WEST VALLEY CITY The Utah Grizzlies and Phoenix RoadRunners tangled last night in the E Center and wild action marked this contest from the get go as Phoenix looked to avenge Wednesday's night loss to the Grizzlies.
After a quick start by the Roadrunners, the Grizzlies jumped out to a 6-2 lead and looked to be in total command. But the RoadRunners rallied and Utah had to hang on for a 6-5 victory.
Less than two and a half minutes in, Phoenix's Peter Skinner slapped a screaming shot in from the left angle. Utah quickly countered with a goal by Justin Johnson to tie the score less than a minute later.
After another Phoenix score, Tyler Haskins took over for the Grizzlies. He scored on a breakaway and added two more goals early in the second period to record his second hat trick in as many nights. "I'm getting lucky," said Haskins who returned from a quick stint up at Bridgeport just two weeks ago. He acknowledged that his job is easier with Ryan Kinasewich on the line with him. But it is more than luck as sandwiched around his breakaway goal in the first period were two other breakaways within a five minute period by other Utah players whose shots went awry.
Kinasewich contributed three assist on the evening and drew a lot of attention from the Roadrunner defense.
It looked like the Grizzlies were going to run the Roadrunners off the ice. "But give them credit," said Haskins, "they didn't lay down."
The Grizzlies scored their final goal 8:46 in to the second period and seemed to get tentative holding on to the lead. Coach Jason Christie acknowledged there were a couple of breakdowns in the defense but he was happy to escape with a win. "We just have to get ready for tomorrow," said Christie.
Phoenix out shot the Griz 11-2 in the final period but goalie Michael Mole stopped all but one and for the evening ended up stopping 30 out of 35 to record the win.
The Grizzlies and RoadRunners hook up again tonight at 7:00 in the E Center.