The Utah Grizzlies defeated the Fort Wayne Komets, 4-2, on Saturday night at Maverik Center before an early season-high crowd of 7,656 fans.
Ryan Walters scored two first-period goals 3:59 apart to give Utah a 2-0 lead with goals at 10:41 and 14:40. First, he took a feed from Michael Pelech going to the net for the tip in before taking another feed from Pelech and scoring on a shorthanded breakaway on a delayed penalty.
“Walters has come back this year and has done an amazing job both on the ice and off it,” said head coach and General Manager Tim Branham on the forward who has two goals and seven assists for nine points in his first five games with the Grizzlies.
Pelech (six) tipped in a puck on a Taylor Richart blast with the Grizzlies on a five-on-three power play to make it 3-0, 10:38 into the second period as Cliff Watson picked up an assist.
“I thought it was a complete effort by everyone,” said Branham. “The special teams were much better. That five-on-three really sealed the deal. It was a really good job by our guys to work the puck around and to get a goal.”
Another blast by Richart (four) made it 4-0 with 3:56 left in the second.
Fort Wayne scored on its 27th and 29th shots to make it 4-2 before the Grizzlies sealed the win.
Grizzlies goaltender Kevin Carr stopped 29-of-31 in the game to improve to 5-3-1-0.
“Kevin Carr made some big saves to keep Fort Wayne off the scoreboard early in the game,” said Branham. “He plays the puck extremely well. Can't say enough about the job he's done. He's been a calming influence on this team.”
Next Saturday is the team’s first Pooch on the Pond. Fans can bring their dogs for $28 when purchasing in advance at (801) 988-8021.
In addition on Saturday, the Grizzlies will be wearing Anaheim Ducks jerseys for the Angel’s Hands Foundation.