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Hockey: Utah Grizzlies score record three short-handed goals in 5-1 victory over Stockton

Published December 31, 2012 11:40 pm

ECHL • Grizzlies score franchise-best 3 short-handed goals.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

West Valley City • Utah Grizzlies forward Riley Armstrong, ever the opportunist, helped turn disaster into triumph.

In a wild second period, one that had Utah defending the Stockton power play for what seemed like the entire 20 minutes, Armstrong scored a pair of short-handed goals to spur the Grizzlies to a 5-1 blowout victory Monday night in the Maverik Center in front of 8,226 spectators.

And Utah (13-11-2-3), which will be hard-pressed this season to play a more opportunistic 20 minutes, scored three times and also escaped unscathed from a 5-on-3 Thunder power play.

"We're last place in the league with our [penalty kill], so we've been slowly trying to bring it around," Armstrong said. "That should help our percentages a bit."

Armstrong stole the puck twice for two clean chances, the second a three-quarter ice race to the net.

"He's a gamer," Utah coach Kevin Colley said. "To score a couple shorties obviously gives you momentum. It was a huge period for us, and I liked the way we kept on pushing through in the third.

"It's been a long time since we played a third period like that."

To cap the second period, Utah forward Colin Vock, sent sprawling behind the net, sprang to his feet and skated unnoticed behind Thunder (17-10-4-3) goalie Tyler Bunz. Utah's Brad Mills' surgical pass gave Vock a wide-open net with 3 minutes, 18 seconds to play in the period.

Later on, in the third period, Vock scored a franchise record third short-handed goal.

Utah goalie Andrew Engelage complemented the Grizzlies' offensive outburst with a series of saves. Engelage was a brick in goal and needed to be.

"Having Andrew in net is a big lift for our club," Colley said. "When we got run around a little in the first period, they could have had a goal or two."

The first period was notable for its missed chances, of which there were several.

Certainly, Trevor Lewis, who scored for his third consecutive game with Utah on a third-period assist, would like to have back his off-target effort during a power play at the 9:50 mark.

Lewis, who had enough time to line up a putt, fired high and wide.

Donovan and Vock also went begging as the puck found them in the Stockton crease.

martyr@sltrib.comTwitter:@tribmarty —

Highlights

O Utah sets a franchise record with three short-handed goals.

• Riley Armstrong scores his 13th and 14th goals on a pair of short-handed chances.

• Grizzlies forward Colin Vock scores two goals and center Mitch Wahl adds one.