ECHL: UTAH GRIZZLIES’ BIG PUSH AGAINST OILERS TO GET A SPOT IN THE PLAYOFFS

Stakes were high as the Grizzlies stepped into the final series of the season. If they wanted to secure a spot in the playoffs, they needed to win all three games against Tulsa.

4/12/23

1ST

The 1st goal of the series would go to Grizzlies’ Cameron Wright, who scored at 7:04 into the 1st period. They would maintain their lead until Oilers’ Blake McLaughlin tied up the game at 13:29. Eager to take the lead, the Oilers started to play rough, and Mike McKee received a hooking penalty at 14:48. Grizzlies’ Nolan Ritchie was quick to capitalize on the power play advantage and scored his first professional goal. Not long after, Oilers’ Alex Kromm was given a boarding penalty at 17:58, and Jordan Martel scored a power-play goal at 19:41 – ending the 1st period in a 3-1 lead for Grizzlies.

2ND

The Grizzlies seemed to be inspired by their early 3-1 lead, and they fought to lengthen the gap. Finally, at 13:28 in, their hard work would pay off, and Kyle Mayhew would score the Grizzlies’ 4th goal. James Shearer followed up soon after at 14:05 with their 5th goal. The 2nd period ended in a strong 5-1 lead for the Grizzlies.

3RD

The Oilers’ seemed to come out in the 3rd period ready to shorten the gap, but after a few penalties and no follow-through on opportunities, the final buzzer sounded off, signaling that the Grizzlies had indisputably won the 1st game of the series 5-1.

4/14/23

1ST

Fueled by their big win on Wednesday, the Grizzlies came out looking to sweep the series. Brandon Cutler scored the first goal at 13:38, giving the Grizzlies the early lead again. Oilers’ Cameron Supryka received a tripping penalty at 15:00, but despite this, Blake McLaughlin would manage to score a short-handed goal at 16:09. The 1st period ended in a tied 1-1 score.

2ND

Oilers’ Tag Bertuzzi would start off the period with a tripping penalty at just 2:37 in. Cameron Wright took advantage and scored a power-play goal at 3:48. Oilers’ Mike Mckee received a roughing penalty at 5:54, and during the 7th power play for the Grizzlies, Tarun Fizer would score another power-play goal. Oilers’ Blake McLaughlin would score his 2nd goal of the game at 17:43, and shortly after, Dante Sheriff would tie up the game for the Oilers at 18:37. The 2nd period ended at 3-3.

3RD

Both teams came into the 3rd period looking to battle it out for the final lead. Just as it seemed that the game might go into overtime, Cameron Wright would score his 2nd goal of the game at 17:15 and give Grizzlies the break they were looking for. Oilers’ Cameron Supryke was penalized for a delay of game at 17:59. Tarun Fizer would score his 2nd goal of the game with just seconds left of the period. The Grizzlies won 5-3 and were just one winning game away from a definite spot in the playoffs.

4/15/23

1ST

Once again, the Grizzlies would be the first on the board when Keaton Jameson scored at 2:09 in. The Oilers fought for a comeback, and it wouldn’t be until 16:34 that Cameron Wright would score the 2nd goal of the game, ending the period in a 2-0 lead for the Grizzlies.

2ND

Play was steady during the 2nd period as the Oilers fought to catch up, and the Grizzlies worked to maintain their lead. At 18:51, Oilers’ Mike McKee would receive a charging penalty, and Brandon Cutler scored a power-play goal at 19:59 – literally only 1 second left in the period! The Grizzlies ended with a 3-0 lead.

3RD

Oilers’ Andrew Jarvis received a double minor for roughing at 1:11 and a misconduct for continuing the altercation. Cameron Wright took advantage and scored a power-play goal at 3:23, giving Grizzlies a 4-0 lead. The Oilers were looking for a fight, and at 15:39, Alex Kromm was put in the box for charging. Grizzlies capitalized on the power play again, and Luke Martin scored their 5th goal at 16:57. Grizzlies got the series sweep they were looking for and won 5-0!

They now have a secure spot in the playoffs and will play the first round against the Idaho Steelheads this week.

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