Utah Takes Down Predators
The Utah Outliers hosted the Provo Predators for a battle for second place in the Mountain Division. Utah came into the game having swept the Rock Springs Grizzlies and was looking to hold on to its momentum versus the Predators.
Utah Outliers 4, Provo Predators 1 (Saturday, November 27th)
Utah's game plan against Provo was to start fast and try to dominate the visitors early. The team's plan worked well when they came out skating hard and controlling a lot of the puck possession and territory.
The Outliers opened up the scoring to take a 1-0 lead at the 11:19 mark of the first period. Utah forward Carson Teckenburg skated into the Provo zone and threw a pass into the slot for Nathan Huntington who rifled a one-timer shot past the Predators netminder.
Utah continued its control of the opening frame and played a lot of it in the Provo zone but could not convert on any more of its chances to extend the lead. The period concluded with the Outliers leading 1-0 and outshooting the Predators by a 14-8 margin. Utah continued to control the early portions of the second period with some nifty passing plays that resulted in the club generating numerous chances at the net but they were all thwarted by the Provo goaltender.
Utah's hard work and persistence eventually paid off as David Utkin forced a turnover in the Provo zone that ended up on the stick of teammate Makar Klochkov who shot the puck on the net which created a rebound. Utkin, who created the original turnover skated quickly to the net to collect the rebound and deposit it past the Predators netminder for a 2-0 Utah lead.
Utah ran into some penalty trouble in the second frame which took away some of their offensive momentum. Fortunately, the penalty kill was up to the challenge along with some remarkable saves from Utah's goalie, Philip Rondina to deny Provo's power play attempts.
Provo narrowed Utah's lead to 2-1 in the second period when they pounced on an Outliers turnover during a failed entry and quickly transitioned up the ice. Provo entered the Utah zone and released a perfect shot into the top corner of the net at the 2:13 mark.
Utah showed some great resilience to bounce back immediately when they answered with a goal of their own with 1:29 remaining in the period. Defenseman Jakub Cervenka received a pass at the point from Makar Kochklov. Cervenka released a quick shot to the net that redirected off teammate David Utkin and into the back of the net. Utah skated off the ice for the second intermission with a 3-1 lead and outshooting Provo 16-8.
The final period had the Predators pushing hard for their second goal and trying to grab some momentum but once again it was Utah's goalie Philip Rondina to the rescue. Rondina was up to the challenge and shut the door the rest of the way stopping all of Provo's 13 shots in the final period.
Outliers defenseman Jentzen Kaebel sealed the game for the home team when he buried an empty net goal to give Utah a 4-1 victory and helped move the team into second place in the Mountain Division.