The hockey gods haven’t been smiling on the Utah Grizzlies in recent weeks, and Wednesday night’s matchup against the Idaho Steelheads was no exception.
Three shots clanked off the posts, an apparent Ryan Olsen goal was waved off for high-sticking, and Idaho extended Utah’s winless streak to nine games, cruising along to a 5-2 victory.
Across the ice from Utah was a familiar face in Idaho goalie Ryan Faragher, who was a stalwart in net for the Grizzlies over the course of three seasons. Faragher played with a chip on his shoulder, stopping 28 shots faced. Opposing him in net was Kevin Carr, who up until Wednesday had been a steady hand. It wasn’t Carr’s night, however, as he allowed four goals on 10 shots and was replaced by Angus Redmond midway through the second period.
Turning point • Twice in the first period, the Grizzlies surrendered goals following a successful penalty kill. The first was by Justin Parizek, and the second was by defenseman Shane Hanna, as Idaho took a 2-1 lead in the first period.
First star • Utah has had enough of Hanna this season. Following Monday’s two-goal affair, Hanna’s first-period tally was on a strong slapshot.
Second star • For his part, Grizzlies forward Ryan Walters did everything he could to keep Utah in the game. Already at a one-man disadvantage, defenseman James Melindy made a beautiful two-line pass to Walters as he exploded for a breakaway, going top shelf for a goal against Faragher.
Third star • Justin Parizek has been a scoring machine for the Steelheads this season, and the Idaho forward punished Utah with a goal and an assist.
Quoteworthy • “We have a better team than the way we’ve been playing,” Walters said. “It’s going to take work to get out of it but we just need one (win) to get some confidence and momentum.”
What’s next • Utah visits Idaho at 7 p.m. Friday.