ECHL playoffs: Grizzlies not intimidated by first-round playoff foe

By aaron Morton

Deseret News

Published: Monday, April 1 2013 8:38 p.m. MDT

ONTARIO, Calif. — At first glance, the Utah Grizzlies' first-round ECHL playoff matchup against the Ontario Reign looks like a mismatch.

After all, the Reign (46-19-7) just wrapped up their third-straight Pacific Division title while the No. 7-seeded Grizzlies (29-30-13) finished fourth in the Mountain Division. And on top of that, the No. 2-seeded Reign won three of the five regular-season games between the two clubs.

However, in those games, three went overtime (two of those went to a shootout). And in the most recent game, on Groundhog Day, the Grizzlies won in convincing fashion in California. Colin Vock scored a hat trick in Utah's 3-0 victory, but the Grizzlies' defensive effort was more impressive as Utah didn't even allow Orlando a single shot in the second period.

The play of Vock, who also had a hat trick in the Grizzlies' 6-5 shootout loss on Feb. 1, and Southern California native Mitch Wahl (11 points in six games vs. the Reign) could be key for the Grizzlies.

And there is more good news for Utah in the fact that Ontario's top goal scorer vs. Utah, Colton Yellow Horn, has been recalled to the AHL's Manchester.

The seven-game playoff series begins today at Ontario. The series swings back to Utah on Friday for Game 3.

email: amorton@desnews.com

ECHL playoffs

Western Conference

First round

(2) Ontario vs. (7) Utah

Tuesday at Ontario, 8 p.m.

Wednesday at Ontario, 8 p.m.

Friday at Utah, 7 p.m.

Saturday at Utah, 7 p.m.

April 9 at Utah, 7 p.m.*

April 12 at Ontario, 8 p.m.*

April 13 at Ontario, 7 p.m.*

All times MDT

*if necessaryGrizzlies vs. Reign

Western Conference

First round

(2) Ontario vs. (7) Utah

Today at Ontario, 8 p.m.

Wednesday at Ontario, 8 p.m.

Friday at Utah, 7 p.m.

Saturday at Utah, 7 p.m.

April 9 at Utah, 7 p.m.*

April 12 at Ontario, 8 p.m.*

April 13 at Ontario, 7 p.m.*

All times MDT

*if necessary

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