Weekend recap: Ogden and Provo
The Utah Outliers hit a roadblock this past weekend losing to their division rivals on Saturday and Sunday. The Outliers who had a big 3-2 win on Friday against the Ogden Mustangs fell short on Saturday losing 4-1 to the Provo Riverblades and then experienced a 3-2 OT loss on Sunday in a rematch versus the Ogden Mustangs.
Riverblades 4 Outliers 3
On Saturday, the Outliers came out slow against the Riverblades and gave up the first goal of the game when Riverblades forward Blake Blevins entered the Outliers zone and wristed a shot from the top of the circles that eluded goaltender Cam Barber for a 1-0 lead.
The Outliers would strike back for their first goal of the game with 8:32 remaining in the first period when Outliers defenseman Matthew Koepke made a nice stretch pass through the middle of the ice to send forward Nikolas Schwab on a breakaway. Schwab made no mistake on his opportunity as he deked the Riverblades goalie Nick Addante and slipped a nifty backhand past the netminder to tie the game 1-1.
It appeared as though the first period would end tied at 1-1 but with just six seconds left in the period, the Riverblades won a face-off in the Outliers zone and Provo forward Zach Hauseman released a quick shot from the top of the circles that beat Outliers goaltender Cam Barber low on the blocker side.
In the Second period it was all Riverblades as they scored two unanswered goals to take a commanding 4-1 lead heading into the 3rd period. Provo goals were scored by defenseman Hunter Howe who shot a rocket over the blocker of goaltender Barber and then the Riverblades capitalized on a two-on-one opportunity when forward Cole Carpenter scored.
The third period saw the Outliers come back with a strong push late in the period to close the gap on the scoreboard. With 3:52 left in the game, the Outliers scored on the power play when they pulled their goalie for a six on four advantage. The Outliers won a battle on the boards in the Riverblades zone, and the puck was moved to the point where defenseman Jakub Suran blasted a shot and the rebound was scored by Outliers forward Trent Gephart to make it a 4-2 score.
With 1:48 left in the game, the Outliers scored their third goal of the game when the Riverblades were once again penalized and the Outliers pulled their goalie for a six on four man advantage again. This time it was Outliers forward Ricky Bredberg who found a pass at the side of the net from Shafaat Hashim for a backdoor tap in goal to narrow the score to 4-3.
Unfortunately for the Outliers, that was as close as they could get as they were unsuccessful in pulling their goalie for a third time and finding the equalizer. The Riverblades skated off the ice with a 4-3 victory.
Ogden 3 Outliers 2 (OT)
On Sunday, the Outliers were back at the Ice Sheet in Ogden to take on the Mustangs in a metinee game. Both teams came out playing hard and creating some solid chances but the goaltenders from both teams shut the door and the score was deadlocked at 0-0 after the first period.
In the second period it was more of the same up and down action and strong goaltending. The Outliers would finally breakthrough and find the game's first goal when defenseman Micky Vignoli found himself on a breakaway and sniped a shot top corner over the Mustangs goalie's glove hand. This would be the only goal scored in the second period and the Outliers headed into the dressing room with a 1-0 lead.
The third period was not as friendly to the Outliers. The team looked in good shape when Shafaat Hashim converted on a power play when the puck squirted loose from a turnover and he whacked into the net for a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately, that 2-0 lead would not hold as the Mustangs found two goals of their own late in the game to tie it up at 2-2 and force OT.
In the 3 on 3 OT, the Mustangs made good on their opportunity when the puck squirted loose along the boards in the Outliers zone and found the defenders out of position. The loose puck was passed to Mustangs forward Jake Meure who was all alone in the slot for a short breakaway and he made good on his shot beating the Outliers goalie Collin Soderholm between the legs for a 3-2 OT win.
The Outliers will be back in action next weekend as they play host to the Ogden Mustangs on Friday and the Colorado Eagles on Saturday. Both games will be played at the Maverik Center at 7:30 PM. Both games can be seen live on Hockeytv.com.