Riding a three-game winning streak, the Utah Grizzlies offense had been firing on all cylinders — until they ran into Worcester Railers starting goaltender Mitch Gillam.
Facing an early two goal deficit, the Grizzlies ratcheted up their offensive intensity to no avail and the Railers salvaged a split against Utah in the two-game wekend series, winning 4-1. Having lost in overtime Friday night, Worcester took it to the Grizzlies from the start. The offensive thunder was provided by goals off the sticks of Chris Langkow, Ben Masella and Patrick McNally. And with an empty net, former Grizzlie Barry Almeida sealed Utah’s fate.
Turning Point • Two goals in the first period proved to be too difficult for the Grizzlies to surmount. The crowd at the Maverik Center barely had time to settle into their seats when Worcester’s first shot on goal, courtesty of Chris Langkow, at the 59-second mark got the Railers on the board.
First Star • For fifty minutes, the Utah Grizzlies were unable to solve the riddle that was Worcester goalie Mitch Gillam, who finished with only one goal allowed.
Second Star • Langkow’s deep shot from the blue line escaped the pads of Utah goalie Angus Redmond in the first minute of the game, and Langkow also assisted on a goal.
Third Star • Worcester defenseman Patrick McNally’s goal early in the third period was a dagger.
Quoteworthy • “That’s a good team over there,” Grizlies coach Tim Branham said. “They outworked us and they have guys that can make plays. Worcester did a great job of not allowing us to play our puck possession game through their energy and work ethic.”
What’s next • The Grizzlies visit Allen Americans at 6 p.m. Wednesday.