The Utah Grizzlies defeated the Colorado Eagles, 3-2, on Saturday night at Maverik Center before 9,288 fans.
The crowd was the second largest of the season for Military Appreciation Night presented by Mark Miller Subaru. A total of $18,650 was raised in the postgame specialty jersey auction with all proceeds going to local organizations that help active military and veterans.
“It was for a great cause tonight; for what our veterans do for us and our military personnel as it allows us to play this game and we are grateful for it,” said head coach and General Manager Tim Branham.
Utah goaltender Brandon Wildung stopped 16-straight shots and 17-of-19 overall to earn his first professional win.
“That's a tough team over there,” said Branham. “(It was) very entertaining hockey for the fans and a great crowd tonight. If we keep winning, good things will happen for the playoffs, and we just have to keep that focus in mind and take it one game at a time.”
Brandan Harms (11) knocked in a rebound with 10:06 left in the third period to give Utah its first lead of the night as Ryan Walters and Sam Windle drew assists.
Colorado scored on two of their first three shots, starting shorthanded 3:02 into the game, and then 1:38 later they knocked in a rebound to build a 2-0 lead 4:40 into the contest.
“The boys are right there battling hard, especially without some key players,” said Branham. “I have to commend the boys for executing the game plan. Hopefully we can keep our confidence here with this win and be able to bury our chances next week.”
The Grizzlies fought back as Mitch Maxwell (four) started the scoring with his second goal in two nights as he crossed in and fired under the bar from between the circles as Travis Howe and Jake Marchment picked up assists with 7:08 left in the period.
Utah tied the game as Howe (three) knocked in a rebound from Marchment and Maxwell with 2:11 left in the first period.
The Grizzlies outshot Colorado, 34-19, in the game and 32-15 after the Eagles had an early 5-2 edge.
The Grizzlies are back in action Friday and Saturday in Boise. Faceoff both nights is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Utah returns home Friday and Saturday, April 6-7, for Fan Appreciation Weekend, which is Free Seat Upgrade Weekend.