Utah Grizzlies: Grizz defeat Idaho 5-4 in OT
West Valley City • Michael Pelech scored the game-winning goal in the final minute of overtime on a slap shot from the left circle as the Grizzlies overcame three Idaho goals scored within a 2:40 span in the second period to beat the Steelheads, 5-4, in a wild game at the Maverik Center on Friday.
"We had some chances before," said Pelech. "Vinny [Scarsella] drove the net hard and I just shot it and it happened to go in. I was pretty happy."
Early in the first period, Utah took full advantage of its first power play when Pelech dumped the puck to D.J. Jelitto near the right circle, who then fed Teigan Zahn for his fourth goal of the year.
After Idaho pulled even late in the first period, Scarsella, coming off his game-winning goal against Idaho on Wednesday, skated through the offensive zone and fired a cross-ice pass to Kris Hogg who redirected the puck into the net to give the Grizz a 2-1 lead.
But just when it seemed the Grizzlies had gained control, Idaho poked the puck past a diving Igor Bobkov to tie the game, 2-2, and Utah's Michael Pelech was sent to the box for cross-checking on the play. The Steelheads scored again just 30 seconds later to take a one-goal lead.
On the ensuing Grizzlies' possession, after several fights broke out on the ice, Mike Folkes was assessed a five- minute major penalty and a game misconduct for fighting. And less than thirty seconds into their second power play, the Steelheads scored again to extend their lead to 4-2.
Utah pulled within a goal just 13 seconds into the third period, as Jelitto rebounded the puck on the left side and wristed it back into the net. And with just five minutes remaining in the third, Zahn skated through the crease and fired a puck past Idaho's Pat Nagle to tie the game 4-4.
"There was a stretch in the second period where some unfortunate things happened and we battled through it," said coach Tim Branham. "Coming into the third, we never said quit."
Grizzlies 5, Steelheads 4 (OT)
R Igor Bobkov, ranking fourth in the ECHL in goals-against average at 2.08, saves 27 of 31 shots to improve his unbeaten streak to 11 games.