04/08/2017 10:27 PM
West Valley City, Utah - The Utah Grizzlies (36-29-5-2) closed out the regular season with a 5-3 win over the Missouri Mavericks before 8,874 fans at Maverik Center Saturday night.
“Unbelievable crowd, it always is here at the Maverik Center,” said Head Coach/General Manager Tim Branham. “Got to thank our fans, they are just unbelievable to us, they treat us like gold and we are thankful to have them. They make this game and playing here at the Maverik Center so fun.”
C.J. Eick (9, 10) scored two goals, including the game-winning goal 9:19 into the third period as he batted home a rebound as Phil Pietroniro led a three-on-two rush back the other way. Jon Puskar picked up an assist as Utah broke a 3-3 third period tie. Tim Daly (10) scored off of a tip from Erik Bradford as Zac Larraza sent the puck to the net with 6:16 left in regulation to make it 5-3.
The Grizzlies battled back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits in a game that was 1-0 Missouri after one period.
“I really liked the way our boys battled back,” said Branham. “I thought all game it was really spirited from both sides. I really liked the way we played. A couple times I wish we would have shut them down defensively a little better but we held them to 26 shots tonight or so. I really liked the way we drove the net and had 2nd chance opportunities, better than last night.”
Puskar’s 22nd of the season 1:36 into the second period got Utah on the board as he went hard through the left circle from Ralph Cuddemi and Gabriel Verpalest as the Grizzlies grinded down low.
Erik Bradford tipped home a Rob Mann blast 5:40 into the second period 1:33 after Missouri took a 2-1 lead. Austen Brassard also added an assist.
C.J. Eick took a feed from Ralph Cuddemi and sped home for his first of the night to give Utah their first lead of the game 6:38 into the second period.
Utah outshot Missouri 13-2 in the third after the Mavericks tied the game at three 58 seconds into third period.
Kevin Boyle stopped 23 of 26 to finish his rookie regular season 9-6-1-0.
Complete First Round Schedule
Utah Grizzlies Versus Allen Americans
Game 1: Wednesday, April 12: Utah at Allen: 6 p.m.
Game 2: Friday, April 14: Utah at Allen: 6 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, April 19: Allen at Utah: 7 p.m.
Game 4: Friday, April 21: Allen at Utah: 7 p.m.
**Game 5: Saturday, April 22: Allen at Utah: 7 p.m.
**Game 6: Monday, April 24: Utah at Allen: 6 p.m.
**Game 7: Tuesday, April 25: Utah at Allen: 6 p.m.
Playoff tickets are on sale now at the Maverik Center box office and will go on sale at any Smith’s Tix Location and UtahGrizzlies.com Monday morning at 10 a.m.