Adam Turner on the OT Thriller vs Wichita
There's nothing quite like overtime hockey in the ECHL. 60 minutes weren't enough to decide the final contest in the three game series between the Utah Grizzlies and Wichita Thunder. Both teams had skated to three goals and as the overtime session began to unfold, the question was whether Utah would continue its dominance over the Thunder or if Wichita was going to escape with some dignity. Utah's Jack Walker would decide Wichita's fate, winding and firing a puck past a dejected goaltender in Wichita's Stuart Skinner, sending the crowd into a frenzy. As the scoreboard flashed Utah 4, Wichita 3, Utah had completed a sweep against the Thunder, winning all six contests played thus far.
"I didn't even know if I'd scored to tell you the truth," Walker said. "I came around the net and I looked for a pass back door and it just happened to find its way in. Anytime when you can contribute to a win like that it's definitely a good feeling. We've got a lot of confidence going into the new year which is nice."
Utah wouldn't have been in a position to collect a victory in the extra session where it not without the services of the high-scoring Austin Carroll. Facing a one goal deficit on two separate occasions, Carroll would erase each of those deficits with a pair of mesmerizing goals, as Utah refused to fold its tent.
"The boys just came together huge tonight and it's a big character win," Carroll said. "Coach is happy and we're happy. They're a good team and we had to work hard but when you do, good things happen and we're going to keep it rolling."
Taylor Richart got the Grizzlies on the board in the second period, firing a bullet from the blue line and played so well he not only was named the defenseman of the game, but was awarded the third star of the evening.
When asked about his three stars of the night, head coach Tim Branham was praiseworthy of his trio: "The boys were resilient and never stopped working and Austin Carroll had a big night. He plays the game the right way. Taylor played really well and was solid all around both offensively and defensively. And Jack Walker is picking it up and he's becoming a valuable part of this team."
Images from this story
Jack Walker of the Utah Grizzlies celebrates
Taylor Richart of the Utah Grizzlies takes a shot against the Wichita Thunder
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