Utah Grizzlies: Ontario defeats Grizz 2-1
West Valley City • The Utah Grizzlies suffered their first regulation loss at home this season, falling 2-1 to the Ontario Reign at the Maverik Center on Friday night.
The loss brings the Grizzlies' winless streak to six games (a stretch dating back to the second game of the season) and the team's overall record to 1-4-1-1.
The Grizzlies opened the game outplaying and outhustling arguably the best team in the Western Conference, but a costly turnover at the blue line at 5:26 in the first period led to a nifty backhand goal by Ontario's Dan DaSilva. The goal was one of only three shots for Ontario in the first period, compared with 14 for the Grizzlies.
"We completely dominated in the first period," said Utah coach Tim Branham. "They got a lucky bounce and a turnover through the middle, and they capitalized [on the] first shot of the game."
Utah eventually pulled even at 15:14 in the second period on Danick Paquette's goal from the right side. The goal was the first of the year to go with two assists for the forward from Montreal. The score didn't stay even for long.
At 3:34 in the third period, Ontario's Matt White scored the game-winning goal after a scramble for the puck at the net.
"[We have] to generate more shots, more scoring opportunities and find a way to find the back of the net," Branham said. "[Ontario's] goalie played well, they played tough defensively, but we found holes. We've just got to find a way to score goals."
Forwards Michael Pelech and Mathieu Aubin played extremely well for the Grizzlies only a day after being acquired from the Cincinatti Cyclones.
"Adding new guys to the lineup could be an excuse, but not when they're your best players," said Branham.
The Grizzlies will look to end their winless streak when they play the Reign again at the Maverik Center on Saturday night.
Reign 2,Grizzlies 1
O Igor Bobkov returns to the net for Utah after spending two weeks with the AHL's Norfolk Admirals. The 6-foot-6 goalie saves 24 of 26 shots.
• The loss extends the Grizzlies' winless streak to six games.