The Utah Grizzlies are starting to catch fire, and an offense that has largely been absent during the initial stages of the season has been rekindled. Fresh off their first win of the season, Utah dominated the Idaho Steelheads in the rubber match of a three-game set. Goalie Kevin Carr did the rest, shutting down Idaho’s offense as the Grizzlies won 3-0.
The Grizzlies started the game hot and it was the defense that provided the offense as the first two shots captured an early 2-0 lead. A mere 36 seconds apart, defensemen Taylor Richart and Cliff Watson each blistered the nets against a surprised Idaho goaltender in Branden Komm.
Although Idaho outshot Utah to the tune of 36-13, the Grizzlies not only controlled the puck for the majority of the game but created more quality chances than their opponent as the team is starting to gain confidence and momentum.
Turning Point • A loose puck was hovering near the blue line when Richart raced up, wound and fired the Grizzlies first shot against Steelheads goalie Branden Komm that found the back of the net. Utah grabbed a 1-0 lead and never looked back.
First STAR • Carr stopped all 36 shots the Steelheads fired his way, including several at point blank range as he collected his first win in net for Utah.
Second STAR • Only one period had been played and Utah forward Michael Pelech had notched two points on a goal and an assist. Pelech waited patiently for a puck to settle in front of the net, then rifled it past Komm and assisted on Cliff Watson’s first professional goal.
Third STAR • Richart has been crucial in providing spark to the Grizzlies offense thus far. The defenseman provided the game-winner on his third goal of the season. Richart has been crucial in providing spark to the Grizzlies offense thus far. The defenseman provided the game-winner on his third goal of the season, but he has been providing solid defense as well.
Quoteworthy • “It feels great getting my first win in a Grizzlie uniform and honestly it feels like it was a long time coming,” Carr said. “The defense played great in front of me and blocked a lot of shots. We’re starting to come together as a team.”
What’s next • Utah hosts the Worcester Railers, Friday at 7 p.m. at Maverik Center.