The Utah Grizzlies beat the Colorado Eagles 4-2 at the Maverik Center on Friday for the team’s sixth straight win over the Eagles in a key matchup between the third and fourth seeded teams in a tight Western Conference playoff race.
With the win, Utah improves to 32-21-3-5 and still has the fewest home losses in the the ECHL this season.
StorylinesUtah shows another strong defensive effort, allowing just two goals to improve on the team’s impressive 2.48 goals allowed per game.
» Utah goalie Igor Bobkov pitches a shutout through the first 30 minutes and stops 24 of 26 shots for his 15th win.
» Utah allows more than 22 shots for the first time in five games as Colorado fires 26 shots on goal through three periods.
"That was a big win for us," Grizzlies coach Tim Branham said. "Going up on [Colorado] by three [standings] points is huge. They’re a good team, they came at us hard … but I thought we battled back and we scored goals when we needed to."
A game after teaming up to score two goals in Utah’s win Wednesday against Stockton, David Vallorani and Danick Paquette were at it again.
Ten minutes into the game, Utah took advantage of back-to-back Eagles penalties to score the game’s first goal on a power-play situation as Paquette skated through the high slot and wristed home his 16th goal of the season. Vallorani and Mathieu Aubin assisted on the play.
The tandem teamed up again in the third period on Paquette’s second goal of the game to extend the forward’s scoring streak to six games with five goals and two assists in that stretch, while Vallorani has five goals and five assists in his last eight games.
"What can you say? They’re leading the way," said Branham of Paquette and Vallorani. "Paquette’s got 17 goals this year, 40 points with over 200 penalty minutes. That’s hard work. Not many people can do that."
The Eagles came out strong in the second, threatening on several scoring chances close to the net, but Utah’s Igor Bobkov made a number of impressive kick saves, turning away each Eagles attempt before allowing his first goal 10:18 into the second period.
Utah added two goals in the third — on a Vinny Scarsella shot from near the point and on a Paquette rebound and putback — and outlasted back-to-back Colorado power plays late to preserve the win.
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