On Friday, the Utah Outliers took the ice to play the Provo Predators at Peaks Ice Arena in Provo. This was the third match-up between the two teams this season, with the Outliers having defeated the Predators in the previous two games this year.
The Outliers just returned from the USPHL Midwest Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota where they won three out of their four games at the showcase. The team has been riding an offensive high heading into the Provo series and were looking to pick up another victory on the road.
In Friday's game, the Outliers struck early as Leyton Pettypiece got Utah on the board at the 14:30 mark. The line of Pettypiece, Schwab, and Waldhauser cycled the puck in the Predator's zone and then attacked the net for a chance which was stopped by Provo's goalie. The rebound lay to the side of the net where Nikolas Schwab recovered it and brought the puck to the far side of the net and passed it out front to a wide-open Pettypiece. Upon receiving Schwab's pass, Pettypiece rifled his shot into the top corner past the Predator's netminder for a 1-0 Utah lead.
The Outliers continued to press for more offense during the opening frame and hemmed Provo in their own zone for long stretches of time, but Utah failed to convert on any other of its scoring chances. The period wound down with Utah outshooting Provo by a margin of 13-7 and holding a 1-0 lead.
The second period started similar to the first with the Outliers controlling the puck a lot and pressuring the Provo zone. Penalties eventually became a factor in the period for Utah as they were assessed multiple minor infractions that put them on the penalty kill and took away a lot of their offensive momentum. The Outliers proved to be effective in killing off all the penalties and keeping Provo off the board but it prevented the club from establishing much offense and they headed into the locker room with no additional goals in the second frame. The score remained 1-0 with the shots being equal at seven apiece for both teams.
In the final period, Utah regained its skating legs and began to take back momentum and re-apply its offensive attack on Provo. The team showed great skill in breaking the puck out of its zone cleanly which led to some strong rush chances and offensive zone time that led to their second goal of the contest.
At the 18:24 mark, Utah defenseman Magnus Einarson grabbed control of the puck in the neutral zone and rushed down the right side of the Provo zone. Skating at a high rate of speed, Einarson got a step on the Predator's defenseman and drove wide around him and towards the net where he released a quick shot near the goal line that surprised the Provo goalie and beat him cleanly. This goal put the Outliers ahead by a score of 2-0.
Utah sealed the victory and add the insurance goal with just two seconds remaining in the game. With the Provo goalie pulled for an extra attacker, the Predators attacked Utah's zone and tried to establish its offense for its first goal of the night. The puck would find its way into the corner in the Outliers zone and a board scrum ensued with multiple players fighting for possession. The puck eventually popped loose out of the scrum and onto the stick of Utah forward Miles McCue who shot the puck all the way down the ice and into the open net for a 3-0 Outliers win.
Utah goaltender, Marco Felicetti stood tall in the net for his team and earned the shutout making 22 saves. This shutout was the team's third in its past five games and a compliment to the group's commitment to playing tough defense.
The Outliers will travel to Ogden on Saturday night for a 7:15 pm game at the Ice Sheet. This rivalry game is sure to be an intense battle between the two clubs. Catch all the action live-streamed at HockeyTV.com.