West Valley City • Forty minutes of hockey had transpired between the Utah Grizzlies and the Norfolk Admirals and the home team found itself facing an impossible five-goal deficit against an opportunistic opponent. Suddenly, the Grizzlies caught fire, scoring three goals in four minutes as Michael Pelech, Charley Graaskamp and Greger Hanson all connected against Norfolk goalie Jake Paterson, who had been spectacular up to that point. However, it was too little too late as Norfolk held on for a 5-3 win.
The defense was porous in the initial two periods as Norfolk capitalized on several Utah turnovers and penalties. Admirals forward Grant Besse scored twice and Angelo Miceli found the back of the net as Utah faced an early deficit. Norfolk then overwhelmed Utah on a five-on-three in the second period, firing several shots against Grizzlies goaltender Angus Redmond when Trevor Mingola finally scored.
Utah had recorded only three goals in 171 minutes up to that point on the young season. With the three-goal explosion, the Grizzlies seem to have finally found some offensive chemistry as the team seeks an elusive first win of the season.
Turning Point • In the first period, lapses that resulted in a pair of turnovers were capitalized on by Norfolk as Grant Besse scored twice and Angelo Miceli once. And with 40 minutes of hockey still to play, Utah found itself facing a 3-0 deficit.
First star • Norfolk forward Grant Besse gave Norfolk an early 2-0 lead all by himself in the first period, scoring the game’s first two goals. The second occurred on a Grizzly turnover as Besse collected the puck, deked Utah goalie Angus Redmond to one side, and fired a top shelf goal that demoralized the Grizzlies.
Second star • Utah forward Greger Hanson collected two points in four minutes, scoring his first goal of the season and also providing an assist.
Third star • Norfolk forward Angelo Miceli was a sparkplug for the Admirals’ offense, collecting three points on one goal and two assists.
Quoteworthy • “I think you saw what we are capable offensively,” Graaskamp said. “With the three goals in four minutes we found some offensive swagger and feel good about ourselves moving forward as we head to Idaho. We have a talented group in this locker room and we’re going to turn this thing around.”
What’s next • Utah will seek it’s first victory on the road against the Idaho Steelheads on Wednesday at 7 p.m.