OUTLIERS 7, GRIZZLIES 2 (JAN 13TH)
The Outliers traveled to Rock Springs on Saturday to take on the Grizzlies. This was Utah's third consecutive game against their Wyoming opponent and they were hungry to pick up the win and earn another two points on the road.
The Outliers started fast and furious in this contest as they peppered the Grizzlies goaltender with a multitude of shots right from the drop of the puck. By the midpoint of the period, Utah had already accumulated over 20 shots on net and you got the feeling it wouldn't be long before all those shot attempts paid off.
With 6:40 remaining in the opening period, Utah converted on a play while controlling the puck in the Grizzlies zone. The puck made its way up to the blueline where defenseman Jake Howard sifted a shot through traffic and teammate Magzhan Sagadiev deposited the rebound for a 1-0 Outliers lead.
The Outliers extended their lead to 2-0 just minutes later when David Utkin rushed the puck into the Rock Springs zone and drove wide on the Grizzlies defenseman as he took the puck to the net. Utkin would show great patience to hold onto the puck and then pull the goaltender out of position as he lifted his shot into the top corner for a beautiful goal.
The Outliers headed to the locker room after the opening frame leading by a score of 2-0 and outshooting Rock Springs by a margin of 28-11.
Just five minutes into the second period, Utah added to their lead when Garrett Joss found the back of the net on the powerplay. Joss who was positioned at the side of the net became the beneficiary of a favorable bounce and whacked home the rebound.
Later in the period at the 17:50 mark, the Outliers power play clicked again. Utah moved the puck around the zone where it found its way to the point and onto the stick of defenseman JS Pack. The quick shot by Pack was stopped by the Grizzlies netminder but he could not control the rebound. Carson Teckenburg pounced on the rebound while positioned on the backdoor and tapped the puck past the goal line for the Outliers fourth goal.
The period concluded with Utah dominating the play and heading into the locker room with a commanding 4-0 lead. Shots on goal after two periods favored Utah 46-18. Outliers goalie Philip Rondina held his ground in the net and turned aside all eighteen Rock Springs shots.
The third period started favorably for Rock Springs as they cashed in on a couple of early chances to narrow the Outliers lead to 4-2. The Grizzlies found themselves on the scoreboard when they capitalized on an odd-man rush and then followed up by scoring on a face-off win in Utah's zone.
It didn't take the Outliers long to buckle down and respond to the Grizzlies two quick goals. The visitors went back to work and reestablished control of the game by scoring three consecutive goals to give them a 7-2 lead. Utah's final three goals of the contest came off the sticks of Daniil Chuparnov, Garrett Joss, and Magzhan Sagadiev.
When the final buzzer sounded, Utah skated off the ice with a convincing 7-2 victory and added another two points into the win column. The team showed a lot of hunger and energy in this game as they recorded a season-high 66 shots on net.
Utah's Philip Rondina stood tall between the pipes and had another strong showing for his club. He finished the game registering 25 saves and continues to prove himself as a top goalie in the NCDC.