West Valley City • Feeling the frustration of two tough losses to the Allen Americans, the Utah Grizzlies took it out on the visiting Adirondack Thunder in a convincing 5-2 victory Monday.
Forward Ralph Cuddemi led the charge with two goals, and goaltender Ryan Faragher stopped 24 of 26 shots to seal the victory.
"It's always fun to score but we owe a huge round of applause to our goalie who kept us in the game," Cuddemi said. "It seemed like the puck was bouncing our way tonight and we're happy to take the two points."
Seven shots was all it took for the Grizzlies to set the scoreboard ablaze with an early 3-0 lead.
It began when Colin Martin fired a laser at Thunder goaltender Mason McDonald. Although he stopped the shot, he surrendered a juicy rebound to Cuddemi, who simply deposited the puck into the back of the net.
Two minutes later, Shane Walsh flashed speed and skill, weaving through two defenders to launch a rocket that beat McDonald.
Then, Cuddemi scored his second of the night on a power play to finish the scoring flurry.
The Thunder didn't know what hit them and wouldn't recover.
"Ralph is a really good player and every goal he's had for us this year has been big," Grizzlies coach Tim Branham said. "He's a complete player on both ends of the ice."
Utah would continue to apply the pressure in the second period.
The Grizzlies found themselves on a rare four on one breakaway and made the most of it. C.J. Eick rushed up the ice, faked to one side, and slid the puck into the back of the net.
When Adirondack finally scored at 18:50 in the second period on a power play by Ty Loney, it was way too little too late for the Thunder. Their final goal came with just two minutes left in the game by Brian Ward.
With Adirondack playing desperate hockey in the third, pulling its goalie with just under five minutes to play, Evan Stoflet fired a shot from three-quarters the length of the ice into an empty net to complete the scoring for the Grizzlies.