West Valley City • The Utah Grizzlies found themselves trailing early, rallied to force overtime but lost 6-5 in a shootout to the Idaho Steeleheads on Wednesday night at the Maverik Center.
Grizzlies goalie Sean Maguire was chased after giving up three goals in the first period and replaced by backup Angus Redmond. Utah cut the deficit in the second period to 3-2 on goals by Ryan Walters and Austin Ortega before Idaho’s Zach Bell extended his team’s lead to 4-2 going into the second intermission. After the teams exchanged goals early in the third period, Brad Navin scored on a power play to make it 5-4 and Walters scored his second of the night to force overtime and eventually a shootout.
The Grizzlies have been struggling with surrendering short-handed goals recently and Wednesday night the trend continued, as Steelheads forward Connor Chatham gave his team an early 1-0 lead with a tally while a man down.
Steelheads forward Alexander Dahl was the featured cog in the Idaho offense. In addition to his goal, Dahl also assisted on Bell’s goal for a two-point night.
Normally the premier goal scorer for Idaho, Steven McParland was busy distributing the puck to his teammates instead, delivering a pair of pinpoint passes to Samuelsson and Dahl on their goals. McParland then scored the game-winner in the shootout.
Grizzlies forward Navin scored twice in the third period, both on power-play opportunities.
“We had to fight back and we have to be sick of digging ourselves into a hole and making it hard on ourselves,” Navin said. “But it shows that guys are trying and don’t give up and do everything they can to win.”
Utah at Idaho, 7 p.m. Friday to start a seven-game road trip.