Grizzlies Clinch Playoff Spot With 5-2 Win
Allen, Texas – The Utah Grizzlies won 5-2 over the Allen Americans on Friday night to clinch a postseason spot for the 11th time in their last 12 seasons.
Utah got contributions from everyone in the lineup as Joey Ratelle had 2 goals for the Grizzlies and Turner Ottenbreit had 1 goal and 1 assist. Kevin Carr was solid in goal for the Grizzlies as he stopped 37 of 39 shots.
Utah scored the only goal in the first period as Ottenbreit scored his 9th of the season. Taylor Richart and Ryan Walters got the assists. Walters ended the night with 2 assists and he has 4 helpers in his last 3 games.
Mike Economos got a great pass from Jack Walker as he put away his 11th goal of the season. It was the first of two great passes from Walker that led to goals. Walker also threw a great pass to Ryan Galt in the third period to give Galt his first professional goal as he made his debut for the Grizzlies. Galt had played with the University of Nebraska-Omaha the past 4 seasons.
Utah’s 3rd and 4th goals of the game were both scored by Ratelle as he got his first two goals in a Utah uniform.
Now that the Grizzlies have clinched a playoff spot, the next thing for Tim Branham’s team is trying to get home ice advantage in the first 2 rounds of the playoffs. Utah has 8 games left in the regular season and currently has 76 standings points. They are 5 points behind Idaho (81) and 2 behind Tulsa (78) for second place.
The 2 game series concludes on Saturday night at the Allen Events Center. 6:00 pm MST face-off.
Grizzlies Notes: Utah went 1 for 6 on the power play, while Allen was 1 for 3. Allen outshot Utah 39 to 30 in the game. Forward Tanner Nagel got his first professional point as he got an assist on Ratelle’s 2nd goal of the game and 4th for the Grizz.
1. Joey Ratelle (Utah) – 2 goals.
2. Kevin Carr (Utah) – 37 of 39 saves.
3. Turner Ottenbreit (Utah) – 1 goal, 1 assist.