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Grizzlies defeat Rush in OT

First Published      Last Updated Jan 07 2017 10:50 pm

ECHL » Cuddemi scores two, including game-winner.

It's taken nearly half the season but the Utah Grizzlies, led by Ralph Cuddemi, are finding their groove.

Rapid City battled back from a four-goal deficit to force overtime, and Cuddemi scored his second goal of the night — fourth in two games — as the Grizzlies escaped with a 6-5 victory at the Maverik Center.

"It's easy to score when the team is rolling," Cuddemi said. "Everyone's confidence is high and even when the game was 5-5 we were still positive and still believed in ourselves and that's something that was lacking earlier in the season."

Going into Saturday night, the Grizzlies had given up the game's first goal on home ice in seven consecutive games. But against the Rush on Saturday night, Utah exploded for a total of four goals in the first period and started the second period with a comfy 4-1 lead.




Utah's Phil Pietroniro began the scoring, with his first goal of the season 1:11 into the game.

Michael Young tied the contest, then Utah offense shifted into a higher gear.

Erik Bradford, Cuddemi and Mathieu Aubin all scored in the final five minutes of the first period.

After Jon Puskar scored for Utah in the second period for a cozy 5-1 advantage, the Grizzlies let up on the gas pedal and Rapid City took advantage.

Former Grizzly Josh MacDonald cut into Utah's deficit and Mark Cooper scored with just 51 seconds left in the period.

Once Riley Weselowski scored a power play goal halfway through the third period, the crowd of 6,127 grew tense with the outcome suddenly in doubt.

The Rush pulled goalkeeper Adam Morrison for the extra skater, and the visitors applied the pressure. Mark Cooper scored with just 30 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.

Cuddemi scored the game-winner 2:48 into overtime and Utah remained undefeated against Rapid City this season.

 

AT A GLANCE

ECHL standings

EASTERN CONFERENCE

North GP W L OL SL Pts GF GA

Manchester 34 21 10 1 2 45 127 104

Brampton 33 19 11 1 2 41 123 118

Reading 33 19 12 1 1 40 117 98

Adirondack 31 16 10 2 3 37 104 94

Wheeling 30 16 12 2 0 34 101 91

Elmira 31 7 19 5 0 19 72 113

South GP W L OL SOL Pts GF GA

Florida 33 23 7 1 2 49 120 96

Orlando 35 18 11 4 2 42 127 121

South Carolina 32 19 11 1 1 40 101 82

Greenville 33 17 13 2 1 37 103 109

Cincinnati 32 15 13 4 0 34 92 91

Atlanta 34 14 15 4 1 33 120 132

Norfolk 33 9 20 4 0 22 81 120

Western Conference

Central GP W L OL SOL Pts GF GA

Toledo 32 25 6 0 1 51 130 87

Fort Wayne 32 20 9 3 0 43 126 96

Tulsa 38 20 15 3 0 43 111 111

Quad City 33 18 13 0 2 38 95 96

Kalamazoo 33 13 17 0 3 29 84 115

Wichita 30 12 16 1 1 26 82 108

Indy 33 9 21 1 2 21 83 130

Mountain GP W L OL SOL Pts GF GA

Allen 36 21 13 1 1 44 134 98

Colorado 34 20 10 1 3 44 113 101

Idaho 34 20 11 2 1 43 116 104

Alaska 32 18 9 1 4 41 106 93

Utah 34 14 17 2 1 31 101 122

Missouri 34 13 16 1 4 31 99 116

Rapid City 33 10 16 7 0 27 99 121

Saturday’s games

South Carolina 3, Greenville 2, SO

Reading 4, Adirondack 3

Florida 3, Manchester 2

Toledo 4, Brampton 0

Norfolk 3, Elmira 0

Fort Wayne 5, Quad City 1

Utah 6, Rapid City 5, OT


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