ECHL: Short-handed Utah Grizzlies lose at home to Bakersfield
West Valley City • The North American hockey world was reinvigorated when the NHL resumed play Saturday. But locally, the concentration was on wins and losses as the Utah Grizzlies had a chance to get back to an even record.
That didn't happen and Grizzlies coach Kevin Colley wasn't happy.
Bakersfield, after losing to Utah the night before, exacted a small measure of revenge by beating the Grizzlies 5-2 at the Maverik Center.
"We weren't ready to play and that's what happens when your a .500 club you win one, you lose one," Colley said. "The guys are going to have to learn and I'm going to have to start taking things away from them."
The night game came after another day of multiple roster moved around the ECHL, which included Mitch Wahl returning to Utah after a short stint with Abbottsford in the AHL. But Wahl, who was named a league All-Star on Thursday, didn't get to stay on ice for the whole contest against the Condors.
In the last minutes of the second period, with Bakersfield having just grabbed a 2-1 lead, Wahl received an interference penalty followed by an unsportsmanlike conduct and then a game misconduct penalty.
"We had a short bench, but there's no excuse. It's just guys not willing to play on the D side of the puck," Colley said. "With the short bench, Mitch Wahl takes a real silly, selfish penalty and gets a misconduct and it just snowballs from there."
Utah (15-17-2-3) outshot Bakersfield (11-28-1-2) 22-8 in the first period and had an early lead when T.J. Battani found the net nine minutes into the game.
But the Condors tied on a shot by Brett Lyon early in the second and went ahead when Francis Verrault, on a pass from Peter Boyd, one-timed a shot past Shane Owen with two minutes left in the period.
Bakersfield pulled away with scores from Francis Meilleur, Boyd and Brett Perlini in the third before the Grizzlies got a goal from Adam Estoclet in the waning seconds.
"Obviously we weren't ready to score. You put up 50 shots at home and you basically get one goal I don't care about that last goal with 27 seconds." Colley said.
R Tyler Maxwell starts the day with Utah, but was in the opposite locker room before gametime as he's traded to the Condors on Saturday. Maxwell doesn't have to switch numbers though as he kept the No. 11 he wore with the Grizzlies.
• Wahl, Estoclet and David Eddy are all reassigned to Utah from Abbotsford.