With the Utah Grizzlies mired in a nine-game winless streak, they had an opportunity to right the ship against an opponent they've had recent success against: the Rapid City Rush. With the score tied and overtime hockey underway, it was Mike Banwell's second goal of the night that provided Utah a much-needed win, 6-5.
"It felt really good to get that win," Banwell said. "I was proud of the way the boys responded, and we really needed those two points. Hopefully we can build some momentum off this going forward."
After the third period began with the score tied 4-4, it appeared that Banwell's slapshot at 11:07 would hold up as the game-winner. However, with time dwindling, Justin Hache ensured that the game would head into overtime as his wrist shot got past Utah goalie Ryan McKay, who was replacing an injured Ryan Faragher, to tie the score at 5-5.
Although they were outshot 13-9 in the opening session, it was the Grizzlies who found themselves with a healthy 3-1 lead. Following an early goal by Rush center Brett Perlini, Utah responded furiously with three straight goals.
The first was recorded when a two on one developed with Jon Puskar and C.J. Eick. Puskar fired the puck past Rapid City goalie Austin Lotz to level the contest. The second occurred when Erik Bradford bobbed and weaved his way down the ice and nestled the puck past an out of position Lutz. Utah finished the flurry when recently acquired Johnny McInnis scored his first home goal in a Grizzlies uniform, launching a slapshot into the back of the net.
The second period proved to be a complete reversal of fortune as Rapid City dominated Utah, outscoring the Grizzlies 3-1. With the exception of a lone Grizzlies goal by Mathieu Aubin, the frame belonged entirely to the visitors. Two of the Rush's three goals came from former Grizzlies Ryan Walters and Josh MacDonald. Michael Young completed the onslaught with a wrist shot at 18:25 to level the contest at 4.