West Valley City — The Utah Grizzlies defeated the Stockton Thunder 5-2 Tuesday night at Maverik Center to take a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-five quarterfinal playoff series.
"I liked us from start to finish," said Grizzlies coach Kevin Colley. "Playoffs is all about special teams and I thought our PK was good tonight. Lamoureux was there to make the saves when the puck got into the paint."
Utah fell behind just 1:12 into the game, but rebounded with a three goal in 3:17 stretch late in the first period to make it 3-1 at the first intermission. All three goals came on second chances. Kevin Deeth, Simon Ferguson and Matt Reber, on the power-play, all added goals for Utah in that stretch.
Stockton scored a goal late in the second period to make it 3-2 at the second intermission. Utah killed their only two penalties of the night early in the third period to keep the score intact.
13 seconds into a power-play that started in the neutral zone, Reber fed Brett Parnham from behind the net to give Utah a 4-2 lead with 1:37 left. Simon Ferguson (two goals, two assists) scored into an empty-net with 48 seconds left to cap the scoring.
Deeth had one goal and one assist and Paul McIlveen tallied three helpers in the winning cause.
J.P. Lamoureux never saw more than 10 shots in a period and stopped 26 of 28 to earn the win. Utah outshot the Thunder 37-28.
The Grizzlies went 2-5 on the power-play and 2-2 on the penalty-kill.
The Grizzlies and Stockton continue their series Wednesday at Maverik Center. Face-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Game 1: Utah 5, Stockton 2
Game 2: Wednesday, April 6, Stockton at Utah
Game 3: Saturday, April 9, Utah at Stockton
Game 4: Sunday, April 10, Utah at Stockton*
Game 5: Tuesday, April 12, Utah at Stockton*
* — if necesary
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