By Adam Turner
With only five games remaining in the regular season, one thing is for certain about this Utah Grizzlies hockey team: they won’t go down without a fight.
Finding themselves in a 2-0 deficit just minutes into the finale of the three game set against the Colorado Eagles Saturday, Utah scratched and clawed their way back to tie the contest at 2-2 and were led by none other than Travis Howe, who registered a goal and an assist.
Completing the comeback and claiming a 3-2 win courtesy of Brendan Harms second goal in as many nights, Utah played sixty minutes of inspired hockey against the defending ECHL champions and is ready to take that momentum on the road.
“I’m proud to be the coach of this team and I’m proud of the way they fight,” Head Coach Tim Branham said. “I thought we played extremely well five on five in front of a tremendous crowd. We have the best fans in the league and we’re going to keep it going.”
With the Kansas City Mavericks defeating the Allen Americans 6-1 coupled with the Quad City Mallards defeat of the Tulsa Oilers 2-1, hope remains for that elusive fourth and final playoff spot.
“Obviously we got some help from some other teams but we’re just focused on us and what we can do to get wins and we’re doing everything we can to get points and hopefully get that final playoff spot,” Howe said.
The Grizzlies will head to Boise for a two game set against the Idaho Steelheads before one final showdown against the Eagles. The puck will drop in Boise Friday March 30th and 31st at 7pm and in Colorado at 7pm on April 4th. Despite Idaho’s success on the season, and claiming the second spot in the Mountain Division standings, the Grizzlies match up well with the Steelheads and have defeated their divisional foes seven times this year.
“We’ve played well against Idaho and we’ve played well in Idaho,” Branham said. “But they’re a really good team and we can’t take the success we’ve had against them for granted. We’ve got to be ready to play.”