Most hot streaks don’t last for the duration of an entire month, but that’s exactly what Utah Grizzlies forward Ty Lewis has been on for the entire month of December. In nine games, Lewis has put up video game type stats: eight goals and eight assists and carrying with him a +8 for the month. All of that, including a four goal game against the Wichita Thunder, occurred before Friday night’s contest against the visiting Tulsa Oilers. Lewis kept up his torrid pace against Tulsa with a pair of goals as the Grizzlies skated to a dominant 6-1 victory.
“Things are clicking right now and we’re having fun,” Lewis said. “Our defensive game has come a long way and our d core is one of the best in the league. Everybody is taking advantage of what we have going here and we have a strong mentality and locker room.”
Of course, much of Lewis’ success is attributed to being paired alongside Tim McGauley and Griffen Molino as that top line is taking the league by force. Molino, who is at a ridiculous +20 on the month, capturing 6 goals and 12 assists, followed that up with a lovely goal in the second period. And what else can be said about the ECHL player of the week in Tim McGauley. Having set an all time Grizzlies’ record with most points tallied in a single game with seven against Wichita, McGauley lodged a pair of assists in Utah’s dominant win.
“We had something to prove tonight and a statement to make,” head coach Tim Branham said. “Our last game against them was the only game we’ve taken off in the last 20. It’s fun to watch those guys (referring to McGauley, Molino and Lewis). They do such creative things with the puck and they give the other teams we play fits.”
The Grizzlies are more than their trio of stars, however. Not to be forgotten is Joe Wegwerth, who managed to blister the back of the net with a trio of goals for his first career hat trick.
“We’re trusting each other and we’ve turned it on and know how to play as a team now,” Wegwerth said. We’re having tons of fun and it’s not just about one guy but everyone in the locker room.”
Perhaps the most impressive stat on a night filled with them was the fact that Utah was able to hold a team that averages a dominant 38 shots on goal a night, to a meager 18. And perhaps with too much frustration boiling, all five Tulsa skaters on the ice engaged in fisticuffs with all five Grizzlies in the third period during a single moment as things got rather ugly. However, it failed to put a damper on what turned out to be a beautiful win for Utah.
“Our boys played a great game tonight,” Branham said. “I’m proud of the way they stuck up for each other and policed the game when it wasn’t being policed. Overall it was a really good effort.”