Minor league hockey: Utah score 3 third-period goals to beat visiting San Francisco
West Valley City • For the first time since opening night, the Utah Grizzlies breathed a bit easier in the third period of Saturday's contest if only just a little.
Utah scored three goals in the final eight minutes of the third to defeat the San Francisco Bulls, 5-2 at the Maverik Center for the team's fifth win in nine games and the first time since opening night that the Grizz have scored more than three goals in a game.
Early on, however, it felt like dÃ©jÃ vu all over again for Utah.
One night after failing to convert on seven power-play opportunities and on all but one of the team's 32 shots, Utah drew two power plays in the first five minutes of the game but failed to convert on several scoring chances close to the net. And for the second night in a row, Utah gave up a power-play goal in the opening minutes of the second period to give the Bulls a one-goal lead.
"Here we go again," coach Tim Branham said jokingly. "[But] I'll take that any day. We outshot them 9-0 and 12-2 at one point, and then we got into some penalty trouble in the second period â¦ the boys battled through."
But midway through the second period the similarities to a disappointing Friday ended and the Grizzlies started scoring in bunches. At 12:02 in the second period, David Vallorani skated behind San Francisco's net and passed the puck to teammate Vinny Scarsella for his second goal of the year. Seven minutes later, the Grizzlies drew two penalties within a span of 30 seconds to give the team a 4-on-3 power play. The Grizzlies capitalized as Rylan Galiardi passed the puck to Mathieu Aubin for a one-timer that found the back of the net at 19:30 in the second period.
Utah added three more goals in the closing minutes of the third period â including an empty-net goal by Danick Paquette â to seal the victory.
"It was bound to happen," said Branham of his team's offensive explosion. "We've got too much skill up front and too many goal scorers for it not to happen sooner or later. We've just got to keep it up."
Grizzlies 5, Bulls 2
R Igor Bobkov returns to the net for the Grizzlies after a five game absence and saves 23 of 25 shots.
• David Vallorani records his team-leading ninth and 10th assists of the year.