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ECHL: Utah Grizzlies rally to victory against Alaska Aces

First Published      Last Updated Mar 01 2017 10:42 pm

ECHL » Utah gets crucial win in race for a spot in the playoffs.

To extend a nine-season playoff appearance streak to 10, the Utah Grizzlies must make up ground fast.

And they answered the call on Wednesday night, scoring the final four goals of the game and beating the Alaska Aces 5-3 at the Maverik Center in ECHL action to draw within four points of the Aces for fourth in the Mountain Division.

"We got down 3-1 for a reason. We weren't working hard. But once we got in a rhythm and understood that if we work hard good things will happen, things started to turn around for us," Grizzlies head coach Tim Branham said. "Our destiny is in our hands, and we just need to keep winning games."




Trailing 3-2 as the third period began, Utah exploded out of the gates with a pair of goals three minutes into the period.

Erik Higby fired a slap shot that blew by Aces goalie Kevin Carr and tied the game. Utah then claimed the lead at 4-3 as Mathieu Aubin scored the Grizzlies' third power-play goal of the night. In the blink of an eye, Utah found itself in the lead. And with Alaska pulling Carr late in the period, Michael Pelech launched a shot from center ice to complete the comeback.

"We stuck together and started working hard, and it fueled our energy," Aubin said. "We need to take it one game at a time but we won't be happy unless we get the six points this weekend."

Utah's first power play of the night proved successful as the Grizzlies' leading scorer, Ralph Cuddemi, converted for a 1-0 lead. However, the Grizzlies would be silenced offensively until late in the second period as the Aces registered a trio of goals by Daniel Moynihan, Tim Wallace and former Grizzlie Brad Navin.

Utah's power play was on point as addition Zac Larraza, recently assigned to Utah from the Anaheim Ducks' AHL affiliate in San Diego, fired a slap shot that escaped the pads of Carr to give Utah life as the second period drew to a close and make the score 3-2.

 

AT A GLANCE

ECHL standings

EASTERN CONFERENCE

North GP W L OL SL Pts GF GA

Brampton 55 32 16 3 4 71 200 189

Manchester 56 30 16 6 4 70 213 196

Adirondack 54 29 15 6 4 68 195 170

Reading 55 32 20 1 2 67 202 163

Wheeling 54 27 21 6 0 60 184 173

Elmira 56 11 37 7 1 30 122 212

South GP W L OL SOL Pts GF GA

Florida 53 36 12 2 3 77 193 153

Greenville 56 31 20 4 1 67 191 188

Orlando 56 28 19 6 3 65 207 200

South Carolina 57 30 24 2 1 63 173 168

Cincinnati 58 29 25 4 0 62 162 172

Atlanta 54 21 25 6 2 50 179 208

Norfolk 54 20 30 4 0 44 153 201

Western Conference

Central GP W L OL SOL Pts GF GA

Toledo 55 39 13 2 1 81 231 153

Fort Wayne 55 33 15 5 2 73 205 165

Quad City 56 31 22 1 2 65 173 169

Kalamazoo 56 28 24 1 3 60 161 177

Tulsa 58 25 28 5 0 55 163 187

Wichita 53 16 33 3 1 36 145 209

Indy 55 15 36 2 2 34 136 220

Mountain GP W L OL SOL Pts GF GA

Colorado 57 39 14 1 3 82 223 162

Allen 57 35 17 3 2 75 228 167

Idaho 56 31 18 5 2 69 188 174

Alaska 54 27 19 2 6 62 176 176

Missouri 54 26 21 2 5 59 178 181

Utah 56 26 24 4 2 58 175 196

Rapid City 56 21 27 8 0 50 177 204

Wednesday’s games

Elmira 2, Manchester 1

Kalamazoo 3, Quad City 2, OT

Idaho 1, Rapid City 0

Utah 5, Alaska 3

Colorado 7, South Carolina 2

Thursday’s games

Greenville at Orlando, 5 p.m.

Adirondack at Cincinnati, 5:35 p.m.


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