Utah Grizzlies win back-to-back games against Idaho in 4-1 win

By David Winkworth

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Jan. 18 2014 10:58 p.m. MST

WEST VALLEY CITY — David Vallorani scored his team-high 14th goal of the season as the Utah Grizzlies extended their longest unbeaten streak at home to 5-0-0-2 in a 4-2 win over the Idaho Steelheads.

On Saturday night, the Utah Grizzlies were coming off their fourth shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory on the road in Idaho Friday night.

Vinny Scarsella had one of those three goals and wasn’t done scoring against the Steelheads.

Shots were fired early as the Grizzlies took very little time to get on the board. It only took 47 seconds to get the fans at Maverik Center on their feet when Scarsella scored the first goal of the night, which was assisted by Michael Pelech and D.J Jellitto.

The Grizzlies weren’t done there. Less than a minute later, Phil Mangan struck to extend the lead to 2-0 within three minutes of play for the night.

Late in the first period, Idaho scored to close the gap to a 2-1 lead for Utah.

Vallorani has been a key factor in the Grizzlies' success this season and was once again in Saturday night’s action.

In the second period, Vallorani got a steal, and even with a stick thrown in his path he managed to hit the top shelf of the net to score the third goal of the night for Utah.

Aaron Dell started once again for the Grizzlies, extending his record to 10-3-0-1 and saving 32 of 34 shots in Saturday’s win.

Dell said after the game, “It’s awesome” about getting his 10th win of the season. "We are playing more of a team game, and we are doing it for each other a little bit more, we are down to everybody on the same page,” he said.

Head coach Tim Branham said, “he’s amazing (talking about Dell), he’s the backbone of our team, imagine if we had him the whole time where we’d be.”

After Danick Paquette got in a fight earlier in the game, he made Branham happy by scoring from just past the blue line to start the third period to close out the Steelheads for the second straight night.

“There is a time and place, we don’t want to back down from anybody,” Branham said about the fighting.

Talking about the game, Branham said, "That was the kind of start we were looking for.”

The Utah Grizzlies will have a chance to narrow the gap in the standings on Monday as the two teams square off again to end their four-game series. The puck will drop at 1:35 p.m. at the Maverik Center.

“It’s going to be a big game on Monday, we are right behind these guys in the standings, we want to close the gap and we know we can,” Branham said.

Follow David Winkworth on Twitter @RealDavidVito and listen to his podcast at http://sportsathome.webs.com/ for all the latest news and notes around the sporting world.

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