Grizzlies Insider Adam Turner on 7-3 Tulsa Win
Out of the 27 teams that comprise the ECHL, the one that nobody wants to face currently is the Tulsa Oilers. In possession of a 9-1 record in its last 10 games, to say that the Oilers are riding a hot streak would be an understatement. Unfortunately for the Utah Grizzlies, Tulsa has brought their act to the Maverik Center. Although the Grizzlies exerted better effort than was on display Wednesday, the hockey gods didn't smile favorably upon the home team, bowing down to Tulsa yet again, 7-3.
"I want to give them credit, they're a good hockey club," head coach Tim Branham said. "They work hard and play as a team."
Utah outplayed Tulsa in the first period, outshooting the Oilers 13-8, possessing the puck for the majority of the session, yet by the time 20 minutes had concluded, the scoreboard read: Tulsa 3, Utah 0. A pair of costly penalties in the latter half of the period proved costly as Sam Wilbur and Ian McNulty pounced on Utah's miscues . McNulty would strike again moments later, burying a chance and thus ending Grizzlie goalie Joe Cannata's evening prematurely.
"We took it to them in the first, we outplayed them, outshot them and outchanced them," Branham said. "They get a power play and a couple bad bounces didn't go our way and it ended up in the back of the net. But I was really proud of the way we played tonight."
Kevin Carr took over but unfortunately didn't fare much better, surrendering two goals in the second period and two more in the third. This time Eric Drapluk and Scott Henegar got in on the fun and by the time Adam Pleskach rifled a shot that blazed the back of the net in the third, the score was 6-0 and a night that initially seemed promising was turning into a nightmare. Jared Thomas padded Tulsa's offensive flurry with the team's seventh goal.
One thing to be said about this Grizzlies team, though, is that they never quit. Tim McGauley, Jake Marchment and Turner Ottenbreit would salvage some dignity, getting Utah on the board with a trio of third period goals as Utah continued to fight. And McGauley, perhaps taking out some frustration felt by the entire team, exited the contest following a crowd pleasing, penalty inducing brawl.
"I think that was one of our best games that we lost this year so to speak," Marchment said. "We worked hard and it could have been a lot closer and if we bring that effort tomorrow and bear down a little bit more we'll be successful."
"I was really proud of the way we played tonight," Branham said. "We've got to put these last two games behind us and come out and we'll take it shift by shift and period by period. I like our odds. It's a great group of guys and we're still a good team."
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ECHL Stories from January 19, 2019
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