The Colorado Eagles added a late empty-netter to defeat the Utah Grizzlies, 4-1, on Saturday night before 6,222 fans for the team’s Tribute to Military night.
The team’s postgame jersey auction raised more than $22,000 with all proceeds going to the Salt Lake City Fisher House.
“We worked hard tonight,” said head coach and General Manager Tim Branham. “We had some really good looks and once again, we just couldn't capitalize and we have to make sure we figure that out. We just need to get a little more desperate around the paint."
The Grizzlies tied the game at 1-1, 1:45 after Colorado took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal 5:27 into the first period. Phil Pietroniro sent a puck to the net that was deflected home by Michael Pelech for his 16th goal of the year. Austen Brassard also picked up an assist. The game stayed 1-1 after one period after Grizzlies goaltender Troy Redmann stopped 17-of-18 in the opening frame and 35-of-38 in the contest.
“Troy was really good,” said Branham. “He controlled rebounds, killed plays and battled.”
Colorado took a 2-1 lead 5:08 into the second period and made it 3-1 on a shorthanded goal 8:19 later at 13:27.
Utah had 26 shots, including 12 quality scoring chances, in the final 40 minutes but was unable to get anything more past Colorado goaltender Kent Simpson who stopped 30-of-31 on the contest.
“They’re a good team, no doubt,” said Branham. “They've got everything, goaltending on out. They have defense, they are tough [and] they have good forwards. We have our work cut out for us for sure. We need to come up with a game plan for Monday.”
Monday, March 20, is the final Maverik Monday of the season with Buy One Get One Free Tickets with your Maverik Adventure Club Card at the arena box office when Utah hosts Colorado at 7 p.m.