Grizzlies Fall 5-3 in Season Opener
West Valley City, Utah - The Utah Grizzlies scored 3 unanswered second period goals to overcome a 3-0 deficit but Logan Nelson scored the game winner 9:47 into the third period as the Rapid City Rush defeated the Grizzlies 5-3 in front of a crowd of 5440 in the season opener at Maverik Center.
Johnny Walker served a hooking penalty for the Grizzlies 2:53 minutes in the first period which led the Rush to open up the scoresheet 4:01 into regulation, Matt Marcinew scored the power play goal. Rapid City doubled their lead 1:06 later as Jon Martin fired the puck in the net. Rapid City picked up two minor penalties in the 1st period, but the Utah Grizzlies came up short on each power play. Rush once again hit the twine with 10:03 left in the first period by Rapid City Rush's Rory Kerins, giving the rush a 3-0 lead after 1 period.
Heading into the 2nd period, the Grizzlies trailed Rapid City 3-0. Last season the Grizzlies won 11 games when they were trailing into the second period and outscored their opponents 96-67. Utah’s second period dominance continued as Zach Tsekos scored 2 minutes into the period. Zach played 3 games with the Utah Grizzlies regular season, and had 12 points in the kelly cup playoffs (3 goals, 9 assists) Tsekos goal was assisted by Cameron Wright, and Ben Tardif. The Utah Grizzlies turned the game around with 2 more goals in the second period Dakota Raabe at 5:27 and Tarun Fizer with the game tying goal at 10:05.Tyson Helgeson of Rapid City had a minor and a major penalty for instigating and fighting with Grizzlies forward Johnny Walker who was sent to the box as well for fighting at 16:32 in the second. The Grizzlies and Rush were tied 3-3 after 2 periods.
Midway through the third period Logan Nelson pushed Rapid City up 4-3, 9:43 in the 3rd. Andrew Nielsen of the Utah Grizzlies got a minor holding penalty 4:15 in the third, the rapid city rush powerplay didn't last long when at 4:27 Ilya Nikilaev received a minor hooking penalty. With 27 seconds left, Calder Brooks landed an empty net goal. Utah Dominated shots on goal 37-26 but fell 5-3 to Rapid City.
Utah Dominated shots on goal 37-26. The Utah Grizzlies return to the Maverick Center to finish the series against the Rapid City Rush, Saturday October 22. Puck is slated to drop at 7:10pm.
Logan Nelson (RC) - GWG.
Jon Martin (RC) - 1 goal, 1 assist.
Matt Marcinew (RC) - 1 goal, 2 assists.
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