kind of big…
  • Holy CANNATA. HOW did Joe save that???? Pochiro thought he scored, the fans thought he scored I thought he scored!!!
  • Ok, this would be another really good time to score that power play goal…
  • The most unfortunate thing about this whole situation is that Utah’s playing pretty well, getting all the power play opportunities, and outshooting Allen 13-5, and yet we’re tied 1-1. Because of course Allen scored on their only shot this period.
  • OTTENBREIT GETS HIS 11TH!! I think Turner heard me. Richart and Lewis get the assists on the go-ahead goal.

  • Penalty on Zahn.
  • DOESN’T MATTER. The speed of Jack Walker sets up Mitch Maxwell for a shorty!!!

  • Just like that, and Utah’s looking great.
  • Oh boy, Ryan Galt got hit and got up really slowly. The boys aren’t happy about it. Pochiro and Gogol both get ten minute misconducts, and Shmyr gets two for kneeing.
  • At the end of 40, Utah leads 3-1, shots 16-7 in their favor.

Third Period

  • Allen returns to full strength.
  • JK no they don’t. Or rather, they do but they then head straight back to the box on a cross-check on Walker.
  • Another big save by Cannata.
  • Welp, this is gonna be a very important kill.
  • Uhg. 3-2 on the advantage.
  • The Grizzlies creating chaos though!
  • …I do not know why Ty Lewis was awarded a penalty shot, BUT WHO CARES!!! HE SCORES HIS FIRST FOR UTAH!
  • Allen is very not happy about the situation.
  • And they get it back on the power play through traffic.
  • Another big kill coming up…the others haven’t gone so well, so this is concerning.
  • Excellent kill.
  • The amount of time left on the clock with a one goal lead is nerve inducing.
  • Empty net for Allen with a minute to go…
  • Allen calls their time out. It’s moments like this when I especially miss Jake Marchment…
  • It’s a really good thing I don’t bite my nails, because moments like these would cause me to completely ruin them…
  • Fun fact, Gogol spent nearly a whole period in the penalty box this game.
  • EMPTY NET GOAL FOR LEWIS!!!
  • Grizz win 5-3 thanks to power play, penalty kill, penalty shot, even strength, and empty net goals!!

 

Goals

  • First Period: Zahn (Maxwell, Ausmus)
  • Second Period: Ottenbreit (Richart, Lewis) (PP), Maxwell (Walker, Anderson) (SH)
  • Third Period: Lewis (PS), Lewis (Walters) (EN)

 

 

 

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”Β 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 Kansas City: Frustration

After last night’s game, the lines saw some shuffling, though the roster itself remained the same.

First Period

  • Teigan Zahn crushes a guy, and Joe Cannata flashes the leather. Getting the crowd into it right off the bat!
  • Joseph Mizzi to the box with a double minor for high-sticking.
  • Cannata looking particularly sharp. He’s made a couple of nearly identical pad saves followed by a quick stick to bat the puck out of danger.
  • Grayson Downing with a big block there.
  • Downing showing off the physical side of his game with 13:00 to go.
  • Pretty good looking defense tonight. On the other hand, it’d be really nice to get some shots of our own…
  • Eric Freschi with a tremendous takeaway in the offensive zone with half a period to go.
  • Haha that’s what happens when you hit a Moose. The moose is fine, you fall over.
  • KC strikes first on a late power play…where have I heard that one before…
  • McDonald is far too good a goalie only get one shot on and expect good things to happen.
  • End of 20, shots 7-2 for KC, who leads 1-0.

Second Period

  • That’s more like it. The Grizzlies have already doubled their shot count, and we’re not even two minutes in.
  • Ausmus rings iron, shots are now 8-4 in a much better second.
  • Nice crisp breakout from the Downing line.
  • Mizzi is robbed on a point blank chance, and just like that, shots are an even 8-8.
  • Aaaand Greg Betzold beats Cannata on the rebound.
  • Cannata bobbles a seemingly routine save, and it’s 3-0.
  • Ottenbreit with a huge shot, and Zahn lays a big hit, which the fans appreciate.
  • Oooh some animosity brewing.
  • Maxwell didn’t miss by much…
  • After evening up the shots, KC is once again out-shooting Utah 18-9.
  • Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout ShutoutΒ  Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout Shutout
  • Freschi’s stick goes flying up in the air, and he catches it, to the crowd’s great delight. Wonder if he’s good at juggling…
  • Dickinson didn’t miss the net by very much there. He’s so sneaky good.
  • Well. Marchment takes a penalty.
  • AND NOW THERE’S A CRAZY SHIFT, AND WATSON TO THE BOX.
  • Well. That was not ideal.
  • 3-0 for KC after two.

Third Period

  • Pretty good shift here from Marchment and company now that all the penalties are killed off.
  • It didn’t pan out, but what a crafty move from Downing.
  • Downing playing with some passion there. He’s definitely not entertained.
  • Every other sentence seems to be about him tonight, but he’s been good.
  • Anderson absolutely wails on a guy, and gets five and a game.
  • Really nice short-handed shift from the boys.
  • Ah great. We just go from bad to worse.
  • Walters to the box and Richart as well, because reasons.
  • …As bad as Richart getting a 10 minute misconduct is…that’s 10 minutes in which he can’t get hurt as this game goes nowhere good in a hurry…if you want to look at it from the very, very, very faint bright side…
  • What a shift from Walters as he flew out of the box!
  • Obviously, penalties aren’t the reason the Grizzlies are currently losing. But KC definitely hasn’t played as clean a game as the score sheet would indicate…
  • And the fans are not happy about it.
  • Hate to sound like a broken record, but…as AD used to say…I don’t know about that…
  • Zahn’s penalty is killed, and Ottenbreit throws a thunderous hit!
  • Well. If you can’t score a ton in front of a big crowd, at least entertain them with big hits, and a surprising fight from Mitch Maxwell!
  • As bad as this game has been, and as many penalties as Utah’s taken, they’ve only got one power play goal against them. That’s pretty impressive.
  • That is the second short-handed dash from Walters and Downing that SOMEHOW didn’t beat McDonald.
  • Welp. I guess that winning streak had to come to an end sometime.
  • Utah falls 3-0.

 

“First off, they played hard.” said Tim Branham after the game. “They came at us hard, we tried weathering the storm, obviously got behind the eight ball early with penalties. Definitely a lopsided affair on the referee’s part. You have the linesmen out there calling penalties, the reason it gets out of hand is because they don’t call the penalties, and they don’t keep it under control. Hockey players handle it themselves. Unfortunately, we face that a lot here with our part-time linesmen, they always seem to have it out for us, but it is what it is.

“I thought there were times where we could have played better,” he added. “I thought we played extremely hard, it’s tough when the power plays were eight to one, the one power play we had was 37 seconds. I definitely saw some penalties out there that could have been called. But it is what it is. I thought the boys played really hard, I was really proud of them, and we gotta regroup here and come back on Monday.”

Despite the lopsided penalties, the Grizzlies only allowed one power play goal — a testament to their defensive abilities.

“I thought our PK was good,” Branham said. “The one that they scored was off of a face-off, and just got a quick shot, nothing structurally or anything like that. It is what it is, those bounces happen, kind of like their one yesterday. I thought we played really well, they had what, three five-on-threes tonight, an extended one for over a minute, and then two shorter ones, the effort is there. We’ve got an unreal team, unreal character, and definitely proud of the way they played. We got the short end of the stick, 100% in front of 8,500 fans and the commissioner here. They couldn’t find one penalty on them. It’s pretty sad.”

The Grizzlies’ eight game point streak and five game winning streak came to an end, as all good things must, but there were valuable things that came from it that will continue to stand the team in good stead going forward.

“We came together as a team, no matter who was in our lineup. Guys are understanding what it takes to win games, I think. Playing short-handed a lot with new guys who aren’t used to playing in this league, it’ll take a toll on you. So when you’re killing that many penalties, you’re really relying on your veteran core guys as well, so they’re getting a lot of ice time as well. It was a good streak, that’s for sure. We’ve got to make sure we put this one behind us and start a new streak.”

Monday’s matinee game against the Mavericks is gonna be a big one.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography and staff.


 

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