We feel we have a good game plan, and we’re just trying to focus on one game at a time. —Grizzlies head coach Tim Branham
WEST VALLEY CITY — After grabbing Game 2 of their first-round series on the road against the Allen Americans, the Utah Grizzlies come home to Maverik Center with the series tied 1-1, ready to swing the series in their favor.
“We’re a confident group right now,” said head coach Tim Branham. “We like the way that we’ve played. We feel we have a good game plan, and we’re just trying to focus on one game at a time.”
The confidence doesn’t come without a bit of caution.
“We know that Allen isn’t going to roll over,” continued Branham. “It’s now a best-of-five and we’ve got our work cut out for us. We got to make sure that we’re ready each and every game.”
Coming out hot right from the first drop of the puck as been key for the Grizzlies. In two games so far this series, Utah has outscored the Americans 3-1 in the first period, and outshot them 26-14.
“It’s not necessarily the game plan, per se, but it’s always good to get off to a good start. You never want to be behind the 8-ball,” said Branham.
The Grizzlies’ third forward line of Jon Puskar, C.J. Eick and Austen Brassard has been especially potent in the opening playoff series, combining for four goals and five assists in the first two games.
After allowing more than three goals in regulation in Game 1 Wednesday for the first time since Nov. 11, parent club Anaheim Ducks prospect Kevin Boyle stopped the first 27 shots that he saw Friday and 36 of 37 overall in Utah’s 4-1 win on Friday.
“The whole team right now, they’re a focused group, they’re determined and they have a lot of belief right now,” said Branham.
“We just got to not change anything, not get too high or too low and really play each shift the way that we want to play and not take any shifts off.”