Grizzlies Throttle the Thunder 8-5 in Series Opener
By: KiKi Crum
West Valley City, Utah - The Utah Grizzlies win 8-5 against the Wichita Thunder on a wacky Wednesday night at Maverik Center as Keaton Jameson led Utah with 2 goals and 1 assist. Utah has now won 8 in a row against Wichita since the start of the 2021-2022 season.
Utah scored the first goal of the game as Johnny Walker scored on a rebound 4:21 into the contest. Thunder forward Jay Dickman turned around and made it 1-1 at 12:42 with a power play conversion. Utah's Jordan Martel answered back 15:53 in with Vladislav Mikhalchuk and Tyler Penner getting the assists. One last goal was scored in the first to tie it up, with Wichita's forward Peter Bates finding the twine at 17:02. The score was tied 2-2 after 1 period.
The Grizzlies took a 3-2 lead 31 seconds in as Brandon Cutler scored his 12th goal of the season with a feed from Tarun Fizer and Cory Thomas. 1 minute and 4 seconds later it was Cameron Wright's turn to chip one home to make it 4-2. The Grizzlies went ahead 5-2 after a point blank blast from Keaton Jameson 2:28 in with the two newest Grizzlies, Jacob Smick and Jared Power collecting assists. Tarun Fizer sniped one home 5:04 in with his 24th goal of the season to make it 6-2 Utah. Keaton Jameson scored his second of the night 6:35 in to make it 7-2 Utah. The Grizzlies scored 5 goals in the first 6:35 of the second period. Thunder forward Quinn Preston cut their deficit 7-3 on the power play 9:17 in. The final Grizzlies goal came from Captain Connor McDonald, his power play bardown goal was assisted by Cameron Wright and Dylan Fitze at 17:27. Cole MacDonald finished the scoring of the second period at 19:39 on a powerplay. The score was 8-4 four heading into the final frame.
The lone goal of the third period came from Thunders forward Jason Pineo 2 minutes and 10 seconds in. It was Pineo’s first pro goal. Utah won 8-5 as they outshot Wichita 50 to 30. The Grizzlies have taken 158 shots on goal in 3 games vs Wichita this season.
Trent Miner got the win in net as he stopped 25 of 30. Wichita's goaltender Justin Kapelmaster made 42 saves out of 50 shots.
The 6 goals in the second period ties a franchise record for goals in a single period. Utah scored 6 goals vs the Chicago Wolves on November 13, 1995.
Three stars of the game:
Keaton Jameson- UTA (2 goals, 1 assist)
Tarun Fizer- UTA (1 goal, 1 assist)
Cameron Wright- UTA (1 goal, 1 assist)
The same two teams will face off Friday night at Maverik Center, puck is slated to drop at 7:10 pm.
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The Utah Grizzlies are a proud ECHL Affiliate of the NHL Colorado Avalanche, and the AHL Colorado Eagles.