It's taken nearly half the season but the Utah Grizzlies, led by Ralph Cuddemi, are finding their groove.
Rapid City battled back from a four-goal deficit to force overtime, and Cuddemi scored his second goal of the night — fourth in two games — as the Grizzlies escaped with a 6-5 victory at the Maverik Center.
"It's easy to score when the team is rolling," Cuddemi said. "Everyone's confidence is high and even when the game was 5-5 we were still positive and still believed in ourselves and that's something that was lacking earlier in the season."
Going into Saturday night, the Grizzlies had given up the game's first goal on home ice in seven consecutive games. But against the Rush on Saturday night, Utah exploded for a total of four goals in the first period and started the second period with a comfy 4-1 lead.
Utah's Phil Pietroniro began the scoring, with his first goal of the season 1:11 into the game.
Michael Young tied the contest, then Utah offense shifted into a higher gear.
Erik Bradford, Cuddemi and Mathieu Aubin all scored in the final five minutes of the first period.
After Jon Puskar scored for Utah in the second period for a cozy 5-1 advantage, the Grizzlies let up on the gas pedal and Rapid City took advantage.
Former Grizzly Josh MacDonald cut into Utah's deficit and Mark Cooper scored with just 51 seconds left in the period.
Once Riley Weselowski scored a power play goal halfway through the third period, the crowd of 6,127 grew tense with the outcome suddenly in doubt.
The Rush pulled goalkeeper Adam Morrison for the extra skater, and the visitors applied the pressure. Mark Cooper scored with just 30 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
Cuddemi scored the game-winner 2:48 into overtime and Utah remained undefeated against Rapid City this season.