Outliers defeat Spud Kings at Idaho home opener
Utah traveled to Idaho Falls to play in the host’s brand-new Mountain America Center in front of a sold-out crowd of over 4,000 spectators last night, December 2, 2022. The Utah Outliers finished the night by picking up another two points and remain at the top of their division with a defeat of the Idaho Falls Spud Kings 6-1.
The Outliers struck first in this game at the 10:48 mark of the first period. Utah's Miles McCue won the face-off cleanly and moved the puck back to the point where Alex Schluep gained control and made a pass to teammate Will Cohen on the half-boards. Upon receiving the pass, Cohen found an open lane at the blue line and threaded a pass to defenseman Mark Mussbacher who rifled his shot over the glove of the Spud Kings goalie to give the Outliers a 1-0 lead.
Utah immediately struck again for their second goal of the evening at the 10:12 mark as they took advantage of another offensive zone face-off win. This time it was Utah's newest forward acquisition, Grant Parshall winning control of the face-off and putting a shot on goal that the Spud Kings’ netminder stopped. Parshall recovered the loose puck and took another shot from a sharp angle that found its way past the goaltender and into the back of the net.
Utah added their third goal of the opening frame with just under a minute remaining in the period. Utah demonstrated their skills on a clean breakout exit which led to an offensive rush up ice and was finished off with a pretty passing play and a goal.
Utah defenseman Alex Schluep led the rush up ice and skated down the right side where he entered the Idaho Falls zone. Skating into the zone, Schluep dished a pass to the middle of the slot and onto the stick of teammate Grant Parshall who then made a quick touch pass into the far lane to a streaking Paul Waldhauser. Grabbing control of the pass, Waldhauser converted on his shot and deposited the puck into the wide-open net.
Despite outshooting the Spud Kings 15-10 in the opening period, and being up by a score of 3-0, Utah's goalie, Nathan Dickey was called upon to make some big saves for his club.
In the second period, the game action swung back and forth with both teams generating several solid scoring chances, but the goaltenders were up to the task and made timely saves.
The Spud Kings finally broke open their scoring and got on the scoreboard at the 12:27 mark. After a missed opportunity off the rush by the Outliers, the Spud Kings launched a counterattack which resulted in a breakaway goal for the home team.
That was the only scoring during the second period and both teams headed into the intermission with Utah leading by a score of 3-1, outshooting the Spud Kings 11-7.
In the third period, the Outliers came out flying and completely took over the game with three straight goals to give them a 6-1 victory. Utah's third-period goals came off the sticks of Miles McCue (twice) and Nikolas Schwab. The Outliers outshot the Spud Kings by a margin of 18-6 and 44-23 for the game.
The Outliers are back in action tonight, Saturday, Dec 4th as they play host to the Ogden Mustangs at 6:30 pm at the Acord Ice Center. You can catch all the action streamed live on HockeyTV.com.