Utah Grizzlies top first-place Las Vegas Wranglers

Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 21 2011 11:23 p.m. MST

WEST VALLEY CITY — The Utah Grizzlies defeated the Pacific Division leading Las Vegas Wranglers 4-3 at Maverik Center Wednesday night.

Utah (14-11-0-3) again played shorthanded with just 10 regular skaters and five recent acquisitions. The Wranglers (16-9-1-3) had just 12 regular skaters in the lineup.

"The guys worked extremely hard, but with our situation, it's definitely a big two points," said Utah coach Kevin Colley. "We're just getting a little more familiar with each other and a little more confident. Everyone did a really good job; they have some big goal scorers over there."

The Grizzlies took a 1-0 lead 3:54 into the first period on a one-timer by C.J. Severyn for his first professional goal. Newcomer Mike Atkinson and Blair Yaworski picked up assists as they setup behind the Las Vegas net.

"It feels good to get that monkey off my back and put one in early," said Severyn. "It's great to see, we've got guys helping us out a lot here and it's good to have everyone on the bench." Las Vegas tied the game at one on a power-play goal with 6:58 left in the first period.

Utah scored twice in the second with Bryan Cameron (5) crashing the net off of his own rebound for his sixth of the season as Utah raced back in transition 4:36 into the second period. Ryan Watson and Paul McIlveen picked up assists. Six-foot-eight Riley Emmerson made it 3-1 as he twirled around a defender at the blue line and went in uncontested on the Las Vegas goal; burying the score backhand, top shelf with 6:45 left in the period.

The score was Emmerson's first goal since January 2, 2010 when he played for Stockton.

After Las Vegas made it 3-2, Paul McIlveen scored his team leading 11th goal of the year with 3:33 left in the game as he walked into the right wing circle. Ryan Watson and Bryan Cameron picked up assists on the rush.

Las Vegas made it 4-3 late with an extra-attacker, but Utah held on for the win.

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