Grizzlies Insider Adam Turner
Now that the Alaska Aces folded their tents two seasons ago and the Colorado Eagles have relocated to the AHL, if the Utah Grizzlies have a lasting rivalry against any one team, it’s the Idaho Steelheads. Due to face each other 17 times this season and having already played two contests in Boise, the rivalry returned for the third session in the young season at the Maverik Center. And Utah forward Cole Ully answered the bell. Leading off the scoring for Utah and capturing a second goal in the second period, Ully led the charge for the Grizzlies as Utah remained unbeaten in regulation, defeating Idaho 3-2.
“My linemates were good and when we get the puck in deep against this team our offense really starts to click,” Ully said. “We’re defending fast and getting the puck out of our zone as quickly as we can. They didn’t get too many good looks and it obviously frustrates a team when you can do that.”
Following an Idaho goal by Steven McParland, Utah improved upon its league best power play percentage of 35 % with Ully’s effort that got past the outstretched reach of Idaho goalie Phillipe Desrossiers to level the contest at 1-1. The Grizzlies defense was ferocious particularly in the first and third periods, negating the Steelheads to a combined nine shots in 40 minutes of play.
“I thought our third period was really good and that’s the way we need to play every period,” head coach Tim Branham said. “I challenged the boys in between the second and third to play the right way and we played the whole third period in their end.”
In the second, the Grizzlies looked as if a 2-1 lead was certain with a two on zero rush but Austin Carroll was denied at point blank range by a sliding Desrossiers as the score remained deadlocked at 1-1. However, the scoring machine that is Caleb Herbert would strike just a few minutes later for his team high 6th goal of the year. The lead was short lived though as only 12 seconds had elapsed when Reid Petryk launched just the sixth shot of the night by Idaho but it blazed the back of the net to even the contest once again at 2-2. But Ully struck again for what would prove to be the game winner as Utah ended the period with a 3-2 advantage which would ultimately be the final score.
“What can you say about Herbert, Ully and Carroll, they played a heck of a game. We understand what kind of team we have and we’re finding ways to win because we’re a good hockey team,” Branham said.