By Adam Turner
The Utah Grizzlies have been doing a lot of things right in the latter stages of the season and that trend will need to continue Saturday night as the three game series against the defending ECHL champion Colorado Eagles comes to a close.
Prior to Friday night’s loss to Colorado, over the course of the previous 17 games, Utah had led against their opponent in about every conceivable statistical category. Just to name a few: Utah had scored first in 14 of their last 17 games, led or tied after one period in 16 of 17, and either led or tied in 15 of their last 16. In fact, before Friday, the Grizzlies had only trailed for 20:11 in the last 240 minutes of regulation.
All of that statistical success, however, hasn’t necessarily translated into wins as the Grizzlies have gone 0-2-3-0 in their last five contests. So the question remains, can Utah play a complete 60 minutes against the first place club in the mountain division and garner a much needed two points?
“Colorado is a really good hockey club and I’m proud of the way our boys have competed against them,” Branham said. “I thought we came out flat Friday but we’ve taken it to them hard and shots were 26-11 against them at one point. You can’t play a lot better than that.”
Leading the charge for the Grizzlies, as of late, has been forward Ryan Misiak. Averaging nearly a point a game with seven goals and nine assists in his last 17 contests, Sam Babintsev and Brendan Harms have also been hot. Babintsev has three goals and four assists in his last seven games, and Harms has two goals and five assists in his last eight.
“Colorado is a great team and we need to take advantage of our opportunities,” Harms said. “Every game is crucial at this point of the season. We need to shore things up defensively and if we do, we can get the two points that we need.”