WEST VALLEY CITY — The Utah Grizzlies' power-play defense stepped up late to help the Grizzlies hold on to a 2-1 victory to end a three-game losing streak to the Idaho Steelheads on Wednesday night.
The Utah Grizzlies were back in action for the second time at home since they went on their season-long nine-game road trip and played their second game of the four-game series against the Steelheads.
Head coach Tim Branham said the keys to victory Wednesday night were “sticking to the game plan, stick to what works, play the system and make things happen.”
A nearly clean first period ended 0-0 after the Grizzlies had the only power-play opportunity in the period.
The second period started quickly as Phil Mangan scored the first goal of the night on the Grizzlies' power-play opportunity in the first two minutes of the period. Shortly after the first goal of the night, Michael Pelech found himself in the penalty box, which allowed Idaho to use its first power play wisely.
Idaho’s David de Kastrozza scored their first goal of the night quickly after Pelech entered the penalty box to tie things up early in the second period at 1-1.
Late in the second period, the Grizzlies' Vinny Scarsella found himself in the penalty box, but as soon as the Grizzlies' defense killed off the penalty, Scarsella exited the box and received a great assist from Danick Paquette to break the tie late in the second period.
Igor Bobkov received the starting nod in the goal for Utah, stopping 26-27 shots in the victory over Idaho on Wednesday night and is now unbeaten in his last 10 appearances, 8-0-1-1, since December.
Branham said of Bobkov after the win, “We have one of the best goalies in the league. If you look at the good teams in the league, they have good goaltending.”
Branham added, “Yeah there’s a rivalry, the teams are very close, they're just really good games.”
The Utah Grizzlies and Steelheads will finish off a three-game series in Utah before ending the fourth and final game of the series in Idaho. The Grizzlies will have the opportunity to pass the Steelheads in the Western Conference standings on Friday night when the puck drops at 7 at the Maverik Center.
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