WEST VALLEY CITY Danick Paquette was a part of a key power play kill late in the third period as he lost his stick to help the Grizzlies preserve a 2-1 win over Stockton on Wednesday night.
Paquette also was part of both Utah goals in the win, taking a pass from David Vallorani in the first period to open the scoring and returning the favor by feeding Vallorani for the winning goal.
“We played really well defensively," Paquette said after the game. "If we (continue to) play well defensively, that’s going to be great for the rest of the season. Me and Vallorani have a good chemistry and I just saw him in the slot and he’s a goal scorer and it was a great shot by him.”
The Utah Grizzlies (31-21-3-5) were back in action at home for the first time since their victory over the Alaska Aces on March 1. The Grizzlies have been on the road in Stockton where they went 2-1-0-0 in their latest road trip and found a way to take three out of four games against Stockton with Wednesday's win.
“It was a good win, I thought we played really well, took a lot of shots (45 shots)," coach Tim Branham said. "I’m proud of their effort, they played a solid game, and we played really well on 5 on 5.”
When asked about Paquette’s defensive play late in the game, Branham said, “That was a really good penalty kill.”
The Grizzlies looked sharp in the first period as it only took Vallorani just 1:20 to feed a great pass to Paquette who drilled a shot past the Thunder's Parker Miner to give the Grizzlies the early 1-0 lead.
The Thunder leads the league on the power play at 20.0 percent 48-240 on the year, and after going 0-3 on their first three attempts on the night, Ryan Hayes found a way to push a power play and goal past Grizzlies goalie Igor Bobkov.
Bobkov was back in the net for the fourth straight game against the Thunder and improved his record to 14-6-2-2 on the season.
"He was really good tonight and made some big saves, and he was tested,” Branham said of his goalie.
The Grizzlies will play at home on Friday night as they take on the Colorado Eagles who are currently in a battle with the Grizzlies in the Western Conference standings for third place.
“Every game is important, every game will be crazy and we are up for it.” Branham said.
Follow David Winkworth on Twitter @RealDavidVito and listen to his podcast at sportsathome.webs.com for news and notes on the sporting world.