ECHL: Utah Grizzlies Fighting To Keep A Spot Alive For The Playoffs

Friday

3/16/23 was the start of a three-game series against the Allen Americans. With only 12 games left in the season, the Grizzlies fought to win all three games and secure their spot in the playoffs.

The first period didn’t go well for the Grizzlies as Allen scored two goals in under eight minutes – one from Eric Williams and one from Hank Crone. Zack Tsekos would score for the Grizz at 8:42 in, but Hank Crone came back ad scored his second goal of the period for Allen at 19:47 in, and the first period ended at 3-1 for Allen.

Allen maintained their momentum in the second period, and at just 29 seconds in, Justin Young scored their fourth goal. The Grizzlies finally found their rhythm, and Tarun Fizer scored at 5:33 in. Mikael Robidoux would follow up Allen’s fifth goal of the night at 11:52, but Fizer would quickly come back and score again for the Grizz. The second period would end with Allen ahead 5-3.

Aaron Thow scored Grizzlies’ fourth goal at 6:18 into the third period. Fans held out hope that the Grizz would get the game-tying goal, but Allen’s Liam Finlay scored at 18:08 in. Just a few seconds later, Hank Crone would score a hat trick at 18:35 in and Grizzlies ended their five-game winning streak with a 7-4 loss.

Saturday

Both teams came to the second game of the series on Friday, 3/17/23, focused and eager to be the first on the boards. However, it wouldn’t be until Allen’s Liam Finlay received a tripping penalty at 1:40 into the 2nd period that Grizzlies’ Tarun Fizer would finally score a power-play goal at 2:16 in.

Grizzlies started the third period with a 1-0 lead and were keen to keep it. But despite their best effort, Grant Herbert would score Allen’s first goal of the game at just 1:41 in. The Grizz tried to regain their lead but received a setback as the period ended, and Dakota Raabe was given a delay of game penalty. Allen would head into overtime with a power play to start.

3:52 into overtime, Connor McDonald was given a tripping penalty leaving Grizzlies two men down. But this wouldn’t be enough to stop them. Despite all the odds, Grizzlies would run out the clock on both penalties and force the game into a shoot-out.

The shoot-out only went three rounds. Cameron Wright would quickly make the game-winning goal, and Grizz would win the second game of the series 2-1.

Sunday

The final game of this series would be held on Sunday, 3/19/23. Allen came out strong in the first, with Colton Saucerman scoring just 41 seconds into the first. Soon after, Dakota Raabe received a tripping penalty, and Allen’s Colton Hargrove took advantage and scored a power-play goal at 6:27 in. Allen capitalized on the rhythm they found. Liam Finlay would score another goal at 9:22, followed closely by Colton Hargrove scoring his second goal of the period at 10:36, giving Allen an enormous 4-0 lead just over 10 minutes into the first. The grizzlies decided to pull Trent Miner from goal and put in Lukas Parik instead.

Allen’s Jack Combs could get a hooking penalty at 12:03 in, and Grizzlies’ Cameron Wright got a power-play goal at 12:08 in. But Allen didn’t let up, and Colby Mcauley would soon score their fifth goal of the period. James Shearer scored Grizzlies’ second goal at 17:39 in, and the 1st period would end in a 5-2 lead for Allen.

As the second period started, Grizzlies’ fans were notified that Dakota Raabe was being sent to the hospital due to an illegal check to the head by Allen’s Colton Hargrove that happened at 19:21 into the 1st period. Colton would later be penalized with a two-game suspension and a fine.

In the third period, they started with another early goal by Allen. Jakov Novak scored their 6th goal at 1:34 in. The grizzlies fought hard to catch up to Allen’s four-point lead. When Colton Saucerman was given a roughing at 2:57 in, Tyler Penner would score their second power-play goal. But despite this effort, they couldn’t score again, and Allen won the final game of the series 6-3.

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