WEST VALLEY CITY The Utah Grizzlies' game went to the dogs Saturday night, and even though it was "Pooch on the Pond" night at the E Center for 109 canines and their people among the 4,726 in the audience, that wasn't a good thing.
The Grizz played a dog of a game, losing 3-1 to Bakersfield, finally breaking Condor goalie Yutaka Fukufuji's shutout with just 1:24 left in the game, Ryan Kinasewich wristing in a short-handed shot high on the glove side from the left-wing face-off circle.
Utah had put 47 other shots on Fukufuji without much luck until then.
"You could just see in the first couple shifts guys just want to go out and kind of get through it," said Grizzly coach Jason Christie. "They weren't going through bodies."
Utah, 27-21-0-5, had a chance with this four-game homestand to maybe take over second place in the ECHL West after having won four straight road games, but the Grizzlies are now 1-1-1 on the homestand against the 16-25-2-7 Condors, the last-place club in the ECHL Pacific, after beating them in Bakersfield Tuesday 9-3.
Now, with second-place Idaho winning Saturday while Utah lost, the Grizzlies fell five points behind the Steelheads, who play Utah in the E Center on Monday night at 7 as the Grizz homestand concludes. Utah then goes on the road for four games.
Bakersfield went 2-for-5 on the power play, Tim Komsorada scoring 5-on-3 at 10:19 of the first period and adding his second goal just a minute into the second period on a conventional power play. Todd Griffith made it 3-0 with the only even-handed goal of the game at 19:06 of the second."The distressing thing is our power play just wasn't clicking," Christie said. Despite all the shots on goal, few put much pressure on Fukufuji. "It was one of those nights where we made it easy for the goaltender all of them were in the chest. We put a lot of shots in the chest, and we missed the net quite a bit, too. We've got to execute on the power play."