Grizzlies Win Eighth Straight, 4-2 Over Phoenix
What do the Phoenix Roadrunners have in common with Dick Van Dyke? Both are known for saying eight is enough. Following a 4-2 loss to the Utah Grizzlies, the Roadrunners are winless in eight games at 0-6-2 since the calendar turned to November.
After several strong outings, the Roadrunners went back to the form that got them in the winless streak to begin with. That would be taking a bunch of penalties and giving up power-play goals in large numbers. Utah scored three power-play goals in the first period and never looked back as they posted their eighth straight win and raised their record to 10-3-0.
Phoenix (3-8-2) was down two men when Utah started the offensive blitz. Anthony Battaglia was the recipient of a give-and-go pass from Ryan Kinasewich and stuffed it past Roadrunners' goaltender Michael Mole at 8:09 to give Utah the first goal. The Grizzlies capitalized on the back end of the two-man edge when Brad Herauf finished another give-and-go at 9:40 to give Utah a 2-0 edge. James Laux assisted on both goals.
Phoenix got one back on the power play off the stick of team captain Dean Tiltgen at 12:34. Tiltgen's rebound backhander found the net behind the glove side of Grizzlies' goaltender Justin Eddy for his fifth goal of the season. Tiltgen was playing in the game despite being taken to an area hospital complaining of numbness in his left arm earlier in the day. He was cleared to play and gave a gritty effort.
Just as soon as Phoenix thought it would come back, Utah answered with a power-play goal to re-establish a two-goal cushion. Laux let go a one-time blast from the point and it found the back of the net at 17:29 to give Utah a 3-1 edge and a perfect 3-of-3 on the power play.
B.J. Gaustad scored at the 16:09 mark of the second period to draw the Runners within a goal but Herauf's empty-net goal with 45 seconds left sealed the win.
Phoenix hosts the Victoria Salmon Kings (5-8-1) Monday night at America West Arena. Victoria is coming off of a 3-2 overtime win over the Idaho Steelheads Saturday night.
Eddy stopped 22 of 24 Phoenix shots to get the win and raise his record to 3-1-0. Mole made 29 saves on 32 Utah shots but fell to 0-6-2. Phoenix finished 1-of-3 on the man-advantage while Utah ended the night 3-of-4 on the power play.
3. Rycroft-UTA Two assists in the win
2. Herauf-UTA Two goals for the Grizzlies
1. Laux-UTA Goal and two assists to give Utah eight straight wins.
Notes: Phoenix forward J.F. Soucy was back in the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for getting an instigator in the final minute at San Diego last weekend...Blake Robson assisted on Tiltgen's goal to pick up his first professional point...Phoenix had killed off 18 straight penalties coming into this game...Utah played without the ECHL's all-time leading scorer, Louis Dumont, who was sidelined with a knee injury...Mike Ouellett served the final game of his five-game suspension for Phoenix...This is the fourth time in the winless streak Phoenix has allowed three power-play goals in a game...Attendance was 4,539.
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