Although the Utah Grizzlies skated toe to toe with the defending Kelly Cup champion Colorado Eagles in their home opener, they came up short as the Eagles escaped with a 2-1 victory.
Colorado defenseman Collin Bowman ripped a deep shot midway through the third period that beat Utah goalie Angus Redmond to break a 1-1 tie.
Colorado broke through with 1:05 remaining in the first period when Drayson Bowman deposited a rebound past Redmond for a 1-0 lead. Utah would strike quickly in the second as a 3 on 2 developed, overwhelming Eagles goalie Joe Cannata as Taylor Richart scored.
Turning point • Utah was unable to take advantage of a power play midway through the third period and once Colorado returned to full strength, they made the Grizzlies pay when Bowman recorded the game-winner.
First STAR • Rookie goaltender Angus Redmond, signed by Utah on Friday, looked more like a seasoned veteran, stopping all but two of the 27 shots the Eagles fired his way. Redmond was especially impressive in staving off a 5-on-3 power play for 90 seconds.
Second STAR • Defenseman Richart was flying around the ice, recording his first goal of the season and providing stellar defense, particularly in shutting out the Eagles during their six power-play attempts.
Third STAR • Colorado defenseman Collin Bowman not only recorded the game-winner, but was instrumental in holding the Grizzlies to a single goal as Utah’s power-play unit went 0 for 4.
Quoteworthy • “For some reason we’re having a hard time scoring goals,” head coach Tim Branham said. “But we have guys who know how to put the puck in the back of the net and it will come.”
What’s next • The Grizzlies play host to the Norfolk Admirals at 7 p.m. Monday.