ECHL: Utah Grizzlies rally, but come up short
West Valley City • The Utah Grizzlies fell to the Las Vegas Wranglers on Wednesday for the second time in five nights, this time in a 4-3 overtime thriller.
The aggressive Wranglers picked up where they left off in Saturday night's win over the Grizzlies, scoring three goals in the first 8:07 of the first period.
Despite the slow start, the Grizzlies weren't intimidated.
Utah came roaring back, scoring two goals of their own within a 28-scond span, stretching between the first and second periods. Brent Gwidt scored his first goal of the season with five seconds remaining in the first period on a Grizzlies power play, while ECHL Player of the Week Jamie MacQueen found the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season only 23 seconds into the second period.
The Grizzlies brought the game back to a deadlock at 10:18 in the second period on Gwidt's short-handed goal, his second of the night.
Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, it would be their last.
Through three games, Gwidt and MacQueen remain the Grizzlies' only goal scorers, but coach Tim Branham isn't concerned.
"The other guys are setting them up," Branham said. "MacQueen is a shooter. He's going to get a lot of goals. It was only a matter of time before Gwidt broke through and we have other guys who need to start producing more. You can't really teach goal-scoring, but we'll work on it."
Tempers flared briefly in the third period after the Grizzlies' Teigan Zahn fell hard to the ice after being undercut by one of the Wranglers. Cooler heads eventually prevailed, but not before both Zahn and the Wranglers' Adam Huxley were sent to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Grizzlies had another chance to pull ahead at the end of the third period, but ultimately failed to convert on the power-play opportunity.
Jeff May scored for Las Vegas only 45 seconds into the overtime period, squeaking the puck past the Grizzlies' goalie, Igor Bobkov, for the game-winning goal.
The Grizzlies will look to bounce back Friday vs. San Francisco.
"Right now, we're not having trouble scoring goals," Branham said of his team's effort. "We need to keep playing the way we've been playing. â¦ We have a team that can put fear into people's eyes." Â
• Jamie MacQueen scores his ECHL-leading sixth goal of the year.
• The Grizzlies score two goals on only 5 second-period shots.
• Utah goalie Igor Bobkov allows four goals on 23 Las Vegas shots.