The clock is ticking on the Utah Grizzlies if they hope to make it 10 straight postseason appearances. Heeding the call, six players each scored as the Grizzlies beat the Alaska Aces 6-3 on Saturday night at the Maverik Center.
The win brings the Grizzlies within nine points of the Aces for fourth in the Western Conferene's Mountain Division.
"We talked about the way we wanted to play and the way we needed to play in order to have success and climb back into the playoff hunt, and we did that," Utah coach Tim Branham said. "We played hard for 60 minutes and that's a credit to the boys."
Leading by a goal in the third period, Utah scored three more times to extend the lead. C.J. Eick began the fun on a two-on-one breakaway, keeping the puck and firing past Alaska keeper Kevin Carr. Then, Utah was successful on two power play attempts as Phil Pietroniro and Cam Reid increased their lead
"We stuck to the game plan and we never gave up, and it showed on the scoreboard," Pietroniro said.
In a bizarre first period, Utah dominated the Aces, outshooting Alaska 14-5 but the score was tied at 2 at the end of the session. In fact, the Grizzlies scored the game's first goal before the Aces even registered a shot. Michael Pelech got the home team on the board, rifling in a rebound from Erik Bradford.
Utah was then presented with a power play, but the Aces scored not two short-handed goals on two-on-one breakaways. Stephen Perfetto and Daniel Moynihan blistered the net, and in the blink of an eye, Alaska captured the lead.
However, Utah would salvage a tie when Ralph Cuddemi scored his team-best 18th goal of the season.
The Grizzlies continued to apply the pressure in the second and were rewarded when Colin Martin found the back of the net following a shot by Taylor Richart to take the lead at 3-2. Tim Hofman later scored Alaska's third goal of the night.