Utah Grizzlies beat Thunder, clinch playoff berth

Published: Sunday, March 18 2012 12:09 a.m. MDT

STOCKTON, Calif — The Utah Grizzlies clinched their fifth straight ECHL playoff berth after crushing the Stockton Thunder 5-2 Saturday night.

Paul McIlveen scored the first goal of the game with five minutes remaining in the first period. The Grizzlies are now 7-1 in the last eight game where they score first.

Chris Donovan doubled the lead just 2:28 into the second period. Stockton fought back, cutting the lead to 3-2 halfway through second period on two power play goals.

The Grizzlies outshot the Thunder, the team with the worst record in the Western Conference, 36-25, and the pressure paid off in the third period.

Mitch Wahl and Colin Vock both scored to help send Utah into the playoffs.

These teams play again today at 4 p.m. in Stockton.

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