WEST VALLEY CITY Friday night at the E-Center, the Grizzlies were able to escape with a 3-2 win, but not quite as they hoped it would happen.
Things looked good as they entered the third period up two goals.
"A two-goal lead is probably the worst lead in hockey," said Grizzlies winger Scott Burt.
Two goals can give a false sense of security, which sometimes leads to complacency and two quick goals by the opposing team. Unfortunately, just like Wednesday night, that is exactly what happened Friday night.
Stockton was able to strike twice in the third to even the score at 2, and send the game into overtime, but it was a struggle for Utah to even get that far.
At 16:32 in the third, Burt and Brian Lee of Stockton exchanged pushes, and Utah's Michael Haley immediately jumped in and gave Lee one of the more lopsided thrashings you'll ever see at a hockey game.
"Every time I get into a scruffle either (Olivier) Labelle or Haley is jumping in," said Burt. He continued joking saying "Its nice, but they don't let me do anything."
The scrap was so lopsided that Lee wasn't able to get a single punch off, and as a result, only Haley was tagged with a major fighting penalty. Utah was able to kill the entire penalty, including 2 minutes in overtime where they were at a 4-3 disadvantage. Mike Mole came up huge on several occasions helping the Grizzlies get to a shootout. Mole blocked 30 of the Thunder's 32 shots.
Utah won the shootout 2-1, not needing a fifth shooter.
To get to the third with two goals, the Grizzlies looked no further than Burt, who had both, the same number he had in the shootout loss Wednesday.
His first came just 3:29 into the game, receiving a pass in the left circle from Jordan Hart which he one-timed by Thunder goalie Tim Boron. In the second he needed no help as he stole the puck from Ryan Geris in front of the Stockton net and put it past Boron again.
Jason Christie only had good things to say about him. "He's a battler that's what leaders do. He's out there working every shift."
These two teams will rematch tonight, which is also the annual teddy bear toss. Throw a teddy bear on the ice after the first Grizzly goal to benefit Primary Children's Hospital.