Hockey Fights Cancer

by Website Admin

The Outliers earned five more points in a 3-game set against the Rock Spring Grizzlies. The team won by scores of 4-3, and 8-4 and picked up a 4-3 OT loss. The weekend was highlighted by the team's annual 'Hockey Fights Cancer' game, where the team showed off its purple-themed Outliers jerseys and auctioned them off during the game. The Outliers were excited to partner with 'Ink Against Cancer' for a terrific night of hockey and most importantly, enjoyed being part of a such great cause. 


On Friday night, the Utah Outliers and Rock Springs Grizzlies faced off for another Mountain Division tilt at the Family Recreation Ice Center in Rock Springs. This would be the first of three matchups between the two teams over five days. 

Utah gave the nod to starting goaltender Phil Rondina who came into the game searching for another dominant outing. The Grizzlies started Mathis Thirion between the pipes and were looking for a big performance from him. 

The first period started promising for Rock Springs as they capitalized on the powerplay at the 3:17 mark of the opening frame. Despite the early deficit, Utah stuck to their game plan but was unable to convert on any of their scoring chances due to the strong netminding of the Grizzlies netminder. 

The opening period concluded with Rock Springs leading 1-0 and the two sides tied in shots apiece. Utah would head into the locker room to regroup and were determined to find their scoring touch heading into the final two periods of play. 

The second period couldn't have started any better for Utah. The team came out flying and with just a minute into the second frame they were on the scoreboard to tie the game at 1-1 when Outliers forward Daniil Chuparnov converted on a backdoor play at the 0:59 mark to get the equalizer. 

Despite the quick start for the Outliers, the Grizzlies recaptured the lead when they scored at the 14:11 mark of the second frame to take a 2-1 lead. The Rock Springs goal would not deter the Outliers as they answered back just 1:03 later to draw the game even at 2-2. The Outliers goal was credited to Mason Keller who won a net-front battle to gain control of the puck and lift it past the sprawling Grizzlies netminder. 

The shots after the second period heavily favored the Outliers by a margin of 16-9 but the game remained tied 2-2 heading into the second intermission. Utah had some great chances during the second frame but missed the net on some high-danger opportunities along with being denied by the strong play of the Grizzlies netminder. 

Utah finally grabbed the lead in the contest when they scored just five minutes into the third period. A beautiful passing play by Garret Joss and Matteo Mitrovic allowed Daniil Chuparnov to release a one-timer into the back of the net.  

Utah ran into some penalty problems in the period which allowed Rock Springs to grab some momentum with the man advantage and tie the game at 3-3. The game looked destined for overtime but Utah had found a way to score a dramatic goal in the dying seconds. 

Outliers forward, Michael Schwartz made a great play in his defensive zone that allowed him to poke the puck loose and put him on a breakaway where he buried his shot low to the blocker for the game-winner with just 35 seconds remaining. 

This road victory gave Utah their sixth straight win over the Grizzlies. Shots were even at 12 apiece in the third period and Philip Rondina played another strong game in the net to help his team pick up another victory. 


On Saturday, Utah hit the ice for a special evening of hockey while supporting Cancer Awareness. The team showed off its purple-themed 'hockey fights cancer' jerseys and auctioned them off during the game. 

Sam Straff got the start net for Utah. The young netminder was looking to build on a couple of recent outstanding performances where he defeated the Mustangs. 

Saturday's game started with a ton of physical play and board battles as each team attempted to impose its will on its opponent. With both teams locking it down defensively, the offense was hard to come by and when an opportunity did present itself, the goalies shut the door on the majority of scoring chances. 

Despite solid goaltending from both sides, each team was able to find the back of the net once to make the score 1-1 heading into the first intermission. Shots finished 14-10 in favor of Utah. 

Utah struck early in the second period to take a 2-1 lead. Michael Schwartz put home a rebound off of a Ryan Cooper shot just 1:04 into the second frame. Utah's lead did not last long as Rock Springs was able to draw even rather quickly and the score was deadlocked at 2-2. 

Eventually, the Outliers would catch fire offensively and rattle off three straight goals. Garrett Joss fired home the third goal of the night on the powerplay at the 10:23 mark. Just under a minute later, Connor Mariner blasted his shot past the Grizzlies netminder from the top of the circles. The final goal of the second period came once again on the powerplay but this time it was Carson Tecklenburg lighting the lamp. 

The period concluded with the Outliers taking a commanding 5-2 lead and controlling most of the offense in the second period as they pumped 19 shots on the Rock Springs net. 

Utah's offensive onslaught showed no signs of slowing down in the third period as the club added three more goals. Daniil Chuparnov scored the team's 6th and 7th goals of the contest showing off his goal-scoring prowess. The eighth and final goal of the evening belonged to Carson Strapon. Assists came off the stick of Ryan Cooper and Michael Schwartz.

Utah earned a dominant 8-4 victory and added another two points into the win column. The team showed a lot of confidence and performed admirably on such a special night. 


The Outliers were riding a wave of momentum as they headed into Tuesday's game against the Grizzlies. This would be the final game of the season between the two clubs and Utah was looking to improve on its 7-game winning streak. The Grizzlies had plans of their own for this matchup and proved to be a tough opponent as they fought to avoid their third consecutive loss to Utah. 

Philip Rondina was back in the net for the Outliers and looking to add another 'W' in the win column. Mathis Thirion got the nod for the Grizzlies. 

 The first period offered plenty of hard-hitting action from both clubs and offensive space was not easy to find in the opening frame due to the strong defensive play at both ends of the ice. There would be no scoring after the first period as both teams combined for 20 shots with the Outliers getting the edge in that category by a margin of 11-9.

Utah opened the scoring in the second frame at the 13:27 mark when Outliers forward Carson Teckenburg redirected a Jake Howard point shot. Less than two minutes later, Ryan Cooper would notch his second goal of the year with assists being credited to Michael Schwartz and Carson Strapon. 

Shortly after taking a two-goal lead, the Outliers found themselves on the power play with a chance to put the game out of reach. Unfortunately, their plans were quickly foiled when Rock Springs was able to score shorthanded to pull themselves within one. Just over a minute later, Grizzlies forward John Kremer found himself all alone in the slot and buried his shot for the Grizzlies second short-handed goal in a matter of minutes. 

The period would come to a close with the score tied at 2-2 and the Outliers showing frustration after some very sloppy play on the powerplay that gave Rock Springs life to tie the game. 

With the score deadlocked at 2-2, Utah came out hard in the final period and pressed hard to get the next goal and take back the lead. The Outliers offense began attacking the net hard and shooting often but Rock Spring's netminder Mathis Thirion made a handful of big saves to keep Utah off the scoreboard.

Utah's offensive perseverance finally paid off at the 13:07 mark when forward Makar Klochkov scored to put the Outliers ahead 3-2. Playing with the lead, the Outliers were determined to shut down the Grizzlies attack and defend hard in front of Rondina. Utah did a good job of playing strong defense throughout ten minutes and didn't give up many scoring opportunities but a vital mistake in their defensive zone allowed the Grizzlies to capitalize and knot the game at 3-3 and force overtime. 

In overtime, it was the Grizzlies who made their shot count. Utah lost coverage in their defensive zone and Rock Springs made them pay as they scored from the slot for the game-winner and a 4-3 OT win. 

The loss broke the Outliers 7-game win streak but they did pick up an extra point having gone to overtime. Shots on goal for the contest ended up 51-30 in favor of Utah.