For the first time since October, the Grizzlies appear to be turning the corner. Utah completed the weekend sweep of San Francisco with a 3-2 win on Saturday in what was one of the team's most complete performances in weeks.
"That was our best game from start to finish so far this season, no question," said Grizzlies coach Kevin Colley.
Entering the game, the Grizzlies had been struggling to put together three good periods in a row. They got that against the Bulls, and it started with goaltender Grant Rollheiser, who had his best game yet as a Grizzly. Rollheiser allowed a power-play goal in each of the first two periods, but he kept San Francisco out of the net for the final 32 minutes of the contest.
"Our power-play defense let him down on those two goals," Colley said. "He made all the saves he should have made. He is going to keep getting better and better."
The Utah defense, as a whole, made great strides as a unit. The Grizzlies had allowed at least three goals in 12 straight games, so holding the Bulls to just two was a significant accomplishment.
Right wing Bryan Cameron, who scored what would be the game-winning goal in the third period, said the stout defense fueled the offense.
"We had been having a rough time keeping pucks out of the net, so that was our focus coming in," Cameron said. "We knew the offense would take care of itself. We weren't afraid to be aggressive on offense because we were doing our jobs on defense."
The Grizzlies are enjoying the weekend's success, but not for long. They travel to play first-place Alaska next weekend in what will be their stiffest test of the year so far.
"They have some stars up there," Colley said, "so we will need our strongest 16 pulling the same rope in the same direction."
Grizzlies 3, Bulls 2
R Grizzlies goaltender Grant Rollheiser holds San Francisco scoreless in the final 32 minutes of Saturday's win.
• Utah outshoots the Bulls 37-22.
• The Grizzlies have now won two consecutive games for the first time since October.