WEST VALLEY CITY — The Utah Grizzlies fought back after being down 1-0 in the first period and 2-1 late in the second period Friday night, but came up just short as the Stockton Thunder earned their fourth win of the season against Utah — this one a 3-2 shootout victory.
“That’s a good team right there," said Utah coach Tim Branham. "We are putting (our team) in the position to be successful, but they are not scoring. We have done it before, but for the most part we play the right way.”
Action started fast once again, which was not in the Grizzlies' favor. The Stockton Thunder did what a lot of other teams do, which is score early in the opening period. It only took the Thunder 1:04 to score the first goal of the game Friday.
Stockton scored its first goal against former teammate Cody Reichard, who was in the net for just the second time of the season for Utah.
"Thought he was good," Branham said. "He had a rough start to the season. He is a really good goaltender."
The Grizzlies gave up the first goal for the seventh time in their last eight games, but that didn’t stop Vinny Scarsella from scoring the tying goal in the first period after a wild play by D.J Jelitto. Jelitto's shot just missed before Scarsella's back-handed shot tied the game.
Late in the second period, the Grizzlies found themselves down a goal again, but Mike Folkes squeezed the puck in the net for his first career goal in 22 games, tying the game at 2-2. Folkes' goal proved to be the final tally in regulation.
Despite ultimately falling in a shootout, the Grizzlies still gained a point in the standings, where they currently sit at sixth in the Western Conference.
Saturday night the Utah Grizzlies will try and get a much-needed bounce-back victory over the Thunder, who the Grizzlies are chasing in the standings. The puck will drop at 7:05 at the Maverik Center.
"We need a more constant effort from our forwards, scoring-wise," Branham said of what needs to happen Saturday for the Grizzlies to be successful. "When you’re not having success you have to work that much harder to get the bounces going your way.”
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