The goal was simple for the Utah Grizzlies: win Friday night and clinch their 10th straight playoff appearance.
Someone forgot to tell the Missouri Mavericks.
Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, the Mavericks played the role of spoilers, defeating Utah 3-2. The Grizzlies still control their destiny, however. A Utah victory Saturday or a loss by the Alaska Aces on Friday or Saturday against the Idaho Steelheads and a postseason berth is secure.
"I was disappointed in our effort, and we dug ourselves a hole with a two-goal deficit and you can't play like that," head coach Tim Branham said. "We have to be hungry. The question is how bad do we want it. I don't want to leave it to chance with Idaho. We need to come out tomorrow and show what we're made of."