Grizzlies defeat Reign in shootout
Another Grizzlies home game, another close match.
After an overtime loss and a shootout loss in back-to-back home games during the Grizzlies' previous home stand, Utah's third overtime and second shootout in five home games proved to be the charm, as it skated to a 3-2 shootout win over the Ontario Reign at the Maverik Center on Monday night.
After struggling in his first start with the Grizzlies, goalkeeper Aaron Dell put together two stellar performances in a row against Ontario. Monday, Dell's performance included saving four out of five Ontario shootout chances.
"He was awesome," Coach Tim Branham said of Dell. "He came up big for us. He has battled back from his first start."
Rylan Galiardi picked up where he left off after scoring Saturday's game-winner. With 30 seconds remaining in the first period, the forward skated unchecked through the Grizzlies' offensive zone and slapped home his second goal of the year. Galiardi's goal was the culmination of another strong start for the Grizz, as the team drew three power play opportunities and had nine shots on goal in the first period alone.
The Reign did their best to bully and intimidate their way back into the game with a strong second period that included several penalties being assessed to both teams for fighting. Utah did a good job of matching Ontario's intensity, but the Reign pulled even on a 5-on-3 power play goal, and with less than a minute remaining in the period, scored again to take a 2-1 lead.
"[The Reign] play on the edge," said Branham. "They play hard. You know you're in for a battle every night. They had something to prove, but so did we. I thought we responded well â¦ You've got to give our guys credit."
Utah eventually pulled even on a 5-on-3 opportunity of its own in the third period, as Adam Pineault scored his first goal of the year off a rebound to tie the game at 2-2. That set up Aaron Dell's stellar goalkeeping in the final minute of overtime and in the shootout period.
Newcomer Mathieu Aubin and forward Berkley Scott each found the back of the net for the Grizzlies in the shootout for their second straight win.
The Grizzlies will look to string three in a row on Saturday versus the Colorado Eagles.
One game after pitching a shutout in his Maverik Center debut, goaltender Aaron Dell saves 26 of 28 shots.
Utah allows its first power-play goal at home this season after starting the year perfect on the penalty-kill.
Storylines Grizz 3, Reign 2 (SO)
R Utah goaltender Aaron Dell saves 26 of 28 shots.
• Utah allows its first power-play goal at home this season.